Rugby Leaguer & League Express www.totalrl.com
NORTHERN RAIL CUP SCHOEY OFF THE MARK
BARROW RAIDERS YORK CITY KNIGHTS
PADDY McATEER Craven Park, Sunday
GARRY SCHOFIELD, the new Barrow boss, saw his team hang on for two points in his first competitive match since taking over at Craven Park. A determined York side never gave up the chase despite going behind 12-0 after 28 minutes play and Schofield said: “A win is a win.
“I was happy in the first half but not the second, we must learn to play smarter - it was not good enough, but all credit to York they played with a lot of spirit.”
Barrow looked the sharper in the first period, while it was the Minster Men who, with ample possession in the second half, looked the most dangerous and could easily have gone away with a win. Barrow, playing against a strong wind, took the game to the visitors, going ahead on nine minutes when swift handling right to left saw Jamie Rooney put Liam Harrison into the gap. He was held short of the line but managed to flick the ball up for Mark Gleeson to touchdown.
And when Liam Campbell intercepted inside his own half to race 40 yards the move broke down after Andy Ballard had the ball knocked out of his grasp. At the other end Chris Thorman prised open a gap but was held a foot from the line.
Barrow were to extend their lead on 19 minutes after Ryan Esders lost the ball 30 yards from his own line, Barrow moved the ball through
THIS first proper contest of 2011 – and what a cracking contest it was - demonstrated clearly where these two old clubs currently stand.
Hunslet, newly promoted to the Championship, have decided to rely largely on last season’s successful squad, with a few experienced pros added to give a little strengthening for the greater intensity of battles to come. Oldham, on the other hand, after their multiple Grand Final failures, have gone for quite a number of new faces alongside a solid nucleus from last year, and a blend of youth, Oldham-reared talent and a few old heads. And it was the lower-status home side which took the first spoils of the new Northern Rail campaign. The Whiteside pitch was only declared fit after a morning inspection, and it was very heavy indeed. In these circumstances, the standard of rugby on display from both sides was remarkably high. In particular, the defensive qualities of all 34 players on view, and the defensive organisation of both sides, was extremely impressive. Since both were also still going at it hammer and tongs in the 80th minute, their fitness, even at this early stage of the season, was also much to be admired. The fact that only nine tries were scored reflected these qualities, as did the fact that all of them were the result of good, constructive play. If this is an indicator of the entertainment to come at Championship level in the
Rooney and Martin Ostler and James Nixon crossed out wide. York came back strongly; Alex Benson was brought down 15 yards out before a crunching tackle from Matt James prevented James Haynes from going in by the posts.
The home side went further ahead on 28 minutes with a fine try through
Ned Catic, who powered over after good handling from Rooney, Campbell and Ballard, again the windy conditions making life difficult for Rooney, who missed his third conversion attempt. York again came back strongly. Lee
Waterman was stopped in the corner before Thorman’s dangerous kick went
Chris Thorman looks to break free
dead in the other corner. However it was from a Thorman high ball that Danny Wilson leapt high to touch down on 34 minutes. Four minutes later and the gap was narrowed to two points when, after Thorman had gained a scrum from a 40/20, the ball moved sharply for Esders to crash over, Thorman adding the goal for 12-10 score at the break. The second half was barely under way when a strong burst from Richard Fletcher saw Harrison take the ball at speed and he sent Nixon in at the corner, Rooney tagging on the touchline conversion.
And with the strong wind behind them Barrow took the game to York going further in front on 55 minutes. Fletcher was up ended in the tackle and from the tap penalty Gleeson was halted short, from the play the ball swift handling involving several players enabled Ostler to crash over, Rooney again adding the goal. But instead of going for the kill, Barrow were then put under constant pressure, with Thorman in the thick of play, and he was halted in his tracks from going over by the posts by a last ditch Zeb Luisi tackle. Jon Presley was then denied, losing the ball five yards from the home line. James made a couple of strong runs for Barrow to take them upfield from where a fine run coming inside from Nixon ended with Campbell losing possession.
At the other end York again saw a chance go begging when Wilson lost the ball with the line at his mercy. But their pressure did pay off when the overlap saw Dave Sutton cut inside Harrison and then Nixon to score, Thorman adding the goal 24-16. Brett McDermott and Catic both gave away penalties to put Barrow on the back foot only for Nathan Massey
OLDHAM SHOOT DOWN HAWKS OLDHAM
HUNSLET HAWKS IAN WILSON
Whitebank Stadium, Sunday
months ahead, your correspondent for one can’t wait!
The Hawks began as though they would run away with things, and powered down the Whitebank slope almost unstoppably during the first quarter. Stuart Kain opened the scoring in just the third minute, when he rose unopposed in-goal to take a trademark Paul March close-range diagonal kick. And then a second converted try, this time by the powerful Tom Haughey, after sustained Hunslet pressure, and a clever criss-cross passing move initiated by the coach, seemed to put Tony Benson’s side well and truly on the back foot.
