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Ruskin 12 Northwich 26
9:53am Monday 20th January 2014 in Sport
A spirited performance by Ruskin Park, who at times looked like they would beat another top 6 team.
Ruskin started much stronger and retained possession for long periods of time constantly looking like they would break free and cross the try line. For twenty minutes Ruskin totally dominated this game and did not allow the quality hard hitting and aggressive Northwich back row into this game.
Then a series of simply mistakes allowed Northwich to kick a ball down field and good defence by Tress saw him kick the ball dead, in a bazaar period of play the all rebounded off the corner flag back into play and Northwich touched it down, everyone except the referee believing the corner flag counted as in touch.
The try was awarded and Northwich took a 7 point lead, a later review of the rules showed great knowledge by the referee to a rule change and he did give the correct decision.
This gave Northwich life and the hard hitting back row started to dictate the pace of the game, Ruskin fought hard and again made a simply mistake and Northwich pounced on half time with another try 0-12 at halftime.
The second half started in Northwich favour and they constantly looked dangerous with a strong driving game utilizing the forwards, another converted try started to make the game look lost.
It took considerable time before the lively Northwich, often infringing back row were spotted killing the ball at the tackle area.
Northwich lost there number 8 to the sin bin and Ruskin again took control of the game, a period of strong driving rugby before spreading the ball wide allowed Gary Smith to touch down after some excellent play by the Ruskin back line controlled well by Hughes and Fogarty. 5-19.
Ruskin gained strength and believe and started to attack with more venom, O'Keefe was exceptional playing out of position on the wing and eventually showed all his pace and strength to score out wide, Fogarty with a superb conversion 12-19 with 10 minutes remaining.
A bonus point on offer but the Ruskin team were confident they could win the game, a plan to secure possession and get back into the Northwich half went horribly wrong when the restart was not secured and the ball went into touch ten yards from the Ruskin try line, a mistake at the lineout gave Northwich momentum and another try was scored and converted 12-26 and the game looked un winnable for Ruskin Park.
The spirit of Ruskin players was fantastic and they pressed and pressed the Northwich line looking for the converted try to secure a bonus point, but time ran out and the game was lost.
Overall a promising performance for Ruskin Park, Mark Tress impressing again from the bench and a performance that deserves more than a loss and no points.
Ruskin will continue to push sides to their limit and will win more games this season. Well done to Ruskin Park who are trying to turn their season around and move up this difficult league.