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LIVERPOOL ST HELENS  22   WIDNES 24     (8/2/2020)

Both sides did not disappoint a healthy crowd in the much anticipated clash between first and second in the Lancashire ADM Premier League. The visitors came to Moss Lane defending an unbeaten run which stretches back to September 2018 and LSH took the field determined to erase the horrible night under the lights at Widnes before Christmas.

In the event it was an excellent game of rugby between two good sides, well handled by an exchange referee from Bristol, ultimately decided by a strong and decisive comeback from the side who now sit on top of the table by a clear seventeen points.

A first half which saw LSH gain majority possession also saw the first try of the game coming from Widnes in the 12th minute after a textbook catch and dash from a line-out in the right hand corner. 0-5. LSH replied with pressure and a bullet like pass from Daren Wilson found winger Ruari Hennigan after 24 minutes for the youngster to touch down by the corner flag. Jamie Morris landed the touchline conversion to put LSH in front, 7-5 and added a penalty ten minutes later. 10-5. Crucially, despite not creating many opportunities in the first half, Widnes ended it with a try in the 39th minute, wide out, from their full back Owens, to go into the break on level terms 10-10.

LSH, now with a strongish wind at their backs, completely dominated the next twenty minutes, bringing a reward of two tries. The first was slightly fortuitous when a speculative kick over the Widnes defence bounced free for Andy Bacon to send in young Hennigan for his second try. 15-10. Soon after, left winger Sam Walker showed what he could do when outpacing the Widnes defence to score neatly to the left of the posts, Morris converting. 22-10.

In truth, an excellent game had been punctuated by a number errors on both sides, not surprising due to the heavy and blustery conditions. Widnes gradually began to work back into the game after the hour mark and in the final analysis showed no mercy in the 67th and 78th minutes when opportunities came their way. Their third try came when Duggan ran through unopposed to score under the posts 22-17 and their fourth, two minutes from the end, from short range by flanker Jones, after LSH had lost possession when attacking safely in the Widnes half. 22-24.

Widnes’ impressive record remains, but the display from Andy Northey’s boys goes some considerable way towards forgetting the night under the lights at Heath Rd last October.  

LSH now have a blank week followed by a home fixture on Saturday 22nd February v Oldham.


Team


15 Morris 14 Walker 13 Bacon 12 Mcclurg 11 Hennigan 10 Sexton 9 Wilson 1 Hattingh 2 Bonati 3 Gore 4 Royle (c) 5 Hall 6 Roberts 7 Thompson 8 Hull 16 Metcalfe T 17 Jackson J 18 Potter 19 Webster 20 Shelley


John Williams


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