Reigning NW Mens Premier Division Champions Haydock kicked off their defence of the title with a convincing win against neighbours Haresfinch, and in the Haydock ranks it was a welcome return for forward Ryan Whitley who had been out of the game for two years through injury.
Haydock were dominant from the first whistle making good headway into the Finch half, and good inter-passing created a gap for scrum half Andrew Bacon to go through to score a good try after 9 mins to make it 4 - 0
Finch got themselves straight back into the game with some good play and was rewarded in the 16th min with a converted try to lead 6 - 4.
But within 2 minutes Haydock was back in control when a good passing movement saw centre John Travena speed over to score, in form fullback Dean Dollin converted to put Haydock back in front by 10 - 6 after 18 mins. Haydock were now playing some attractive rugby, and Travena went in for his second try after 32 minutes, converted by Dollin, to lead by 16 - 6.
And on the stroke of half time Finch converted a penalty to make the score 16 - 8 at the break
Haydock started the second half like a house on fire, and within the first minute went over for a try with strong running by Connor Smith and Danny Gee paved the way for Captain Jordan Gibson to go over for a good try, converted by Dollin to make it 22 - 8 to Haydock after 41 mins.
The Yickers were again pressing on the Finch line and a neat grubber kick was put through which hit the post and was collected by forward Gary Anderton who touched down between the posts, Dollin converted to put Haydock 28 - 8 in front after 45mins. Haydock scored their third try in a six minute spell when Jordan Gibson went over for his second showing great foot work as he danced through to score, Dollin converted to put Haydock in a strong position leading by 34 - 8 after 47 mins.
The Haydock lads now had the game under control and good play and strong runs from ex Finch player Stu Simmons, Gibson, Gee, Smith, and ‘Rhino’ Whitley made good inroads into the Finch half, but credit to Finch who never gave in and grabbed a consolation converted try on 57 mins to make it 34 – 14,
The final score of the match went to the victors when substitute Barry Kirkoff making his first start of the season went in for a well taken try which was converted by Dollin, to bring the final score line to 40 - 14 to Haydock,
Outstanding for Haydock and the Porterhouse Properties Man of the Match went to Connor Smith, with good displays from Jordan Gibson, Danny Gee, Danny Davies and John Travena.