Atoms collect their first points
Kukri North West Counties Division 3
Heysham Atoms 30 points
Higginshaw ( Oldham ) 18 points
The Atoms got their season off and running at the third attempt after an important victory at the Trimpell ground. The improvement continues weekly as they progress towards a consistant performance that is required to compete at this level.
Newly promoted Higginshaw was always going to be a tough assignment as their stats suggested a sound defensive outfit giving very little away. A solid pack and a lively scrum half gave the Atoms plenty to think about but ultimatly it was the Atoms better ball control and completion rate that helped them dominate field position and therefor the game.
Stand Off Billy Livingstone was making his 100 th appearence in Atoms colours and he made it a day to remember scoring 18 points for his side through a hat-trick of tries and 3 conversions.
An excellent opening from the Atoms showed that they had prepared well and had come focused and ready to play. Two compleated sets got them to the right end of the park and Liam Hall crashed over at short range giving his side an early 4 - nil lead.
The Atoms back line was strengthened by the first outings of the season for full back Gavin Winder, centre Al Crookall and impressive debutant Simon Middleton on the right wing. Although the Atoms had the better of the opening exchanges it was Higginshaw that took the lead on the 18 minute mark as an open field kick bounced off the uprights straight into the willing arms of a Higginshaw player to go under the posts.
The Atoms back three of Winder, Middleton and Harrison had outstanding afternoons coming in looking for work at every availiable oppertunity and fielding every kick safely and returning the ball with interest. Dan Scanlon's defensive work rate was impressive when he arrived from the bench putting himself into the thick of the action with his front row partner Greame Lacey. Al Crookall was unlucky not to score after a 30 yard dash down the right wing only to be denied for a double movement in the action of grounding the ball. Dan Ginocchio rattled a few teeth with a bone crunching hit on his opposite number, dislodging the ball in the process. Mark Walker fed off the error slicing through a kick that was fielded by Billy Livingstone who beat the cover to put the Atoms in front 10 - 6 at the break.
Winger Jake Harrison seemed to be everywhere the ball was and he set up a good attacking position from which Mark Walker barged his way over down the short side. The Atoms should of kicked on from this position but they had a sticky 15 minute spell where they lost their way , conceeding 2 tries and surrendering the lead at 18 - 14 to Higginshaw.
The Atoms didnt panic and they knew they had to get back to what was working for them by starting to complete their sets again. This they did and after Al Crookall had pressurised the kicker the ball was turned over to beneficiary Billy Livingstone who again found a way to cross the line. The Atoms were able to maintain the pressure on Higginshaws line through some excellent defending by Dixon and Cambidge who helped the Atoms turn the screw. The Atoms attacked the narrow side once more and Chris Helme became provider with a smart pass for Gavin Winder who squeezed in by the left hand corner flag.
With 5 mins remaining the Atoms put the game to bed and it was fitting that man of the match Billy Livingstone compleated his hat-trick after the Atoms hammered the central channel of the pitch as the Higginshaw defenders dropped away.
Next Sat - League Game Vs Parkside Goldbourne at Trimpell ground Kick Off 2.30 pm - All Welcome
Portrait Pools.com Men of the Match:
1. Billy Livingstone
2. Mark Walker
3. Andy Helme
Heysham Atoms: G Winder, S Middleton, A Crookall, S Lacy, J Harrison, B Livingstone, A Helme, L Hall, M Marrin, C Helme, C Dixon, D Ginocchio, M Walker - res - G Lacey, D Scanlon, R Shaw, B Cambidge
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