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A dramatic finale

Kukri North West Counties Division 3

Heysham Atoms 18 points
Spring View 20 points

When the league leaders come to town you know you’re in for a tough afternoon and it was the Atoms that rose to the challenge and pushed the unbeaten Spring View all the way in this pulsating clash.
The Atoms looked like they’d snatched victory with 90 seconds remaining but a dramatic finale saw Spring View finding a way to win the game on the last play of the match.

The Atoms picked a strong looking line – up with only Mark Walker and Shane Weed being noticeable absences through injury. Spring View have been pushed close on a few occasions but have found the knack of winning the close ones. The signs looked ominous for the Atoms in the early stages as a nervous start resulted in errors and penalties which did nothing other than play straight into the Wigan sides hands. An early score from their captain and stand off had the Atoms boys scratching their heads behind the sticks. A couple of completed sets and some intelligent kicking from Stuart Lacey finally got the Atoms to the right end of the field. A mix up at the back of a Spring View scrum saw master poacher Billy Livingstone snaffle up the loose ball and scamper away under the posts.

Liam Hall made a huge break down the right centre channel skittling defenders in his wake. The impressive Al Crookall continued the move but a lack of patience against a good defensive outfit saw the chance go begging.
Spring View regained the lead before Liam Hall twisted and turned his way out of the tackle to record the Atoms 2nd try of the game. There was nothing to separate the teams at the break at 12 all.

The main threats from Spring View had come close to the rucks in the form of their hooker and second row running some great lines.The second half was all about the Atoms manfully defending their line and opening up as soon as they got any chance which lead to an exciting 40 minutes.

A period of sustained pressure on the Atoms line got the Wigan side in front after the Atoms defenders had held the attackers up over the line on 4 occasions. The good sides show patience knowing that the chance will come. Spring View nudged into a 2 point lead with 18 minutes remaining.

Martin Pike was having a fine game forcing a goal-line drop out and bringing off a vital tackle on Spring Views speedy full back. The closing stages of the game were about the Atoms Livingstone and Marrin looking most likely to make the decisive break. As the clock ticked on to the final whistle scrum half Andy Helme put up a towering ‘bomb’. Captain Craig Dixon showed great determination to put the full back under enormous pressure where he fumbled the ball behind his own line. Dixon stuck out an arm and registering what he thought would be the Atoms winning score.

With 90 seconds left a short kick off did for the Atoms. A fumble in the tackle surrendered possession and Spring View attacked down the Atoms right. The ball was switched back to the middle and the free running second row hit a yawning gap. He brushed away the last defenders going under the posts bringing the scores level. The final act of the match was a formality of a kick bringing victory for Spring View.
The real positives in the game were the Atoms defending their own line time after time can only stand them in good stead for a tough trip to second placed Irlam Hornets next Saturday.

Next Saturday: Irlam Hornets away kick off 2.30pm. All welcome.

Portrait Men of the Match:
1. Al Crookall
2. Liam Hall
3. Martin Pike

Heysham Atoms: J. Harrison, G. Winder, A. Crookall, S. Lacey, B. Livingstone, A. Helme, L. Hall, M Marrin, D. McVernon, C. Hall, M. Pike, C. Dixon RES. C. Helme, K. Hartlebury, D. Ginocchio, P. Ward

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