Wigan St Cuthberts 30pts vs 12pts Heysham Atoms
The Atoms travelled to Wigan on Saturday and came up with an indifferent performance against the ex National Conference outfit. The first half was a shocker littered with needless penalties which was food and drink to a whistle happy referee. The alarming penalty count subsided in the second period of 40 mins and the Atoms were a lot more positive in their play winning the half 12pts to 10.
St Cuthberts had to play up the slope in the first half and it was they who looked more dangerous with the weight of possession firmly in their favour. Two early scores for the Wigan team set the Atoms back on their heels as they found it increasingly difficult to get a foot hold in the game. The constant flow of penalties were compounded by handling errors and the Atoms shaky defensive line was given a severe examination. Two more tries before the break had St Cuthberts 20 nil up and thankfully the Atoms got back to the changing rooms to re-group and make some important positional changes.
The Atoms had a mountain to climb in more ways than one as they came up the hill in the second half and at least the effort never wavered as they try to implement the coaches instructions. Props Liam Hall and Joe Harrison more than usual game time and it was they who finally got their team moving forward in a more direct fashion. The Atoms looked more balanced with Matty Humpage back operating in the hooking role and he started to exploit the tiring Wigan defenders. Liam Hall crashed over in typical fashion to get the Atoms on the score sheet for the first time in the match. Humpage sniped over for a try after St Cuthberts had scored close to the Atoms posts. Michael Forrest kick both goals to give the Heysham side a glimmer of hope. Although the Atoms were far more competitive in the second half that usual fluency in attack wasn't quite their and their defensive duties still need a lot of work.
St Cuthberts finished the scoring as their second row bullied his way over in the right hand corner in the closing stages.
Chris Thomas made a welcome return from a long injury lay off and Joe Hossell made his senior debut after progressing up from the successful under 18's from last season.
Portrait Pools Man Of The Match 1 Mark Walker 2 Michael Forrest 3 Joe Harrison
Two of the promising Heysham Atoms youngsters have gained representative honours after trails over the last few weeks. 19 year old UCLAN student Daniel Helme has been selected for the North West Students and Morecambe High pupil Matty Humpage has been selected for the North West Colleges squad. Both will represent their area in a 6 team England Trial for the Students and the Colleges in Nottingham. Both the players have been regulars in the Atoms first team and under 18's squads and have benefited greatly from the clubs policy to encourage all their talented local youngsters.