In a day of top of the table action Headingley Outlaws jumped to the top of Division One, beating the early pace setters Bury Saints in round two of the Tchoukball UK National League. Both divisions saw top of the table clashes with Headingley beating Bury Saints and Bury Kings defeating Southampton Stags in the Super League.
Headingley played both of the Bury sides in the first division, first seeing off the Suffolk club’s resolute youth team, Bury Wolves.
Boasting an impressive attacking line-up, including players with Super League experience, Outlaws scored enough to maintain their lead throughout, eventually winning 63-48. But it was the defence that secured victory against Saints, leapfrogging them into top spot. Outlaws shut down the Bury shooters, seeing off a late comeback to win 58-54.
Saints had earlier beaten Portsmouth Ducks 59-35 and now sit in second, level on points with Headingley. Also level on points is third-place Leeds Cosmos, which won both of its games, with wins over Portsmouth Ducks and Portsmouth Uni Pythons respectively.
The two Portsmouth sides had earlier faced up to each other in a derby grudge match, with Ducks coming out on top 44-41. Despite the two losses Pythons improved massively for its final game against Bury Wolves, led by a solid defensive effort, winning 54-45.
In seventh and eighth sit Guildford Ignite and Southampton Springboks respectively, neither side playing in round two.
In the Super League the morning was dominated by the face-off between last year’s top two teams, Bury Kings and Southampton Stags. Southampton took an early lead after several mistakes by Bury but this had disappeared before the third was over, a lead Bury never relinquished. Led by top scorer Jack Buck, Bury stretched the score to a 10-point gap shortly before the end of the second third in what was a loud and energetic performance from both teams.
But another spell of mistakes meant Southampton went in just five points behind at the break, with real hope of a comeback.
What followed was another close third, with Bury edging it to secure a 60-53 victory.
Kings followed this up with wins against Portsmouth Drakes (72-48) and Leeds Galaxy (69-57).
Southampton sit in third, having played fewer games than second-placed Leeds, but beat Yorkshire’s number one side in another hi-drama match, winning 65-53. The losses against Bury and Southampton ended what had been a promising start for Leeds. After winning both matches in round one they began round-two with a hard-earned victory against Portsmouth Drakes.
In a roller-coaster of a match, which saw Portsmouth make several mini comebacks, Leeds edged the game 54-52. Portsmouth’s losses leave them in fifth, below fourth-place Guildford Inferno and above Fareham Rhinos, neither side playing in round two.