Rivals cut loose
SECOND-IN-THETABLE West Park proved too strong for the challenge of Littleborough at Rakewood on Saturday.
The home side stayed with the opposition during a close first half but were unable to hang onto their coattails after the interval, despite kicking down the slight slope.
Boro found themselves up in the visitors 22 metres within a couple of minutes of kick off and were awarded a penalty which was well converted by Nathan Coop in what was a fine start for the home side.
Confidence boosted by the early score, Boro applied further pressure on the visitors via the wings and were awarded a further penalty, which was again successfully kicked by Nathan Coop to put the hosts 6-0 up within ten minutes.
A good kick to touch by Andy Walton was followed by a period of pressure from the visitors and it fell to Boro to once again kick to touch to relieve the pressure.
At the end of the first quarter the visiting team obtained the ball and ran well with it in their threequarters to score the game’s first try, which they also converted to take the lead.
The home side, via Coop, hit back, gaining their third penalty to once again take the lead.
Unfortunately, Boro suffered through lack of ball possesion and lost their advantage when the visitors converted a penalty. Again, constant pressure on Boro in their own 22 metres area, which they had suffered since the early few minutes of the match, meant they were constantly on the back foot and the visitors gained a further penalty during this period.
Close to half time, Mathew Goldthorpe put in a good attacking run, followed by strong defence by Boro near their own tryline saving at least a couple of tries and keepng the half time score to 9-13 in West Park’s favour.
In the second half Boro were running down the slight slope and took play to opposition, through Mathew Goldthorpe – but a penalty awarded to visitors took them upfield for a throw-in and a breakaway from the lineout gained them their second try.
Boro started to make player changes which coincided with a further successful penalty from man of the match Coop.
Good play by Chris Kolbuck had Boro on the front foot until the ball was spilled to the visitors in Boro’s 10 metres area and the opposition then broke away and ran the length of the pitch for their third converted try to stretch the lead.
Boro’s wing defence then let them down and their visitors crossed the line again for their fourth try, followed by conversion.
Continual pressure from visitors kept play in Boro’s half until the final whistle.
As expected, Boro are finding the new league rather tough compared to previous seasons and they need to look at their training method to see if any changes could be made to help on match days.
Meanwhile, Vale of Lune were the hosts for the Under 13s.
A tale of a hill and two halves registered a hard fought first half with Boro running against the slope.
But the scoreline read five tries to nil in favour of the home side.
Boro U13s had spent a large chunk of the first half camped on the Vale line but couldn’t make their dominance count as each time they came away empty handed; basic handling errors their downfall.
A second half down the hill and few changes on the turf saw the visitors finally find their rhythm as they ran in three tries to the single score for Vale of Lune.
Brody Baxter picked up from where he left off last week with two of the three tries for the team, while Joe Deegan also found the whitewash.
Debuntant Harry Ratcliffe took the award for Man of the Match for the Boro side as Billy Blake came as close second.
A special mention also goes out to Asahd Nawaz on his first ever game in the black, green and yellow of Littleborough, making good yards with ball in hand.
A scoreline of Vale of Lune 30 Littleborough 15 demonstrates how this is a big learning curve this season with five newbies in the squad.
Making the trip over the Pennines, Littleborough’s Under 15 girls were the guests of honour at Broomfield Avenue as they went up against well drilled Old Crossleyans side.
The visitors started slow and were caught napping in concentration and communication as it led to a try almost instantly by the Halifax-based Old Crossleyans and they kept coming.
Boro just hadn’t woken up and this showed by the lack of width in the defensive lines, which the home side were keen to take advantage of. Some amazing tackling from Courtney Mills saw the captain push back the opposition with some smashing big tackles, Kirsty Bella doing the same. Full back Georgia Crossley was busy marshalling the troops and even played her part in a number of rucks as her team mate at number 8 Ellie Fitzgerald tried to regain the forwards composure but Old Crocs were breaking through.
Then, outside centre Amy Perren blasted through a gap into space to score a cracker of try before she quickly made it a brace with another.
An unfortunate injury saw pack leader Fitzgerald leave the field in the second half with the role taken on by Tilly Robinson-Burgess who did an admirable job with lots of communication.
Things went from bad to worse as talismanic Courtney Mills went off injured with scrum half Kiera Boardman being handed the honour of captaining her side with great pride.
In the end scoreboard reflected poorly on the visitors but it was not for the want of effort and persistence nevergave up. Kirsty Bella and Amy Perren were rightly singled out for praise on a difficult afternoon for the Under 15 Girls.
Ben Irvin was back to towering fitness for Littleborough against West Park
George Roberts added some dash to the Littleborough midfield