HOYLAKE 6 LIVERPOOL ST HELENS 20 (25/11/2017)
Full marks to both sides and the referee for going ahead in conditions that were just about playable and then gradually worsening as the afternoon went on. The game, played in a strong biting cold wind, punctuated by heavy rain and hailstone showers was a remarkably good one with both sides giving their all.
On a day which was no place for the fainthearted, LSH’s second half performance, in particular, was of the highest order. Playing as a complete unit they simply gave nothing way, snuffed out the opposition at every opportunity and carefully made sure that they would return back under the Mersey with a win.
The signs were ominous when LSH skipper Darren Wilson won the toss and when asked by the referee which end he wanted replied “the deep end”. Choosing to play with the wind however, his side spent a good deal of the first half under pressure as the home side started much the brighter and looked sharper.
Hoylake gained an early reward, converting a fourth minute penalty, 3-
Then came one of the key moments in the game, four minutes before half time, when Darren Wilson collected the ball just inside the Hoylake half and sprinted towards the right hand corner flag before abruptly changing direction to run past half the home side’s defence and score under the posts. Filson converted, 6-
From that moment on Hoylake never recovered.
With the darkest of clouds now all around and conditions underfoot worsening, the second half was a forwards dominated encounter and LSH excelled. Protecting the ball throughout they slowly and steadily gained territory in the Hoylake half, forcing a regular supply of penalties. Dan Filson missed the first two, a touch ambitious from a distance which may have challenged him on a dry day, but then successfully slotted the next two in the 56 and 59th minutes to put LSH 6-
Hoylake continued to defend well, although their defence was breached after 65 minutes by Alex McClurg scoring under the posts, only to be brought back for a forward pass. Despite their dominance a second try eluded LSH until close to the end when yet another strong forwards move saw prop Ross McCauley dive over from short range to seal the win. Filson converted. 6-
15 Filson 14 Morris 13 Lynch 12 Cunliffe D 11 Hodson 10 McClurg 9 Wilson D (capt) 1 McCauley 2 Houlton 3 Fryer 4 Royle P 5 Potter
6 Mitchell 7 Roberts 8 Webster 16 Heywood 17 Johnston 18 Rawsthorne