YARNBURY opened its new RFU funded artificial grass pitch facility on Saturday afternoon by beating long-standing Yorkshire Two rivals Leodiensian 33-24.

The game promised to be exiting well matched contest on the new artificial turf sandwiched in between an invitation veterans game and young ladies rugby in the evening under the new floodlights.

The facility means the league will get different conditions to play rugby, rather than standard turf pitches this season.

Yarnbury started in sensational style but so did Leos defence. Centre James Endersby broke down the middle but his final pass went astray to winger Josh Bell, but the defence held firm across the park as Leos countered.

After ten minutes Yarnbury got space to put winger Bell in for the first points out wide but full back Joe Pinnick could not convert.

Then right wing Tom O’Brien was put away down the right, only to be hauled down short by a good tackle.

Good work by the pack then allowed No 8 Jimmy Cryan to touch down and with Pinnick converting the score was 12-0.

Yarnbury continued to stretch the opponents defence, and after the half hour the forwards and backs combined to open up the Leos' defence for Joe Pinnick to ghost through to score. He then converted his own try.

The home side then went one better to gain a bonus point for four tries on the stroke of half-time with a classic team try which allowed centre James Endersby to burst through to score, and with Pinnick converting Yarnbury had a flying first half 26-5 lead.

In the second half the Leos came back with renewed vigour.

Their captain Dave Barden is renowned for his competitive play and got the best out of his pack and stand off Will Watkinson, and forced Yarnbury back in defence.

A great midfield run by Tom O’Brien after gathering a kick out came to nothing as the ball was stifled by the defence before Josh Bell was put away down the left for the fifth try, and with Pinnick converting the home side had an unassailable lead at 33-5.

Leos broke out of defence and No 8 Steve Costello got over, with Mark McDaid converting.

They followed up with another from winger Matt Ireton and then centre George Faulkner got the final try to cut the lead to 33-24 and give the away side the respect their performance deserved.

This Saturday sees the first of a double header against opponents Barnsley in the cup at home (kick-off 2.15pm) then in the league away the following week.