NEWTON Storm v Thatto Heath Crusaders was always going to be a tough game, with both teams in good form and sitting first and second in the top league.

Thatto Heath Crusaders competing despite only having a bare 16 players due to injury, suspension and holidays, the remaining lads stepped up to the plate and played exceptionally well to march into the final (to be played 3rd October at Ruskin Drive).

A game that was nip and tuck for a while, with both sides not wanting to give an inch, thunderstorms and very wet conditions added to the drama causing a host of unforced errors but the away team went in at half time with the advantage at 6-12.

Two further tries in the second half from Thatto Heath and at 6-18 the win looked secure, a valiant Newton Storm effort in the dying minutes to close the gap on a very entertaining and competitive game.

Try scorers for Thatto Heath:

Tom Mitchell (2) and Harry Worsley.

Conversions: Connor Gannon (3) .

Kieran Dean Man of the match . Closely followed by big performances from Tom Mitchell, Ryan Lockett & Connor Goldthorpe.

Thatto Heath Head Coach Peter Eccles said: "We worked on a few things in training and spoke about what we thought we had dropped off on in terms of our performance levels and the standards we had set, which we thought in our last two games before the august break we had certainly not been at.

"Training is tough getting through what we want to at the moment with so many lads with work commitments, we have managed to get through what we can and massive credit to the lads for that.

"Tonight we showed again a massive defensive effort in that second half, Newton are a good side and threw everything but the kitchen sink at us, but we held firm in defence, I told the lads in the weeks leading up to the game that we are the best rugby playing team, if we play rugby the way we can and to the best of our ability we win the game, simple.

"The performance we put on tonight makes me very proud.

"There's now one more match to go and will come up against a bigger side than us once again in the final, as we always do being the smaller team in this league this year, but I have no doubt in my mind again, if the lads play as we can, we have a massive chance of winning the prestigious Lancashire cup and bringing another trophy to St Helens."