North West Counties Division 3
Heysham Atoms 26 points
Pilkington Recs 44 points
The early kick off due to The Super League Grand Final backfired on The Atoms as they came slowly out of the blocks leaving themselves too much to do in the second half. Ultimately it was the Atoms defensive work in the first period that let them down and must be an area of real concern, conceding over 40 points at home for the second time this season.
The Atoms started confidently with ball in hand and stand-off Stuart Lacey was pushing Pilkington's back with some intelligent kicking. Wingers Jake Harrison and Simon Middleton made good yards returning the ball back but a penalty for a high shot changed the momentum. The first time the St Helens side spun the ball wide they found a huge hole to run into taking the first score and 6 nil lead.
Al Crookall made a searing break down the left channel but couldn't find a support runner to finish off the move. For a second time the Atoms were out done on the edges and within 15 mins they were 10 nil down.
Liam Hall has always been dangerous close to the line and again he showed his worth to the team crashing onto a Mark Walker reverse pass. The Atoms continued to attack at every opportunity but a lose pass and a dropped pass was punished by another Pilkington try.
Prop forward Chris Helme made a powerful surge before Billy Livingstone found his brother Antony with a cross field kick scoring The Atoms second try. Pilkington's forced a goal line drop out and this pressure told as The Atoms line creaked and groaned conceding two tries before the break.
Half time 10:28. The Atoms felt that they had let themselves down in the first period and were determined to put up a better show in the second forty. The Atoms went immediately on the attack and Mark Walker was unlucky not to score being held up over the line on the last tackle. Stuart Lacey forced a goal-line drop out after a neat kick and chase and strong running Dave McVernon was unlucky with an off-load deep in Pilkington's territory. This sustained kind of pressure usually tells and Billy Livingstone hit a gap with a classic "show and go" going over the line close to the uprights
Rob Shaw was having a fine spell for his team making a couple of crucial tackles back on the inside. A slipped pass from centre to wing and a fifty yard break took Pilkington's past the forty point mark with 15 mins left to play.
The Atoms regained possession straight from a short kick-off with Liam Hall rising the highest. A series of quick play the balls instigated by the captain Craig Dixon got The Atoms in striking distance. Chris Helme charged up the blind side scoring his second try of the season.
This Atoms dominance continued right up until the final whistle and another score was almost inevitable. Dixon again made a break putting the ball inside to Liam Hall who crashed over for his second try of the day making it 16 all for the second half. Billy Livingstone added the extras for the third time in the contest.
Next Saturday - at home against Waterhead (Oldham ) in 1st round of Lancashire Cup kick- off 2:30 pm. All welcome.
Portrait Pools.com Men of the Match:
2. Liam Hall
Heysham Atoms: G Winder, S Middleton, C Dixon, J Harrison, A Livingstone, S Lacey, B Livingstone, L Hall, A Helme, D McVernon, A Crookall, C Hall, M Walker, Res. R Shaw, C Helme, P Davies, R Nixon
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