Cooney leaves it late to tame the Tigers

The Rugby Paper - - National League 2 North - ■ By JOHN BREN­NAN

A TWELVE-TRY thriller was still in doubt up to the last play of the game when Blay­don winger James Cooney touched down in the cor­ner to end a poor spell of re­sults for the home side.

The Tigers took an early lead when Blay­don col­lapsed a scrum, run­ning it quickly up-field for Henri Packard to cruise in un­der the posts but the ad­van­tage was short-lived. Blay­don hooker and head coach Matt Thomp­son stormed over from 15 me­tres and by the 36th minute had com­pleted a hat-trick with two more tries from rolling mauls.

Jack Ap­ple­ton for Blay­don and Jamie Broadley for the Tigers added fur­ther scores and go­ing into the 40th minute it was a com­fort­able 24-12 lead for the home side.

In the fi­nal play of the half how­ever Broadley was in again to sig­nal the start of a re­mark­able turn­around for the vis­i­tors, 24-12 rapidly be­com­ing 2434 with tries from Peter Swatkins, Packard with his sec­ond and an op­por­tunist ef­fort from scrum-half Ryan Holmes in the 55th minute.

The fi­nal quar­ter then be­longed to Blay­don with An­drew Miller pick­ing up and break­ing sharply to send in Rob Len­deryou.

The Sh­effield side were now des­per­ately de­fend­ing a three-point lead and lost two play­ers in quick suc­ces­sion to the sin-bin in the process. Some­thing had to give but it was a mighty close thing.

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