North West Mens Premier League
The Atoms made it 3 Premier wins on the trot at the Trimpell ground after a quick turnaround had pitched the two sides against each other for the second time in 3 weeks. In between times the Warrington outfit had dispatched of Haresfinch from St Helens and came to Morecambe full of confidence.
Although the Atoms were without the services of Cottle, Livingstone, Ginocchio and Humpage they still looked strong in all departments and were well up for doing the double over their rivals.
The confidence of the Warrington side shone through straight from the start as they were able to turn over possession from a kick off that went into touch and immediately put the Atoms under intense pressure. The Atoms spent far too much time for their liking defending their own line but the resilience shown went a long way to them picking up the vital 2 points at the end of the game. In this period of pressure the Atoms had to face up to 4 consecutive sets of 6 and the effort shown to keep them out was commendable.
Hooker Phil Riley finally relieved the onslaught by bravely picking up a kick through 1 yard from his own line. His contribution in his first league game for the Atoms was immense especially in the defensive side of his game.
From a 20 meter scrum from the Atoms line dangerous running center Jack Edmondson broke clear and outpaced the cover to give the Atoms a score against the run of play.
With defences well on top in the opening quarter and a wind playing havoc with the Atoms open style of play it was a more direct form of attack that was required. Atoms second rower Andrew Collins provided the cutting edge with his arcing runs getting him on the outside shoulder of the Rylands defenders and providing some much needed quicker ball, along with the lively Callum Hall.
A forty yard Collins break only came to an end when he lost his footing with only the full back to beat. From the resulting scrum the Atoms employed a planned move whereby Walker and Helme combined down the narrow side to put winger Jack Lawton away who finished off the move by the corner flag.
As the break approached on this cagey first period it was Jack Edmondson who deservedly scored his second breaking tackles and stumbling his way over the line for a 14 nil half time lead.
It was groundhog day straight from the restart as the Atoms had to dig deep again and defend their line for a substantial amount of time. For the second time in the contest the Atoms scrambling defence was outstanding as Rylands threw everything at them.
Collins was again the man to relieve the pressure making a break down the left channel then cutting infield and finding Walker with a pass who in turn tipped on to Stuart Lacey who shot over the line.
Lacey added his second shortly after when he picked up a loose pass and skirted down the right touch line and then side stepping the full back who was covering across and giving the Atoms a healthy 24 nil lead.
The Atoms again fell into the trap of thinking their work was done for the afternoon but any lapse in concentration at this level is severely punished as Rylands made them pay. The next three scores were all from the Warrington outfit as they started to open up and cause the Atoms some real problems. At 24 – 16 it called for the captain to return to the action and restore a bit of calm to proceedings. Liam Hall with his first touch in his second spell smashed his way over from close range and there was a collective sigh of relief from the coaching staff and supporters as the momentum was reversed.
Michael Forrest's emergence this season as a real attacking threat belies his tender years and he again had a game full of balanced, destructive running. He broke from an Atoms scrum 20 meters from his own line and his acceleration allowed him the the comfort of easing up as he went over the line as the Rylands cover gave up the chase restoring the 20 point lead.
The plucky Rylands side were still full of attacking intent right until the final whistle and were rewarded for their efforts with a try wide out on their left on the last play of the game and the result was exactly the same as the previous encounter.
Next Friday the Atoms development team are in action with a return fixture against Blackpool Stanley at the Trimpell Kick Off 7pm and then Saturday the first team have their toughest assignment yet against reigning premier champions West Bank away in Widnes kick Off 2.30
Portrait Pools Man Of The Match
1 Al Crookall 2 Michael Forrest 3 A Collins