North West Mens League Cup
The Heysham Atoms progressed to the quarter final stage of the North West Mens League Challenge Cup with a notable victory against St Cuthberts of Wigan.
Victory was fashioned from a near faultless display in the first half which carried on the momentum gained last week in the win over Ashton Bears.
Jamie Cottle and Matthew Humpage tore strips off the St Cuthbert defenders showing so much pace and awareness around the ruck that they were virtually unplayable gaining yards at will.
Full back Cottle is in the form of his Atoms career and he opened the scoring spotting a gap down the narrow side in the 3rd minute of play. Returning stand off Stuart Lacey confidently smashed over the conversion from the left touchline for an early 6 nil lead.
A really good set of 6 by the Atoms forwards put the them in an excellent attacking position and were unlucky not to apply more pressure as a Lacey kick just rolled over the back line as the Atoms defenders were bearing down on the St Cuthbert defenders.
Young wingers Jack Lawton and Michael Forrest showed they could defend as well as attack as they were called upon early to repel some Wigan attacks.
Cottle got his second of the game breaking directly from a scrum and sprinting 70 meters to score with Lacey again adding the extras.
Matthew Humpage found his running boots on the quarter game mark making 2 big breaks down center field that could have resulted in tries had the ball gone to hand.
More pressure from a rampant Atoms side brought loose forward Mark Walker his opening try of the season as he showed good strength forcing his way over.
A well placed Humpage kick and an enthusiastic Atoms chase forced the first goal line drop out of the game, one that ended with Al Crookall scoring and taking the score to 24 nil.
There was still time in the half for another Cottle clean break but this time he was just held up over the line as he searched for the hat-trick.
The second half started just as the first had finished with Jack Edmondson breaking through the St Cuthbert defences directly from the kick off and showing enough pace and power to beat all the cover on his way to the line.
At 30 nil up with still 35 mins left to play it was hoped the Atoms would push on but unfortunately those high standards could not be replicated as they let their intensity drop and became very sloppy in their play. This was the only invitation the ex National Conference outfit needed as they sensed a way back in the game.
Two scores were conceded by the Atoms as a result of less than convincing defending and two determined Wigan half back showing some desire to get over the Atoms line.
There were only glimpses in the second period of what the Atoms were capable of with prop forward Curtis Lacey running some excellent lines into the gate behind the play the ball and Dan Ginocchio showing good technique stripping the ball off his opponent in a one on one tackle halting a dangerous looking Wigan attack.
Winger Jack Lawton had a fly hack and chase from one end of the field to the other but was just denied a score as St Cuthberts just and so managed to clear their lines.
The Atoms found a bit of pressure on the Wigan line but plays too close to the ruck and some white line fever meant the Atoms score was not added to.
The Atoms had to defend their own line in the latter stages and they were able to finish on a positive note as they muscled up and prevented any more scores.
J Cottle, J Lawton, D Ginocchio, J Edmondson, M Forrest, S Lacey, D Helme, L Hall, M Humpage, J Short, Jake Harrison, A Crookall, M Walker, RES M Short, Joe Harrison, C Lacey, D Rodriguez
Next Saturday the Atoms return to Premier League action when they faced their sternest test to date as they travel to Widnes St Maries ko 2.30pm
Portrait Pools Man Of The Match
1 J Cottle 2 M Humpage 3 M Walker