LIVERPOOL St Helens Rugby League Club made their historic first ever Home appearance at the ground of the World’s oldest Open Rugby club (LSH Rugby Union Club) at Moss Lane on Saturday after 18 months of waiting due to Coronavirus and League shutdowns.

A friendly match against South Ribble Rabbitohs, on a beautiful sunny day with club members watching on from the Outdoor hospitality area, saw the fledgling RL club start brightly against their more experienced opponents, going close on a couple of occasions before falling behind to a counter attack.

However, a barnstorming charge from veteran forward James Harris saw him score to the right of the posts to give the club it’s first home try and a straight forward conversion by stand off Ryan Newton levelled the scores at 6-6.

Both sides then exchanged some excellent flowing attack and stoic defence to halt each other from going in front before Ryan Newton showed an outrageous dummy to the South Ribble defence to ghost in to the left of the stick, converting his own try for a 12-6 lead to LSH.

It was then the turn of Club Captain, Chris Mellor, to roll back the years with a link break and charge in under the posts despite the attention of 3 defenders, with Newton converting, for an 18-6 Half Time lead for LSH RL.

You could forgive the younger members of the LSH RL squad for getting carried away with the lead and this was to prove costly early in the second half as South Ribble went over for two quick tries early on to cut the lead down to just two points at 18-16. Some fantastic defensive work by Jacob Matthews gave LSH RL a chance to swing the momentum back in their favour as time ticked on and another break by Mellor down the right led to a debut try for John Bogg from right centre to extend the lead to 22-16.

However, South Ribble’s youthful line up began to make good yards in the heat and soon managed to break through a tiring defence to level the scores at 22-22 with 10 minutes left to play.

A penalty goal from Ryan Newton edged LSH RL back infront and some heroic defence looked like it was going to be LSH RL’s day. However, a last gasp goal line attack saw South Ribble scoot over right on the final whistle to snatch a historic win away from the LSH RL lads and take the spoils back up the M6 with a 28-24 win.

A rousing round of applause greeted both teams from the club terrace as a brilliant afternoon of Rugby League was drawn to a close and a new chapter in the history of the famous old name of Liverpool St. Helens was firmly etched.