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Wigan 1st XV 36 West Park 1st XV 24
1:40pm Thursday 12th September 2013 in Sport
FORCED into late changes West Park put in a good performance against rivals Wigan, and with better concentration and decision making may well have earned a greater share of the points.
For the first quarter of the game, Wigan’s plentiful possession was nullified by excellent tackling by the visitors, then from a scrum the home side took the ball against the head allowing centre Wincott to squeeze in at the corner for the game’s opening score.
West Park hit back immediately, and an overthrown ball at a lineout was kicked on by fly half Hill and neatly collected by centre John James to score under the posts , the conversion by Hill putting the visitors in front.
The heavier Wigan pack was however at the forefront of two further tries by the home side, and first a forwards drive from 15mtrs out was shortly followed by another score after a catch and drive from a line out close to the visitors line.
Without a recognised kicker Wigan were unable to convert any of their tries, and a quick tap penalty taken by visitor’s skipper Morley found support from flanker Lewis Whitty who scored a neat try, though the relatively easy conversion was missed, narrowing the gap to only three points.
As half time approached a lack of concentration allowed Wigan to pass the ball across field in a simple movement across the back division enabling centre Hornby to cross for a try near enough to the posts to allow Gambles to convert, leaving West Park ten points adrift at the interval.
The lead gave the home side the impetus and added confidence in the second half, and despite playing with the wind, the visitor’s lack of composure and ability to use the elements to their advantage was punished with two further tries, both of which were converted, to seemingly put the contest beyond West Park’s reach.
To their credit however the visitors continued to contest the game, and a forward drive saw flanker Matty Potter score wide out, and although not converted, a fourth try (and bonus point) soon followed as good work from fly half Hill saw full back Dempsey link up to score an excellent try, converted by Hill, to narrow the gap to ten points.
Another try would have given West Park a further bonus point, and although finishing on top as Wigan tired they were unable to add to their tally.
Sportingly Wigan officials awarded Man of the Match to West Park’s flanker Lewis Whitty for his excellent all round display.
On Saturday the 1st XV travel to Ashton on Mersey, kick off 3pm Wigan 2nd XV 20pts V West Park 2nd XV 21pts