Greens edge win late on

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Celebrations - BY VINCE EL­LIS

SATUR­DAY’S short trip up the road to Wi­gan pro­vided the spec­ta­tors with an af­ter­noon of rip roar­ing, high volt­age, fast mov­ing, open and flow­ing rock n roll rugby.

This was the fourth match of the sea­son for both sides, Orm­skirk hav­ing won two and lost one while the hosts had won all three of their matches.

With all to play for, the two sides quickly set­tled into the match with Wi­gan pro­vid­ing the ma­jor­ity of the early thrust, with phase af­ter phase of play ham­mer­ing the Orm­skirk de­fence through the for­wards and across the backs.

Big de­fen­sive ef­forts from for­wards Steve Rouke, Greg Dykes, Matthew Faulkner, Kieran Den­tonWil­liams and Aaron Ferry con­stantly foiled their big op­po­nents early in play while the har­ry­ing of Ball, Speke and Millington dealt with any loose pas­sages.

Wi­gan quickly got back to pres­sur­ing the Orm­skirk line and even­tu­ally the con­stant ham­mer­ing took its toll and the green line was breached by a fine try out wide which was well con­verted by the Wi­gan stand off.

Fol­low­ing a cou­ple of brief Orm­skirk for­ays into the Wi­gan half, the home side moved down­field through a se­ries of pas­sages of play which re­sulted in a penalty fol­low­ing in­fringe­ments by the Greens de­fence. The kick was sweetly slot­ted over to give the home side a con­fi­dence boost­ing 10-0 ad­van­tage.

Play was at the Orm­skirk end of the pitch be­fore pas­sages of play in­volv­ing skip­per Michael Knowles, Danny Unsworth, David Web­ster, James Lang and Liam Thomp­son saw play move to the Wi­gan line and the im­pres­sive Rouke prov­ing too dif­fi­cult to stop for the Wi­gan de­fence, which was clearly rat­tled by the speed and ef­fec­tive­ness of the Orm­skirk at­tack.

Matthew White watched as his con­ver­sion at­tempt sailed wide and leav­ing a five point deficit to chase.

The five point deficit soon be­came ten points as Wi­gan again crossed the Orm­skirk line fol­low­ing a pe­riod of re­lent­less pres­sure, the con­ver­sion at­tempt sail­ing wide.

The sec­ond half be­gan and con­tin­ued in a quite dif­fer­ent man­ner to the first pe­riod, with pe­ri­ods of fast and open rugby dis­played in turn by both sides along with high qual­ity de­fen­sive per­for­mances.

The fast run­ning Orm­skirk backs and for­wards, sup­ported by big pack per­for­mances from Rouke, Ferry, Speke, Faulkner and the dif­fi­cult to man­age Den­ton-Williams put the home side un­der con­stant pres­sure, lead­ing to lapses in dis­ci­pline and con­se­quent free kicks and penal­ties, two penal­ties be­ing eas­ily slot­ted over by the hard work­ing White to re­duce the deficit to 15-11.

Matthew White banged the ball over the cross­bar to give the Greens what proved to be an unas­sail­able 21-20 lead with just a few min­utes of the match re­main­ing.

WHILST all the ti­tle con­tenders con­tinue to beat each other up, it is West End Park that is cap­i­tal­is­ing on this op­por­tu­nity and now lead the top divi­sion in week three of the Master Lock & Safe South­port and District Bad­minton League.

Their im­pres­sive 6-2 away win against South­port’s first team moves them to the top of the first divi­sion with three wins with­out loss.

But with all of the main con­tenders still yet to meet West End Park, it may be a short stay at the top for them.

Mean­while, Church­town dropped their first points of the sea­son as they were only able to col­lect a los­ing draw against Wood­vale.

While Church­town were win­ning most of their matches in three sets, Wood­vale were tak­ing al­most all of theirs in two com­fort­able sets.

Those nar­row de­feats ended up be­ing the key in giv­ing Wood­vale the ex­tra point as they won more sets dur­ing their thrilling en­counter.

That re­sult keeps them within reach of an­other pos­si­ble ti­tle chal­lenge.

Also keep­ing their hat in the ring were Vic­to­ria Hall, as they pro­duced an ab­so­lute 8-0 de­mo­li­tion of their sec­ond team.

The bat­tle for the drop in the first divi­sion is al­most as im­por­tant as the fight for the league ti­tle.

In a bat­tle be­tween two sides likely to be in­volved in the bot­tom half saw Church­town’s sec­ond team col­lect a valu­able win­ning draw against Wood­vale II.

That re­sult gives Church­town II their first points of the sea­son and moves them out of the bot­tom two, which is cur­rently oc­cu­pied by Vic­to­ria Hall II and South­sands’ first team.

Con­trol­ling the fourth divi­sion con­tin­ues to be Mawdes­ley IV and South­port IV as they ex­tend their 100 per cent win­ning record.

While Mawdes­ley pro­duced a white-wash 8-0 win over bot­tom side West End Park III, South­port cruised to a 6-2 win against South­sands III.

Af­ter a per­fect start in the mixed dou­bles, that was enough for them to coast to the fin­ish, and de­spite the best ef­forts of South­sands, South­port se­cured the win to move to three wins with­out loss for the sea­son so far.

