North West Mens Premier League
The Atoms found it difficult to reproduce the form of last Saturday as they travelled to St Helens to take on the Premier league leaders. The effort was never in question but the execution and the lack of control of possession in the end proved costly.
The Atoms failed to get a foothold in the game and were taught a lesson in clinical finishing and how to engineer a victory by playing to your strengths.
The Atoms made too many errors to be competitive as at times it looked as if they were trying too hard. The poor options led to a lack of possession and this in turn put a lot of pressure on the Atoms defence which means the energy levels depleated.
Clock Face came out of the traps the quicker and opened the scoring in the first 5 mins as the Atoms gave their opponents too much respect. When a knock on was adjudged to have been a strip the Atoms were immediately asked to defend their line which they were unable to do. In double quick time they were 12 nil down as a long range attack and a missed tackle led to the Miners going under the posts.
Finally the Atoms got to the right end of the field and winger Matty Short went agonisingly close breaking away down the right wing. The Atoms looked for a repeat set with a kick early in the tackle count. Clock Face's full back was allowed to escape and the pressure was released.
Dan Ginocchio had a drive halted close to the line before Al Crookall in the second row created the opportunity for the opening Atoms score. He ran strongly at the line and offloaded in the tackle to scrum half Billy Livingstone who went over to the left of the posts.
At 12.6 and very little time left on the clock the Atoms lost concentration and allowed the kick off to bounce into touch giving head and feed at the scrum to Clock Face. A simple move down the middle of the ruck was poorly defended and gave the Miners a healthy 18.6 half time lead.
The second half started as poorly as the first as the Aoms knocked and then gave a penalty to compound matters. Clock Face lapped up these errors and took full advantage adding a fourth try.
A scrum move undid the Atoms on tackle one as the winger shot into the right hand corner.
Crookall and Collins were making the most yards forward for the Atoms as they tried to inspire their team but they couldn't prevent a further score down the favoured point of attack down the left wing.
Jason Short's second spell was full of strong runs and he Edmondson set up some good field position from where a scrum was placed 30m from the Clock Face line. Jake Harrison picked up at the base of the scrum and beat the first line of defenders before outpacing the cover to go under the posts for a try which he converted.
Fittingly Cock Face finished off the scoring with another try down the Atoms right close to the corner flag.
In the after match analysis it was felt it was a bad day at the office but another step on the steep learning curve that is premiership rugby.
Next Saturday sees the Atoms travel to Warrington to take on Rylands Sharks in a league fixture KO 2.30
Portrait Pools Man Of The Match
1 Al Crookall 2 Andrew Collins 3 Micheal Forrest