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Ruskin Park 28 West Park 5
7:50am Tuesday 25th September 2012 in Rugby Union
NOT only did this hold the potential of being the most exciting and important match in Ruskin Park's history, but it was also a piece of history, being the first time the St Helens clubs had faced each other in a league match.
The build up was intense with old rivalry's exchanging comments face to face and now with the more popular twitter war.With more than a win at stake, the position of becoming the 2nd recognised Rugby club in the town.
From the first whistle it was obvious that Ruskin Park had prepared for this game with immense professionalism and pride, they immediately put West Park on the back foot and controlled phase after phase of rugby recycling the ball and generating further attacks.
Dave Birch orchestrating spaces in the West Park defensive line and placing his big runners including the lively Orrick into great attacking positions.
West Park valiantly continued to defend and occasionally showed good speed and potential to score out wide using there wingers well. Ruskin constantly snubbing out these attacks with strong defense.
After a sustained amount of pressure in the West Park half of the field Ruskin broke the deadlock and scored a fantastic fast flowing try out wide with Chris Birch touching down.
This being the start of a fine kicking performance from the strongest of captains Adam Foggarty.
With an additional penalty Ruskin took a 10 - 0 lead.
The passion of the day erupted with a fierce challenge from Chris Birch to stop a West Park attack, resulting in Birch being sin binned for a dangerous tackle.
This being one of the only small mistakes by the exchange referee who pulled play back not allowing the West Park advantage that would have resulted in a try.
Ruskin Park continued to drain the West Park defence with constant onslaughts of recycling ball in contact, the crowd continued to get louder and more vocal as they anticipated a Ruskin win.
West Park responded with some strong rugby, just prior to half time and looked revitilised and hungry. All this ball possession game to nothing with a strong Ruskin defense holding out and another penalty kick by Foggarty making it 13-0 at half time and the return of Chris Birch.
The second half was much of the same with Ruskin Park passion and commitment in contact forcing a turn over from the kick off and more and more attacking rugby.
The Ruskin Park forwards worked tirelessly as a unit and drained West Park down creating a space for O'Keefe to skip around one of the West Park front row players on the blindside of a maul.
The score gradually increasing and making the victory more and more a reality.
West Park scored a fantastic fast flowing try to regain 5 points with a simple conversion missed to exaggerate there lack of control on the game.
Excellent fast, committed rugby with strong platforms at the break down allowed the Ruskin Park back line to constantly break the gain line, all players on the day played a part in this victory whether it be from strong running, flair or pure commitment.
A final try by Hall finished off West Park and the noise from the crowd confirmed that Ruskin Park had stamped their authority on this piece of history.
The veteran Ruskin Park forward Jonny Howden received the well deserved man of the match award.