WIGAN St Cuthbert’s faced strong opposition in their National Conference Division Three fixture at home to undefeated Blackbrook.
The pattern of play followed an all too familiar picture for St Cuthbert’s as they battled hard in the first half to keep pace with Blackbrook.
But the flood gates opened in the second half in the 42-10 defeat.
The defeat prevents St Cuthbert’s closing the gap in the table on Crosfields who sit three points and one place above them.
Blackbrook opened the scoring after only five minutes with a somewhat disputed try from veteran forward Sean Richardson.
There was doubt as to whether the ball had been grounded but St Cuthbert’s hit back with a try of their own in the 18th minute.
Jacob Hunt’s delayed pass was enough to create the opportunity for Mike Scrivens to race through a gap in the Blackbrook defence.
The fullback was able to swerve around his opposite number during a 60-yard dash to the line for the kind of try which has become very much his trademark in recent matches.
Sheridan’s conversion drew the scores level but Blackbrook wasted no time in restoring their lead.
Fullback Hurst linked up from a scrum to score in the corner to nudge his side back in front.
Parkinson added the difficult conversion from the touchline.
However St.Cuthbert’s again responded and after a spell of pressure on the Blackbrook line, Scrivens again dashed through a gap to score and reduce the deficit to just two points at the interval.
In the second half it was a different story as Blackbrook quickly set about establishing their superiority.
They added five further tries at regular intervals, each of which was converted by the immaculate goal kicking of Parkinson,
St Cutherbert’s could draw positives from a number of outstanding displays, though.
Scrivens was again outstanding and was supported in his efforts by centre Adam Hunt.
In the pack, prop Dean Jones led from the front.
St Cuthert’s currently sit 10th in Division Three and face a local derby away to Hindley on Saturday.
Hindley gave themselves a tough task by going behind early before recovering to beat Crosfields.
Crosfields took advantage of a slow start from Hindley and led midway through the first half by 12-0, but Hindley eventually took the spoils in a 27-22 win.
Hooker Stephen Sutcliffe dummied his way over from acting half back for Hindley’s first. Minutes later a deft kick from Kieron Whittle found Otto Huzsti, who gathered to score by the sticks.
Whittle then showed great footwork and upper body strength to cross wide out.
This gave Hindley a 14-12 lead and with seconds of the half remaining, a neat drop goal extended the slender lead by a further point.
As the game wore on, the Crosfields forwards were tiring and Hindley took full advantage.
A short ball found Carl Burgess and this was followed up by a quick play the ball which found Whittle who broke out of a tackle to go over from 20 metres and give Hindley a one-point lead.
In the dying minutes, good hands from Wright, Whittle and Sutcliffe found centre Paul Hersnip who crashed over for the final try.
NCL DIVISION ONE
ST JUDE’S stay top of National Conference League Division One with a hard fought win over Stanley Rangers away from home.
A perfect start with a Mick Whittle try in the fourth minute gave St Jude’s the leverage to go on to win the tense encounter 28-20 though Stanely’s performance defied their lowly league position.
After 10 minutes the home side hit back with a Danny Grice try as the bottom placed club set out to defy their league position.
Two minute later, Scott Robinson nudged the away side back in front but still they could not stamp their authority on the game.
Stanley hit back with a Richard Cattley try and the conversion from Grise once again levelled the scores.
But as half time approached, St Jude’s once again edged in front with a try from man of the match Dean Hunt.
Robinson’s goal gave the away side a 16-10 advantage at the break.
Five minutes after the restart, Girce bagged a try to bring Stanley back into the game and they went on to take the lead for the first time in the 52nd minutes as Cattley bagged his brace.
Stanley we well on top by this point and threatening to pull off a shock.
But with just 15 minutes remaining Dave Myerscough powered his way over the line for a vital try with Robinson coolly adding the extras.
It took until there were just two minutes left on the clock for St Jude’s to seal the win with a Danny Holmes try which Robinson once again converted.
Despite the close fought nature of the contest, their performance was a good demonstration of why St Jude’s are leading the way.
They were able to overcome the treat of an upset to claim the league points on offer. On Saturday, St Jude’s will entertain 11th-placed Eccles at home at 2.30pm.
WIGAN St Pat’s held off a determined effort from York Acorn to record another important win in the National Conference Premier Division.
The 32-24 victory came in stifling conditions andboth teams deserve credit for a hugely entertaining game.
Pat’s opened the scoring on 14 minutes with a strong Keiran Harrison break setting up the position before the ball was moved wide for Jayden Sandford to show good pace to score.Pat’s went further in front from a Bradley Smith break which was taken on by Harrison before Tom Atherton powered over.
Brad Smith’s conversion put Pat’s 10-0 ahead,
The game was end to end and Pat’s were soon on the scoresheet again with great support play.
A 50-yard Simon Atherton break was well backed up by Anthony Griffiths who scored.
Dean Hatton’s conversion put Pat’s 16-6 to the good.
Acorn hit back in first half stoppage time when Pat’s conceded a silly penalty to allow Acorn to set the position that allowed hooker Nick Speck to score from acting half.
Pats came out with all guns blazing to start the second half with a superb try from Simon Atherton.
A neat little grubber from Robson caught the defence flat footed allowing Adam Endersby to touch down before Phil Glover dove over for the match-winning try with a smart pick up.