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Ruskin 7 Bowdon 6
6:14pm Wednesday 9th January 2013 in Sport
THIS was an extremely well ground out win, with huge positive aspects in the whole round game plan of Ruskin Park.
Showing that as a team they have improved and learnt from previous defeats in this difficult league.
A strong refereeing performance controlled the game and allowed for an open game of physical rugby.
Ruskin totally dominated the first 40 minutes with Bowdon hardly even touching the ball.
The ball retention and recycling by all the Ruskin team was exceptional, against the added pressure of the Southern Hemisphere backline of Bowdon that constantly tackled very hard. Michael Farrelly taking the biggest of hits, only to regain his composure quickly to launch further attacks on the Bowdon defensive line.
The Ruskin pack dominated the set piece and open play, with the only downside being the inability to put any points on the score board before halftime.
Matt Tindall grafted all afternoon and was a great example of a captains leadership. This being a strong aspect to the Ruskin team with the hopefully imminent return of Adam Fogarty after his 2012 serious facial injury.
Bowdon started the second half strongly quickly going 3 points ahead after a well converted penalty.
This only seemed to rally the Ruskin team who returned to the Bowdon half of the pitch with added determination.
After an intense period of play within the Bowdon 22 metre area, Stuart Livesley was finally forced over the line after a controlled piece of mauling, strengthened by the powerful addition of Farrelly into the pressing pack. converted by Tress, Ruskin took a 7 - 3 lead. Bowdon quickly replied with a second penalty taking it to 7 - 6 with 20 minutes remaining.
Strong performances from the bench especially from Potter enabled the rest of the team led by O'Keefe and Mousley to control long periods with the ball and to pressure the Bowdon team into mistakes.
Every credit has to be given to the attitude of the Ruskin players throughout the Christmas training period and the ability to learn from their own mistakes.
Next week brings the return fixture of the West Park - Ruskin Park local derby. 2.15pm kick off at Red Rocks.