Greens made to graft

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Martin Mere - BY VINCE EL­LIS

WITH back to back high scor­ing wins in the bag, Orm­skirk’s con­fi­dence was at a high for the visit of North Manch­ester to Green Lane last Satur­day.

Never a push over, the vis­i­tors had been a thorn in Orm­skirk’s side in pre­vi­ous en­coun­ters, so it was a game not to be taken lightly.

From the out­set Manch­ester were on the front foot, us­ing their large set of for­wards to try and cre­ate gaps in the home de­fences.

Orm­skirk were up to the task and ini­tially con­tained these force­ful drives to the vis­i­tors’ own half but grad­u­ally they gave up ground by com­mit­ting penal­ties at the rucks.

Orm­skirk slowly came to grips with this Manch­ester high en­ergy open­ing pe­riod and de­spite be­ing on the back foot in the set scrum they won enough ball to make their way up field.

Cleanly won li­ne­out ball by Orm­skirk was moved through their own for­wards for a num­ber of phases, when num­ber eight Lee Ar­row­smith broke through the de­fen­sive tack­les and strode un­op­posed to the line for the open­ing score, con­verted by Tom Owens.

Against the run of play, this was a sur­prise 7-0 lead for the home side as the ma­jor­ity of play had been in Manch­ester hands.

An Orm­skirk scrum fol­low­ing the kick off was lost as the home pack was driven back­wards al­low­ing the Manch­ester scrum half to pick up and race clear.

Good de­fen­sive tack­ling stopped him short of the line in the cor­ner, but Manch­ester were now on a roll.

Their for­wards drove hard with good ruck­ing and quick ball which put the Orm­skirk de­fences un­der great pres­sure, but as in past games their line held firm.

Manch­ester’s frus­tra­tion at not be­ing able to turn their pres­sure into points saw them give penal­ties away at the ruck area al­low­ing Orm­skirk to kick their way up field.

Once into Manch­ester’s 22 area Orm­skirk’s for­wards made suc­ces­sive drives for the line but the vis­i­tors’ de­fence was just as stub­born and re­fused to give way, hold­ing the ball up over the line.

The ball won at the re­sult­ing five me­tre scrum was again taken up by the for­wards and again they were kept out.

Suf­fi­cient de­fend­ers had been drawn in to leave gaps out wide which skip­per Mike Knowles ex­ploited for an un­con­verted try in the left cor­ner.

With enough ball, Orm­skirk had the fire power in the back line to pun­ish the vis­i­tors but Manch­ester were mak­ing life dif­fi­cult by us­ing their for­wards as their main of­fen­sive play and not giv­ing the ball up eas­ily.

A turn over ball in the tackle by Orm­skirk was moved quickly through hands for winger James Lang to make a break, cut­ting in­side the de­fences.

Although even­tu­ally tack­led, quick re­cy­cled ball reached Owens to burst clear, score un­der the posts, and then con­vert his own try.

The score­line of 19-0 did not re­flect the way the game had gone, Manch­ester’s dis­play de­served more and they were still in with a shout.

De­ter­mined driv­ing forced Orm-

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