Orm­skirk in the fast lane to leave Ea­gle well beaten

Southport Visiter - - Visiter Life - ORM­SKIRK RFC ............................... 85 EA­GLE .................................................... 0

BY VINCE EL­LIS

SATUR­DAY saw Orm­skirk wel­come op­po­nents from War­ring­ton, Ea­gle RUFC for what was a much an­tic­i­pated re­newal of old ri­val­ries - last sea­sons league matches end­ing with the spoils shared, each side win­ning by a sin­gle point in their re­spec­tive away fix­tures.

Ea­gle were also the op­po­nents of Orm­skirk dur­ing the end of sea­son cup fi­nal which re­sulted in an em­phatic win for ‘Kirk.

This sea­son, how­ever, sees the clubs joined to­gether in the newly formed Lan­cashire League and each with a num­ber of changes in play­ing per­son­nel from the sides of last sea­son.

So as well as the meet­ing be­ing much an­tic­i­pated, it was also in­trigu­ing to see how the old foes would fare against each other and whether the match would to be as phys­i­cal and tac­ti­cally chal­leng­ing as some of the more re­cent, feisty, matches have been.

To add to the oc­ca­sion, Orm­skirk are cur­rently en­joy­ing a po­si­tion at the top of the ta­ble, hav­ing won four of the pre­vi­ous five matches, while Ea­gle have still to find the form which they en­joyed last sea­son and are cur­rently at the lower end of the ta­ble.

The club are also cur­rently on an ad­di­tional high fol­low­ing the selec­tions of club cap­tain Michael Knowles and vice cap­tain Aaron Ferry to rep­re­sent Lan­cashire in up­com­ing fix­tures, a fine and fit­ting tes­ta­ment to both play­ers and to all the pro­gres­sive work which is go­ing on at Orm­skirk RUFC.

Orm­skirk’s great­est as­sets so far this sea­son have been the de­fen­sive re­silience and at­tack­ing flair which has re­sulted in a high num­ber of tries scored and a low num­ber con­ceded, both as­pects be­com­ing ap­par­ent in the first few min­utes of the match when winger Dave Web­ster won a race to the ball to open the ‘Kirk ac­count in the first minute with a fine touch­down un­der pres­sure from a num­ber of Ea­gle de­fend­ers.

The chat­ter be­hind the posts when wait­ing for the con­ver­sion at­tempt made it clear Ea­gle were de­ter­mined to get straight back into the match, clearly con­fi­dent the home side were there for the tak­ing.

And from the kick off they set about try­ing to put their in­ten­tions into prac­tice with wave af­ter wave of at­tack, ham­mer­ing away at the Orm­skirk de­fence which didn’t ever re­ally seem to be trou­bled as each ef­fort was met with the stone wall put in place by Ferry, Ball, Rouke, Hud­son and the other for­mi­da­ble mem­bers of the pack. The huge ef­forts with­out re­ward be­gan to tell as Ea­gle be­came more and more frus­trated, their ag­i­ta­tion re­sult­ing in a num­ber of lapses of dis­ci­pline and con­se­quent ground mak­ing free kicks for the home side. Orm­skirk, with their con­fi­dence hav­ing been boosted by the de­fen­sive ef­fort and tackle bust­ing runs of Den­ton-Wil­liams, Ar­row­smith, Knowles and Hod­son along with the silky ball play­ing skills of Rouke were clearly in­tent on cap­i­tal­is­ing on the dis­ar­ray creep­ing into the vis­i­tors’ de­fen­sive line and tries soon be­gan to flow as Knowles (twice), White, Rouke and Owens all crossed the white­wash.

Along with a num­ber of suc­cess­ful con­ver­sions from the boot of White, the men in green quickly racked up a healthy 38-0 score­line to take into the half­time break.

With what, re­al­is­ti­cally, was an unas­sail­able mid match score­line, the great dan­ger for the home side was com­pla­cency and for the vis­i­tors, ca­pit­u­la­tion.

To the great credit of both sides, nei­ther oc­curred as Ea­gle con­tin­ued to play with the same kind of ef­fort and phys­i­cal in­tim­i­da­tion as dur­ing the first half, launch­ing a series of open run­ning at­tacks at the Orm­skirk line, which again showed all the for­mi­da­ble qual­i­ties which have been trade­marks dur­ing this sea­son.

Again, the un­re­warded at­tack­ing ef­forts from the vis­i­tors al­lowed the home for­wards to clear their de­fen­sive lines with big runs from Ferry, Ar­row­smith, Hud­son, Rouke and Milling­ton cre­at­ing gaps in the Ea­gle de­fen­sive line for the fast mov­ing Orm­skirk backs to ex­ploit at an alarm­ing rate.

The in­tro­duc­tion of for­wards Matt Faulkner and Joe Rivers added a com­bi­na­tion of de­fen­sive power and at­tack­ing zest to the Orm­skirk side and as fur­ther vis­i­tor ef­forts were beaten back and home ground gained, the be­lea­guered vis­i­tors might have been pray­ing for an early end to pro­ceed­ings as fur­ther tries from White (two), Smith, Evans and Rivers (two), com­bined with a num­ber of suc­cess­ful con­ver­sions from Matty White racked up a fi­nal score of 85-0 for Orm­skirk.

What the score­line does not con­vey is the phys­i­cal na­ture of the match which was char­ac­terised by hard run­ning open play, big hits and a de­ter­mi­na­tion shown by both sides to keep play open and to go for points.

Score­lines of this na­ture are not com­mon­place and the task for the coach­ing staff ahead of next week’s visit to Clitheroe will be to have the play­ers recog­nise all the qual­ity, good as­pects of this match and take those same at­ti­tudes up to Clitheroe, while recog­nis­ing what a tough fix­ture this is go­ing to be.

Orm­skirk RUFC field a range of teams, Mi­nis, Ju­niors and Colts along with open age Mens and Ladies teams.

We are al­ways wel­com­ing to po­ten­tial new play­ers, sup­port­ers and spon­sors so do feel free to pop down and have a look around.

See you down there.

Vince El­lis

Orm­skirk on the break against Ea­gleFrank Roberts (cen­tre)

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