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SEFTON 24 LIVERPOOL ST HELENS 27

In a game of contrasting styles, Liverpool St Helens left it very late to snatch the points from Sefton in this South Lancashire/Cheshire One match.

In a fascinating encounter the home side’s intention to make the best use of their pacy back line and run the ball at every opportunity was matched by LSH’s approach to dominate possession and keep the ball close. Both approaches proved mainly successful with LSH’s experience and ability to step up a gear and increase their pace towards the end proving crucial.

The first half was a cautious affair with Sefton taking the lead almost from the kick off when a series of quick passes together with some direct running led to a converted try. 7-0. Thereafter, with scrums and lineouts going to form and LSH’s drives being repelled by Sefton and the home side’s efforts being cancelled out by the visitors, the score remained the same until five minutes from half time when Dan Filson kicked two penalties to make it 7-6 at the break.

Heaven only knows what both coaches said at half time but the second half proved to be an absolute belter producing six tries and a dramatic finish. As in the first half Sefton came flying out of the traps and registered their second try after a kick through was continued to score in the 43rd minute. 12-6. Six minutes later they scored again, this time from distance to lead 17-6.

LSH needed something special to put them back in the game and it came in the 54th minute from Alex McClurg, moved from centre to the pivotal stand-off role, making a solo darting run through the Sefton defence after receiving the ball from a scrum twenty yards out. Filson converted. 17-13.

With Dave Cunliffe in full flow and Ross McCauley making a big impact taking the ball up, LSH continued to press, leading to skipper Darren Wilson scooting around the entire Sefton back line and racing over to score. Filson converted to give LSH a narrow 17-20 lead with just under twenty minutes to go.  

Sefton weren’t finished however and after a strong series of attacks scored a converted try from close range at the foot of the right hand post to regain the lead 24-20 after 66 minutes.

As the final whistle approached LSH seemed to finish the stronger and with two minutes to go they got the reward for non-stop effort when McCauley capped a fine match by taking most of the Sefton defence with him as he advanced nearly 20 yards towards the line. Crucially, fellow prop Mark Fryer was on his left shoulder in support and gratefully receiving the pass, dived over the line to score the winning try. Filson converted. 24-27.

Two other performances of note today. Phil Kearns once again proving to be invaluable at the back of the pack and Josh Lynch, making his debut as a replacement in the centre – one to watch.   


Team

15 Filson 14 Kean 13 McClurg 12 Cunliffe D 11 Hodson 10 Johnston 9 Wilson D (capt) 1 Heywood 2 Houlton 3 Fryer 4 Potter 5 Gore 6 Webster 7 Roberts 8 Kearns.

16 McCauley 17 Donlevy 18 Lynch J.


John Williams