Ulverston had final say
North West Counties Division 3
Heysham Atoms 18 points
Ulverston 35 points
The Heysham Atoms disappointing start to the season continued with an away defeat to local rivals Ulverston. A good first half performance was a massive improvement on last weeks display but the form of the first 40 mins could not be reciprocated in the second 40. The main area of concern was the alarming penalty count against the Atoms which cost them vital field position and ultimatly cost them points.
The Atoms opened the game in a spritely fashion showing a willingness for the hard graft that was sadly lacking the previous weekend. Two good defensive sets at either end of the field built up some confidence in the Atoms ranks. The expected slog down the middle of the park never materialised as both sides preffered to play with width. A stuttering Atoms lacked the passing precision and although the tactic looked good a number of uneccessary errors were conceeded which put there side under pressure. Ulverston's left centre was getting no joy taking on the Atoms on the outside so he tried his lack cutting back at the sliding defence which proved fruitful posting his sides first six pointer on the 12 minute mark.
The Atoms side were not detered by this early set back learning from last weeks experiences hitting back almost immediatly. A smart kick and chase from hooker Mike Marrin put the Atoms at the right end of the field. An inside run from loose forward Mark Walker was well picked up by prop Chris Helme cutting an excellent line behind the play the ball going over close to the posts converted by Livingstone.
This even contest was going from end to end with committed defending on show from both sides. Pick of the Atoms backs was newcomer Craig Dixon who was operating out in the centres making his pressence felt with some solid defending. A break out of defense by Dixon after a sharp Livingstone pass was the catalyst for the Atoms next score. Mark Walker was again the provider of the fial pass sending the unstoppable Liam Hall crashing over close to the ruck giving the Atoms a 12 . 6 lead.
The lead was short lived as Ulverstons centre got himself a double after some poor marker play allowed an easy route to the try line. Last years top try scorer Billy Livingstone regained the advantage for the Heysham side intercepting a pass near his own line and racing 90 meters to touch down under the black dot. He regained his breath after his lung busting run adding the extras for the third time in the game giving his side a deserved 18 . 12 half time cushion.
The second forty minutes started badly as the Atoms soaked up a great deal of pressure close to their own line after more unforced errors. This kind of pressure usually tells and Ulverston drew the sides level for the the third time at 18 all. A combination of fatigue and lack of dicsipline allowed Ulverston the monopoly on territory and only some resolute defending from Scanlon and Ginocciho kept them out. With 18 mins left on the clock Ulverstons loose forward smacked over a drop goal one pointer just nudging his team into the lead.
A tiring Atoms team was dealt a further blow when they were reduced to 12 for 10 mins after punches were thrown. This was to prove costly as two tries were scored as the Atoms could not clear their lines. The Atoms looked out on their feet but mustered one last attack. The kick off was expertly fielded by centre Stuart Lacey starting a raid down the Atoms right wing. Stand Off Billy Livingstone backed himself on the last tackle getting over the line but unable to grounnd the ball under some heavy defending.
Ulverston had the final say with a long range try securing the two vital league points with the last play of the game. Although this was a step forward from last week lessons have to be learned and instructions have to be adhered to if they are to keep the progression moving forward.
Next Saturday league versus Higginshaw (Oldham) at home - kick off 230pm
Portrait Pools.com Men of the Match:
1. Mark Walker
2. Billy Livingstone
3. Mike Marrin
Heysham Atoms:C HALL, MATT C DIXON, S LACEY, J HARRISON, B LIVINGSTONE, A HELME, L HALL, M, MARRIN, S WEED, D GINOCCHIO, D SCANLON, M WALKER, res G LACEY, C HELME, R SHAW, G HELLIWELL
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