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A Win is a Win

North West Counties Division 3

Heysham Atoms 36 points


Parkside Goldbourne 22 points

The Atoms made it two wins out of two but this was anything but a convincing victory. Not until the final twelve minutes did The Atoms prove their class by scoring 3 tries and taking the game away from a plucky Parkside team. The game itself was a scrappy, error- ridden affair where both sides fell on the wrong side of some strange refereeing decisions, making for a match that lacked any fluidity.

The Atoms again had to make changes to their line-up with 5 unavailability's from the Higginshaw victory 7 days previous.

The early running came from The Atoms completing a couple of back to back sets. Chris Helme made the first clean break of the game followed by a deep Livingstone kick that applied the pressure. As The Atoms cranked up the defensive effort Parkside turned over the ball. The Atoms made the transition from defence to attack and Liam Hall was unlucky not to score loosing possesion close to the line.

There wasn't much rest-bite for Parkside as skipper Craig Dixon burst through 3 tackles on his way to The Atoms first score of the contest.

The hosts hit back after a series of penalties "piggy-backed" them into The Atoms 20 metre area. A kick on the last wasn't dealt with and The Atoms conceded an easy 6 points bringing the teams level.

Winger Jake Harrison was given some space to run into by centre Stuart Lacey. His progress was only stopped 10 metres from the line which was The Atoms last attack of the half.

The first 20 minutes of the second half was very frustrating for The Atoms. they were not allowed any continuity of play as Parkside sensed any unlikely victory. Some poor fielding of kicks and some less than convincing defence gifted Parkside two scores and the lead at 18-6 with 22 minutes left to play.

The Atoms knew they could dig themselves out of the hole they were in but it was going to take some patience as they knew the chances would come.

Dave McVernons try under the sticks changed the momentum and flow of the game. A big tackle from the outstanding Atoms centre Al Crookall regained possession for The Atoms. A sweeping attack from the right to left got Mark Walker into open space. Stuart Lacey continued the move before returning a well timed pass to walker who went under the sticks and The Atoms were back level at 18 all.

McVernon made some big yards straight from the kick-off and Billy Livingstone sprinted 50 yards to just make the line as The Atoms enforced their authority on the game for the first time.

The Atoms must have thought this was the signal for the flood-gates to open but were given a sharp reminder as Parkside posted another 4 points.

Al Crookall pushed The Atoms further ahead as he confidently worked his way through 3 defenders on his way to the line and his first try of the season.

Liam Hall completed the scoring after being given a scoring pass by the industrious Mark Walker . Billy Livingstone made it 100% kicking record on the day with his 6th successful kick out of 6.

The winning margin could and should have been a lot more but the old adage is " a win is a win" and The Atoms will gratefully accept these 2 competition points.

Next Saturday: League game vs Pilkington Recs at Trimpell - kick off to be confirmed, all welcome. 

Portrait Men of the Match:
1. Al Crookall
2. Stuart Lacey
3. Billy Livingstone

Heysham Atoms:G Winder, J Harrison, S Lacey, A Crookall, G Helliwell, B Livingstone, A Helme, L Hall, N Walker, C Helme, D Ginocchio, D McVernon, C Dixon, Res. M Walker, M Bell, R Shaw.


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