In many ways, however, it was Oldham’s ability to sustain further Hunslet pressure during this first phase of the game without conceding again which set a platform for them to put on some pressure of their own. And when they did, the game moved up a notch in both excitement and intensity. Workaholic Paul Noone was the crucial man in setting up Oldham’s first try, in the 21st minute, after Neil
Roden’s grubber had earned another set for his side. His short pass just gave Jack Bradbury enough space to crash over wide out on the left, and Oldham were up and running. The next ten minutes then saw both sides attack powerfully in turn, but defences just hold out. Crucially, though, the Hunslet discipline began to deteriorate, and it was this – six consecutive penalties to Oldham, and David March sin-binned – which cemented an Oldham lead in the final ten minutes of the half, which the home side were not to surrender. They scored twice, and quality tries they were. First, Neil Roden broke clean through the centre on half way, and John Clough was on his shoulder to go over under the Hunslet posts; amazingly, this was a carbon-copy of a move just previously which had only been denied when Clough had the ball stripped as he went over the line. And then another similar break took Oldham into a 16-12 half-time lead, this time Clough providing the break and Mick Diveney going over in support.
After more Hunslet pressure soon after the restart, Oldham extended their lead in the 45th minute to score the classiest try of the afternoon. Quick passing
left in their own quarter allowed Bradbury to set John Gillam
free, and he scorched the remaining 80 metres down the left, cutting inside the fullback at pace and going over for an absolute classic wingman’s try – Ray French would have been purring! The Hawks soon came back though, and after Waine Pryce had been stopped short down the right, rapid transfer left saw Dave Clayton go over easily. The game was very much in the balance at this point, and the next 20 minutes saw the Hawks well in the ascendancy, and the penalty count move dramatically in their favour as Oldham were forced into desperate defence. Finally, though, after the Roughyeds had somehow repelled three consecutive Hunslet sets, they managed one more break-out. And the game’s
2 Andy Ballard 19 Marc Dixon 12 Ned Catic 4 Liam Harrison 5 James Nixon 6 Jamie Rooney 14 Liam Campbell 8 Jamie Thackray 9 Mark Gleeson 10 Matt James 15 Martin Ostler 13 Richard Fletcher 16 Zeb Luisi Subs (all used) 18 Nathan Mossop 17 Brett McDermott 11 Mike Knowles 38 Adam Nicholson
Tries: Gleeson (9), Nixon (19, 43), Catic (28), Ostler (55) Goals: Rooney 2/5
1 James Haynes 5 Danny Wilson 3 Duane Straugheir 19 Matty Garside 2 Dave Sutton 6 Chris Thorman 7 Jon Presley 31 Ben Jones 9 Jack Lee
32 Nathan Massey 30 John Davies 13 Ryan Esders 10 Alex Benson Subs (all used) 14 Jack Stearman 22 Ed Smith 24 Mark Barlow 4 Lee Waterman
Tries: Wilson (34), Esders (38), Sutton (70), Presley (79) Goals: Thorman 2/4
SCORING SEQUENCE: 4-0, 8-0, 12-0, 12-4, 12-10, 18-10, 24-10, 24-16, 24-20
Rugby Leaguer & League Express Men of Match Barrow: Richard Fletcher; York: Chris Thorman Penalty count: 6-9; Half-time: 12-10 Referee: Richard Silverwood Attendance: 1,305
to lose the ball close to the line. Local trialist Adam Nicholson then
pulled off a fine tackle on Massey only for Jack Lee to break clear down the touchline, Ballard made a good effort to bring him down only for the ball to be sent inside to Presley to score. Thorman failed at goal and time ran out for the Championship newcomers.
Chris Thorman - a good all-round game a constant thorn in the Barrow defence.
Although 25 minutes remained, Martin Ostler’s try put Barrow 14 points ahead and that proved too much for a battling York side.
7th February 2011
1 Ben Heaton 2 Lucas Onyango 12 Ben Wood 4 Jack Bradbury 5 John Gillam 6 Neil Roden 7 Mick Diveney 8 Luke Sutton 25 Martin Roden 10 Dave Ellison 11 Andy Isherwood 24 Paul Noone 14 Chris Clarke Subs (all used) 8 Jason Boults
13 Valu Bentley 17 John Clough 22 Tom Wood-Hulme
Tries: Bradbury (21, 72), Clough (32), Diveney (35), Gillam (45)
Goals: Diveney 4/5 Sin bin: N Roden (76) - high tackle
spoils were decided when Bradbury rose above all around him to take another clever Neil Roden kick, and dived in to score. There was still time for the Oldham playmaker to be somewhat harshly sin-binned, and for the impressive Hunslet youngster Andrew Yates to slice over from 20 metres out – but not enough for Oldham to be caught.
GAMESTAR: Ben Heaton coped superbly with the pressure from a variety of kicks put on him by some very experienced Hawks playmakers.
HAWKS 1 Stuart Kain 5 Waine Pryce 4 Dave Clayton
12 Tom Haughey 2 Richie Barnett 6 Danny Grimshaw 7 Paul March 8 Adam Sullivan 14 Luke Haigh 10 James Houston 17 Rob Kelly
11 Richard Blakeway 13 David March Subs (all used) 15 Scott Woodcock 16 John Oakes 20 Andrew Yates 23 Joe McLocklan
Tries: Kain (3),
Haughey (14), Clayton (52), Yates (78) Goals: D March 3/4 Sin-bin: D March (31) - knees into tackled player
SCORING SEQUENCE: 0-6, 0-12, 4-12, 10-12, 16- 12, 22-12, 22-18, 28-18, 28-22.
Rugby Leaguer & League Express Men of the Match: Oldham: Ben Heaton; Hunslet: Tom Haughey Penalty count: 12 - 14; Half-time: 16-12 Referee: Thierry Alibert Attendance: 685
GAMEBREAKER: Jack Bradbury’s 72nd minute score, from a clever Neil Roden kick, just gave the Roughyeds the breathing space to go on to record a marvellous first win of the 2011 season.
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