Heysham Atoms 16pts vs 56pts Widnes West Bank Bears
North West Mens Premier League
Heysham Atoms 16 pts vs 56 pts Widnes West Bank Bears
The Heysham Atoms have found themselves in a bit of a trough over the last few weeks losing their third game in succession. With this heavy defeat went their proud home record whereby they had previously only lost 1 game at the Trimpell in the summer era.
As with their last game against Folly Lane the Atoms day took a similar path. From an excellent start the wheels started to come off as they again fell foul to an over aggressive Widnes team and a referee that penalised the Atoms at an alarming rate during the 80 minutes. West Bank have clearly been the best side in the competition for the last couple of seasons and certainly didn't need the favouritism that they were shown such is their undoubted pedigree. Even the usually fair and knowledgeable Atoms crowd could not contain their frustrations at such a one sided affair.
The Atoms start was just as they had planned taking the pace of the game right to their more illustrious opponents. Within the first 5 minutes the Atoms best 3 on the day – Jamie Cottle, Dan Helme and Jack Edmondson - had combined superbly well to open up the Widnes team down the perceived weaker right defence.
The Atoms doubled their total soon after as they intelligently directed their attack to the same area. Ginocchio's hit and spin out of the tackle and a heavy Liam Hall drive softened up the Widnes defence sufficiently to allow the space for Jack Edmondason to get his second of the game and his 21st of an excellent individual season. Billy Livingstone for the second time converted from the touchline to give the Atoms an impressive 12 nil early lead.
West Bank have a reputation for their physical style of play and they upped their aggression which had the desired effect on both the Atoms and the referee. The Atoms knew it was coming but even so they could not hold their composure and the cracks began to appear.
The weight of possession and the territory gained from the increased amount of ball brought the Bears right back into the game.
Within a 12 minute period the game was turned on its head as the Bears firstly drew level then over took the home side with three tries. The referee further caught the wrath of the Atoms officials when he over ruled the linesmen when a conversion failed to go over the bar to give the Widnes side an 18 . 12 lead. West Bank added a 4th try despite some spirited defending from Lawton and Cottle in the left hand corner. There then followed a lengthy stoppage that brought half time due to a serious injury to a Widnes player.
The second half was just as frustrating as the first as the lob-sided penalty count continued to rise. Young centre Ollie Murray was unlucky not to hold onto an attempted interception before he was scandalously sent to the sin bin for a perceived professional foul.
West Bank took full advantage of their extra player during this period taking their poits tally past the forty mark.
The lack of ball for the Atoms meant their afternoon was spent backing up towards their own line and as the defensive fatigue sets in the inevitable holes will appear and further tries conceded.
The effort and enthusiasm, although somewhat subdued, was still in evidence as Livingstone then Hall went mighty close. A neat passing play back to the right and found live wire winger Michael Forrest. He stood his winger up with great footwork and finished close to the corner flag. Straight from receiving the kick off the Atoms went back on the attack again looking good as they passed the ball at pace down the line. Edmondson got to half way before he was cynically wiped out and when no punishment was meated to the Widnes player Captain Liam Hall protested too vigorously and was shown the red card.
The final play of the game summed up the afternoon for the Atoms as a forward pass try was allowed to stand, a pass that the Miami Dolphins quarterback would have been proud of.
The disappointment of this defeat can't be held for too long as the Atoms face the other top Widnes outfit in the form of St Maries next Saturday at the Trimpell with everyone praying for a fair rub of the green
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