EVERY so often in rugby, or in any sport, there are occasions when the final score-line does not really reflect the game that you have just seen. Liverpool St Helens battling North One West display at league leaders Wirral can easily fall into that category.
Undeniably Wirral were well worth their win and are potentially heading towards the National Leagues. They are a club that has improved year on year, both on and off the field, since reaching this level and on this occasion were the better side. LSH for their part put up a strong showing throughout, particularly in the half hour after half time, pulling the score back to 27-14 before the home side plundered 22 points in the last nine minutes.
A sensational start in the second minute for the Moss Laners saw winger Dan Filson intercept Wirral’s opening attack and race 80 metres to score under the posts, Greg Smith converting.
Thereafter however, a combination of Wirral’s overall supremacy and LSH’s stubborn insistence on continually kicking the ball straight back to the opposition led to a first half assault on the LSH line bringing four tries.
The first in the16th minute came after massive pressure with the Wirral stand-off Sam Broadbent crashing over.
A James Annett's penalty was followed by two tries from winger Ali Baker, one converted by Annetts to make it 20-7 before the home side were awarded a controversial penalty try right on the half time whistle, again converted.
And then after the break, LSH enjoyed much the better of the encounter for almost thirty minutes. With not a kick in sight, retaining possession and forcing Wirral into errors and giving away penalties the game was played in the home side’s half.
With youngsters Sam Molyneux and John Windle once again to the fore and Ian Stanley making a number of incisive runs they deservedly reduced the arrears in the 64th minute. After good work down the left flank from Stanley and Danny Webster had earned a penalty, a quick move saw replacement flanker Connor Charlton burst through to score, converted by Smith.
It was then a further seven minutes before Wirral went further ahead with a penalty from Broadbent made it 30-14 followed by an interception try from centre Phil Donaldson deep in his own half.
Two more tries followed in the last five minutes, one from Colin Dyer from close range, converted again by Broadbent, and cruelly for LSH, another long distance interception, this time from flanker Sam Edgar, and again converted.