Spartans storm to an­other win

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - In Busi­ness -

HAL­TON SPARTANS .......................... 52 MORE­CAMBE BAY STORM .............. 18 HE Hal­ton Spartans im­proved their record to 5-1 with an­other pow­er­ful per­for­mance as they saw off the More­cambe Bay Storm 52-18 at the Select Se­cu­rity Sta­dium on Sun­day after­noon.

The Storm put up a strong fight, on what was a very hot day but the Spartans reaped the ben­e­fits of a larger squad as the game pro­gressed.

The game kicked-off with the Spartans re­ceiv­ing the ball. Char­lie Nash made a great re­turn, al­low­ing the Spartans’ of­fence to start in good field po­si­tion.

The first drive for the Spartans, how­ever, was an un­pro­duc­tive three and out, as was More­cambe’s.

It was the sec­ond drive of the game that saw the Spartans of­fence spark into life, with quar­ter­back Tom Ever­son con­nect­ing with the everde­pend­able re­ceiver Ross Dry­den for a touch­down. The ex­tra point was duly con­verted by Matty Fitzsi­mons for a 7-0 lead.

The rest of the open­ing quar­ter seemed to be blighted by penal­ties, a theme that con­tin­ued through­out the game.

As the stanza drew to a close the Spartans at­tempted a 30-yard field goal but it sailed wide of the target.

The sec­ond quar­ter saw the Storm step up their game and a pair of un­con­verted touch­downs saw them es­tab­lish a 12-7 lead.

Hal­ton’s run­ning game fi­nally clicked and the run­ning back trio of

TDan Mor­ris, Craig Owen and Alex Martin made some great runs.

Martin bagged him­self a cou­ple of rush­ing touch­downs, one of which was con­verted by Fitzsi­mons, and the Spartans took a 20-12 lead into the in­ter­val. The Storm re­ceived the ball at the start of the third quar­ter, only for the Spartans’ de­fence to hold them to three and out.

Spartans run­ning back Owen had a touch­down called back for a penalty but the of­fence re­grouped and Mor­ris crossed for a six-pointer to im­prove the home side’s lead to 26-12.

More­cambe hit back with a third un­con­verted touch­down to bring them within eight points of Hal­ton.

The Spartans’ of­fence re­sponded on their very next drive, Owen mak­ing an­other daz­zling dash to cross into pay­dirt.

A two-point con­ver­sion ef­fort failed and the third quar­ter ended with Hal­ton ahead 32-18.

It was the fourth quar­ter that saw the Spartans fi­nally pull away from the Storm as their larger squad and player ro­ta­tion al­lowed their of­fence in par­tic­u­lar to take full ad­van­tage.

On spe­cial teams, punt re­turner Billy Forest con­tin­ued to make great yards from the Storm kicks deep into Hal­ton ter­ri­tory while on de­fence, line­backer Dave Tickle made the first in­ter­cep­tion of the day.

The Spartans’ of­fence scored three touch­downs in the fi­nal quar­ter.

Quar­ter­back Rik Lowthion sneaked in for one be­fore Owen com­pleted a 60-yard scam­per for an­other, that was con­verted by Fitzsi­mons.

The fi­nal touch­down of the game ● came from Mor­ris bring­ing the score at the end of the game to 52-18.

Hal­ton head coach Ian Beattie was in a re­flec­tive mood after the game.

He said: “Whilst we ended up win­ning the game, in what looks like a one-sided af­fair it was far from that.

“In many ar­eas of our game to­day we did not ex­e­cute well, and the play­ers all need to step up a level when we take on the un­beaten Ro­mans in a cou­ple of weeks’ time.

“This game is all about con­fi­dence but at times to­day we lacked com­po­sure and did not do the sim­ple things right.

“If it wasn’t for some great run­ning from our trio of run­ning backs, the score­line could have been very dif­fer­ent. The hard work and ad­just­ments have al­ready started as we must be bet­ter pre­pared for Ch­ester.” ● The Spartans’ next home game is a week on Sun­day – July 15 – when they host the un­beaten Ch­ester Ro­mans. The con­course bar will be open, with plenty of en­ter­tain­ment on through­out the game to make it a great fam­ily day out. See the team’s of­fi­cial Facebook page for pric­ing de­tails.

Tim Fur­fie

Hal­ton Spartans run­ning back Dan Mor­ris aims to dash up­field against the More­cambe Bay Storm dur­ing Sun­day after­noon’s en­counter at the Select Se­cu­rity Sta­dium.

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