The much anticipated clash between the second and third placed teams in South Lancashire/Cheshire One did not disappoint.  This was a game of the highest quality. In another complete team performance the three youngsters in the Liverpool St Helens back row, Hull, Roberts and Webster were outstanding whilst Matt Cunliffe playing at full back contributed 21 of LSH’s points. 

Playing with a strong wind at their backs LSH went ahead in the seventh minute with a Matt Cunliffe penalty. 3-0   After the next ten minutes or so when the two sides seemed to be sizing each other up LSH went further ahead with an excellent try. A neat running and passing move involving Matt Johnston, Dave Cunliffe and Alex McClurg found Josh Lynch on the left wing. Still with some work to do the winger beat his man and rounded to score. Matt Cunliffe converted. 10-0

Anselmians, a different outfit from previous seasons, then showed their speed and power, launching a number of strong attacks from midfield all of which were met with an equally strong and determined LSH defence. The rest of the half was scoreless and the Moss Lane Faithful spent most of the break wondering if a ten point lead would be enough when playing against the strong wind.

In truth the wind had by now lessened but this in itself couldn’t explain LSH’s explosive start to the second half. They attacked straight from the restart with Alex McClurg travelling deep towards the Anselmians line before slipping over. The recycled ball reached Matt Cunliffe who scored closed to the right hand corner flag. 15-0. Four minutes later the resolute full-back scored a remarkable try when from a seemingly impossible position on the right wing he travelled almost fifty yards palming off one Anselmians defender after another. 20-0. The man of the moment then slotted a penalty in the 50th minute to give LSH a 23-0 lead after scoring 13 points in 10 minutes.

The visitors responded almost immediately, and how, with two unconverted tries in the next five minutes, the first from close range and the second from distance to bring them back into the game at 23-10. By now though the LSH pack seemed to have the measure of their opponents and with the skipper urging his team on and leading by example, LSH never really looked like caving in. After a period of relative calm Cunliffe slotted another penalty in the 68th minute to put LSH further ahead. 26-10.

Anselmians persevered and were rewarded with a converted try in the 78th minute, 26 -17, but despite seven minutes of additional time, that is how the score remained.


15 Cunliffe M 14 Lynch 13 McClurg 12 Cunliffe D 11 Thompson 10 Johnston 9 Wilson (capt) 1 McCauley 2 Houlton 3 Fryer 4 Royle 5 Gore 6 Hull 7 Roberts 8 Webster 16 Heywood 17 Hall 18 Rawsthorne

John Williams