What’s not to like? A lovely sunny day: a beer festival in full flow; Liverpool Gin in full supply; a sizeable shirt-sleeved crowd; eight tries in a game where the lead changed hands six times; and a 79th minute penalty to win the game – which hit the post.

This was a fitting game for the Moss Laners to end their home season (with a trip to the Isle of Man to come) which will see them finish comfortably in mid table in South Lancashire/North Cheshire One.

LSH took the lead after nine minutes with a try from the irrepressible Darren Wilson, ferreting his way through the Bowdon defence, converted by Alex McBride. 7-0. Bowdon hit back with a brace 7-14, before Wilson, who has had a magnificent season, scored his second with a typical darting run from the base of a scrum to bring LSH within two points at the break, 12-14.

Andy Northey then emptied his bench at half time, unleashing a combined age of well over 100 years as Tommy Jackson, Jan Lourens and Alan Donlevy, who has been outstanding for LSH all season, took the field. Their experience made an immediate impact as LSH dominated up front for the early part of the second half in which LSH were convinced they had scored when Phil Kearns rolled back the years to finish off a forwards push with a trademark touch down. Regrettably the referee disagreed. LSH did score after severe pressure when young Sam Ward, switched to the right wing, raced over for LSH to regain the lead. 17-14.

There was no let-up in the pace as the game went into the last quarter with Bowdon hitting back with their third try, 17-19. Alex McClurg, having a fine game at inside centre, then took a hand to produce a fine individual effort in the 72nd minute to restore LSH’s lead, McBride converting, 24-19. Bowdon had benefitted all afternoon from a number of booming kicks out of defence and another gave them good territory for the closing stages. They took full advantage crossing for their fourth try, crucially converted, with no more than four minutes to go. 24-26.

LSH attacked again. Mattie Johnston saw his drop goal attempt drift agonisingly wide before they were awarded a penalty around 35 yards out, ten yards from the touchline. Young Alex McBride struck it well, only to see it hit the outside of the left hand post and go wide.


15 Kean 14 Cunliffe M 13 Rawsthorne 12 McClurg 10 Johnston 9 Wilson D 1 Williamson  2 Metcalfe T 3 Heywood

4 Potter 5 Gore 6 Royle P 7 Ward 8 Kearns 16 Jackson 17 Lourens 18 Donlevy.


John Williams