Hawcoat Park (38) v Littleborough (32)
Saturday 17th September, 2016
For the second week in succession the hearts of the maroon and white followers were given a severe testing, this time however we managed to hang on for a narrow win. Hanging on was the last think on the players and coaches minds at the half time huddle with a score line of 31 – 0 and the team playing more like the All Blacks at times. Wow what a contrast in the second half when Littleborough dominated proceedings and with the score board momentum in their various almost pulled off the most unlikely of wins.
We started the game well with Littleborough still suffering from their long journey to Barrow the pack applied some sustained pressure on the line and whilst Littleborough defended well eventually powerful prop John Donnan got his hands on the ball and forced his way over from close range, James Howden slotted over the conversion, 7 – 0.
Littleborough came right back and had their own spell camped in our 22, it took some good defence from the likes of Ryan Milner with his customary big hits and the hardworking Callum Ramsay and Jonny Burrows to keep them out.
Half backs Anthony Munday and Scott Kaighan were taking control of the game and through their prompting and Kaighan’s kicking game we were getting on the front foot. As with last week the scrum was going well and following food work down the left wing by Glenn Kaighan the ball was moved quickly through hands and Howden supplied the final pass for centre Chris Burns to finish off well in the right corner the difficult conversion was just missed by Howden, 12 – 0.
Second row Ashley Mowat was having an outstanding game both in the loose and at the line out and from one of his clean catches the pack were quick to get the driving maul going for skipper Danny White to finish off, Howden converted, 19 – 0.
The fourth try was well appreciated by the home supporters, following initial forward drives by powerful prop Jason Priss and Andy Kent the ball was quickly moved out wide, highly promising former colt Will Coles beat his man on the outside before slipping a neat inside pass to supporting full back Elliott McDermott to finish off well in the corner, the conversion was missed, 24 – 0.
The final try of the half and No 8 White’s second was an exact copy of his first, a clean line take by Mowat well drilled forward drive over the line or White to score, Howden converted for a 31 – 0 half time lead.
A shell shocked Littleborough certainly must have regrouped at half time. Always a proud and powerful side and usually difficult to break down the message must have been let’s give this a go and return home with a bit of pride, and certainly the second half was completely a different story. We appeared to think after the first half the job was completed and at times tried to be a bit ‘flashy’ and left ourselves isolated but this was to take nothing away from Littleborough who hit us with everything they had from all areas of the pitch.