North West Mens Premier League
Heysham Atoms 12 pts VS 37 pts Haresfinch ( St Helens )
The Atoms are finding life tough at the moment as they come to the latter stages of season in the Elite division. Another disappointing away performance brought their 4th defeat on the trot as their defensive attitude again came into question as they are leaking points at an alarming rate.
The opening seemed to show they were up for the battle as winger Matty Short bravely snuffed out a dangerous attack down the Atoms right. On the opposite wing youngster Luke Charlson was making his first start and he had a confidence boosting first run making a half break in a positive start.
The opening momentum was lost as for the second game in succession there was a long delay in the match as the Ambulance was required for an unconscious player. This time it was for Atoms centre Jack Edmondson who suffered concussion and a precautionary night in hospital.
With Cottle and Forrest already not availiable the Atoms back division now lost its most prolific try scorer and it was up to the versatile Jake Harrison to fill in at centre. This meant a reshuffle in the pack and Dan Rodriguez came into the action a little sooner than expected and his enthusiasm into the collisions lifted his side almost immediately.
A good set of forward drives saw Liam Hall held up over the line but this early pressure was relieved when a wrong option was taken and the chance of points was lost.
The old saying of “penalty penalty try “ came to haunt the Atoms as they conceded 60 yards with 2 penalties then a try inevitably followed. The response from the Atoms was immediate and this time the right attacking options were taken resulting in Liam Hall crashing over the line for his 11th try of the season.
A needless high challenge gave Haresfich an easy 2 point penalty and an 8 to 6 lead. Some sloppy Atoms tackling saw the St Helens side increase their lead with an easy converted try.
An ugly 26 man fight erupted just before the break as Atoms second rower Dan Ginocchio felt he had no option other than to take the law into his own hands after being repeatedly fouled with no action taken.
When the dust had settled two yellows were brandished for the opening combatants. Thankfully half time came and allowed both sides to cool off and re-focus on the job in hand.
The Atoms started the second half in determined fashion but when a pass was intercepted resulting in a long range score this seemed to further lower the confidence of an already brittle team.
The Atoms took some heart from further pressure on their line that they were able to repel and swiftly moved up field were stand off Stuart Lacey offloaded in the tackle to Curtis Lacey who barged through a couple of defenders to score to the right of the posts which Livingstone converted.
An simple inside ball undid the Atoms defence far too easily for a 4 pointer closely followed by a drop goal to intelligently put the home side 3 scores in the lead.
One shining light for the Atoms was full back Jack Lawton who was lively all match and in the thick of the action for most of it. His turn of pace and ability to beat the first defender got the Atoms out of trouble on a number of occasions.The game petered out limply for the Atoms as a disjointed defensive line conceded 2 stoppable tries and captain Liam Hall was sin binned for the remainder of the game after a body check close to the Atoms line.
The Atoms now have 3 games remaining of this monumentous season all against top 6 sides and a turn around in form is needed very quickly.
Portrait Pools Man Of The Match 1 Jack Lawton 2 Dan Helme 3 Mark Walker