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Thatto Heath Crusaders 30 Ince Rose Bridge 20
11:58am Friday 23rd August 2013 in Sport
THATTO Heath Crusaders boosted their National Conference League Premier Division title bid with victory over Ince Rose Bridge on Saturday.
Hooker Martin Greaves gave Ince the lead, but man-of-the-match Jack Jones’ 18-point haul and tries from Jamie Tracy, Ryan Heaton and Andy Lea secured a young Thatto side the points that puts them in top spot.
Greaves’ opener came on 14 minutes when he scooted from dummy half to score, but his effort was quickly cancelled out by Tracy before Heaton raced 60 metres to cross between the posts.
Minutes later Jones dodged his way through to score a converted try, having earlier added the points to Heaton’s touch down to give Heath a 10-point advantage at the break, despite the absence of several senior players.
The relegation-threatened visitors came out flying after the interval and three tries in 12 minutes swung the tie in their favour.
Second row Michael Haughton was on hand for the first two, scoring out wide on the right and then on the left flank before Jamie Malone went in courtesy of a great ball from scrum half Chris Bolan, who converted.
However, minutes later Thatto regained their lead when the powerful Jones showed great upper body strength to carry three defenders over the whitewash and ground close to the sticks, before adding the conversion.
Rose Bridge were dealt a blow with a double sin-binning, but despite this looked the more likely to score again and close the gap on Heath’s two-point advantage.
But when Ince’s full back fumbled, Lea was on hand to pounce and dash between the sticks for Jones to add the extras.
Jones completed his impressive points haul with minutes to spare from a penalty, in the process wiping away any hopes Ince had of mounting a comeback.
Crusaders welcome mid-table Wigan St Pats next Tuesday at 7.30pm.
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