Nar­rowly be­hind the lead­ers are Church­town IV.

Af­ter a slight set­back, Church­town re­sponded well by bat­tling through to de­feat Wood­vale’s sixth team 5-3.

Wins in both of the women’s dou­bles en­coun­ters proved to be the de­cid­ing fac­tor in Church­town’s win to help them keep up the divi­sion lead­ers.

Else­where, Wood­vale V pro­duced a strong fin­ish in their 5-3 win against Orm­skirk III.

Three con­sec­u­tive straight set wins saw Wood­vale turn the re­sult around and saw them col­lect their sec­ond win of the sea­son and jump up the ta­ble into the top half.

Also com­ing out vic­to­ri­ous were Formby II over St. Cuth­berts II. In a match where a win would give ei­ther side their first points of the sea­son, the pre-match stakes were pretty high.

In the end, it was the home side that took the day as they de­feated St. Cuth­berts’ sec­ond team 6-2.

Divi­sion two saw both Orm­skirk and Tar­leton ex­tended to three wins with­out de­feat.

While Tar­leton com­fort­ably saw off South­port’s third team 6-2, it was a much tighter af­fair for Orm­skirk.

De­spite Orm­skirk mov­ing into an early 3-1 lead af­ter the mixed dou­bles, Wood­vale III showed a lot of fight and nar­rowed the deficit for an ex­cit­ing fin­ish to the en­counter.

In the end, the strength at the top of Orm­skirk’s team was enough to take a 5-3 win.

There was a sim­i­lar out­come for Mawdes­ley II as they fought hard to col­lect a 5-3 win against Formby’s first team.

In a bat­tle be­tween two first team sides, Burscough Pi­o­neers pro­duced quite the come­back in their win­ning draw with Hes­keth Bank.

Af­ter miss­ing out on a cou­ple of wins in the mixed dou­bles, Burscough were go­ing into the men’s and women’s dou­bles 3-1 down.

But a strong show­ing af­ter that saw Burscough not only level the con­test but take the ex­tra point as they won more sets than their op­po­nents dur­ing the evening’s pro­ceed­ings.

In the fifth divi­sion, Wood­vale VII con­tinue their mo­men­tum from last sea­son and pro­duce a valu­able 5-3 win over Hes­keth Bank II.

Af­ter be­ing pro­moted from the sixth divi­sion last sea­son, Wood­vale’s sev­enth team are al­ready show­ing signs of in­ten­tions of match­ing that achieve­ment in con­sec­u­tive sea­sons.

One point be­hind the lead­ers are St. Cuth­berts III, af­ter their 6-2 win against South­port VI.

St. Cuth­berts look to be a huge threat for the rest of the sea­son.

Mean­while, Tar­leton IV put in a strong start to their match against Formby Methodist and even­tu­ally took a well-de­served 7-1 away win.

With a cou­ple of re­sults yet to be con­firmed, Church­town III have for the mo­ment moved to the top of the third divi­sion.

De­spite most of their matches go­ing to three sets, Church­town showed a lot of nerve and man­aged to de­feat Burscough Pi­o­neers’ sec­ond team 7-1.

Just be­hind is Tar­leton II, who man­aged to avoid an up­set and de­feat their own third team by the nar­row­est of 5-3 score­lines.

With the sec­ond of the two women’s dou­bles left to be com­pleted, it ended see­ing Linda Keys and Anne Rawl­in­son edge their higher ranked team over the line in a 21-15, 15-21, 23-21 win over their fel­low club­mates Au­drey McGing and Bev Wookey.

An­other 5-3 win­ner was Orm­skirk II. De­spite a come­back at­tempt by op­po­nents Wood­vale IV, Orm­skirk man­aged to do enough to take all the points.

It was a near per­fect dis­play for Church­town V, as they con­tinue to be top of the sixth divi­sion.

A dom­i­nant 7-1 win over strug­glers St. Cuth­berts IV now makes it three wins with­out loss.

But with matches against fel­low un­beaten sides South­sands IV and Crosby II sched­uled in the next few weeks, thoughts of pro­mo­tion are not quite on Church­town’s minds just yet.

Else­where, Wood­vale VIII got their first win of the sea­son af­ter pro­duc­ing a ter­rific per­for­mance to take down South­port’s eighth team 8-0.

An­other side find­ing their first points of the sea­son is Burscough Pi­o­neers IV.

Af­ter a strong start in the mixed dou­bles, they man­aged to hold on in the end to a 5-3 away win at South­port VII.

The only com­pleted re­sult in the sev­enth divi­sion this week came at South­sands, where their fifth team col­lected their first points of the sea­son in a win­ning draw over Formby III.

Any­time Formby took a lead in the con­test, South­sands in­stantly re­sponded to keep level with their op­po­nents.

In the end, South­sands’ dom­i­nant wins lower down in the match sched­ule was the key in get­ting that ex­tra point.

For more info as well as the lat­est news, re­sults and league ta­bles, be sure to check out the league’s of­fi­cial web­site, www.south­port­bad­minton. com. Also, make sure you like the league’s of­fi­cial Face­book page.

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