LIVERPOOL St Helens and Widnes played out a tight, enthralling encounter before the Moss Lane crowd with the hosts winning 15-14.

In the local rugby area, west of the M6, matches between these two clubs have gradually built up a greater importance over the last ten years or so. Both have played in the same division at the same level and generally at the top end.

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The games, keenly, fiercely and sportingly contested have provided many moments of high drama and excitement.

The Moss Laners will readily admit though that the Wids have had greater title and Cup success and haven’t lost against LSH in almost four years. The games get bigger.

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So it was on Saturday 22 January 2022, in this stop/start world we are in just at the moment, and over two months since the last time Andy Northey’s men ran out for a fixture at Moss Lane, LSH took the field in front of an enthusiastic, action-starved Faithful waiting to be entertained. Entertained they were.

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What followed was an even, stirring encounter, with both sides not fully at their best but giving everything they had.

Matt Wood, starting at fly half, gave LSH an early lead with a well struck penalty, as the sides shared possession and territory, creating opportunities which neither initially converted.

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Widnes then struck with a good score, converted, to go ahead before young Wood, having a fine game, stepped his way from the 22 yard line, through the visitors defence for a try, although was unable to convert for a score of 8-7 at half time.

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The second half followed much the same pattern as the first, with prominent performances from the LSH centre pairing of Dave Cunliffe and Matt Kilgannon.

LSH’s endeavours were rewarded when busy scrum half Alex McClurg picked up from the base of an attacking ruck, charged towards the Widnes line and managed to slip the ball to the inexorable Matt Cunliffe, on his shoulder, who burrowed over to score. Wood converted.

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With just less than 20 minutes left Widnes pulled one back, converted, to leave a one-point ball game. The final stages weren’t pretty with errors creeping in on both sides and at times, some desperate defending from LSH. But that’s how the score remained LSH 15 Widnes 14.

• It’s a massive day this Sunday (30 January) at Moss Lane with LSH Girls, for the first time ever, in two RFU National Cup quarter finals. 2pm kick offs.

• U15 Girls v Mansfield.

• U18 Girls v Burton.