Aldwinians end four game losing run against luckless Littleborough
Tuesday 5th December 2017 16:35 Sports Posted by Mark Phillip

North Lancs Cumbria Division

Aldwinians 13-3 Littleborough

 

Both sides started this match eager to get their season back on track. The Audenshaw side had battled through four tight defeats in succession and their opponents were without a win in seven games. It was the Aldwinians players who appeared more nervous as the game got under way, with an immediate offside giving Littleborough a chance to kick a penalty which was put wide. A free kick and two more penalties ensured the visitors kept territorial advantage, but the defensive play was tight to nullify the attacks. Aldwinians recovered towards half way with their first positive drives by the forwards but a knock on pegged them back.

It was not until the 17th minute that they became acquainted with the Littleborough half of the field, when the backs ran the ball left to full back Wade Martin who engaged the opposition and earned a penalty for a lineout on the visitors 22 line. Wing Gethin Edwards looked sharp and dangerous when he ran with the ball and then a take and drive towards the line by Alex Mooney forced an error by Littleborough prompting a Yellow card and penalty, from which captain Connor Prendergast chose a scrum. The pick and drive worked well but an immediate knockon killed the move. The momentum was maintained with the Audenshaw forwards mauling strongly in front of the posts, but the efforts were not incisive enough to trouble a stoic defence. Having worked so hard, the effort was thrown away with a sequence of penalties to Littleborough, displaying the continued technical frailties of the squad. Now passing the half hour mark, the visitors had moved back into Aldwinians territory by default, and they had the momentum. A chip through had Martin in trouble gathering, and as play developed infield ,another penalty award gave a clear opportunity for Littleborough to get on the scoresheet on 34 mins for a 0 -3 lead. From the restart some positive play at last from the home side with Wade Martin setting off on a strong run and moving the ball left. However more handling errors followed. Littleborough took advantage, gained territory, and were awarded two penalties in succession. They were both chances to increase the score but the Littleborough kicker missed both to leave the scoreline 0 -3 at half time. This was not the script that the Aldwinians coach would have written for the out of sorts squad. Indeed it was probably one of the worst first half displays of the season.

The second half started more positively, with centre Jamie Henderson making a run and the forwards driving the ball on. A penalty brought play to a line out on the Littleborough 22 but a Yellow card for second row Andrew Ormrod and a clearance by the visitors followed. Back came Aldwinians with Edwards following a high kick from Martin and causing Littleborough to concede a penalty 10 metres from their try line on the left. A line out was taken and the forwards developed an organised driving maul which ended up with Connor Prendergast getting the touch down on 54 mins to go 5 -3 ahead.

 

The game was edging Aldwinians way as they enjoyed more territory, and when the forwards again pressed in front of the posts ,the pressure pushed the opponents to sustain a second Yellow card on 67 mins. That gave Wade Martin the easiest of penalties to extend the narrow lead to 8 – 3.

A brief retreat into their own half, Aldwinians gradually recovered territory through the pack, rather than opting to kick long to make Littleborough progress from their own line. Back on half way the ball came to stand off Callum McMahon, who this time lifted a neat chip down into the opponents 22 area to set up a line out 15 mtres out. Whilst it was Littleborough’s throw, the Audenshaw pack turned the screw and put them under so much pressure, pushing them back to their line. The loose ball was duly generated , and on hand was back row Lewis Quinn to scoop it up and dive over the line for the all important score on 76 mins and a winning margin of 13 -3. Four valuable league points.

This week the squad travel to Barrow to play Hawcoat Park. kick-off 2.15 pm. Coach 10.45am

It was a winning day for three other Aldwinians teams that played. The 2nds won 11-22 at Bowdon and the 4ths beat Bury 3rd 26-10. The u18 Colts went to Newcastle (staffs) and won 15-27 on Sunday.

By Trevor Hulmes