THE much-anticipated clash between the second and third placed teams in South Lancs and Cheshire One did not disappoint.

Liverpool St Helens won their third consecutive game as they overcame Anselmians 26-17.

In another complete team performance the three youngsters in the home back row, Hull, Roberts and Webster, were outstanding, while Matt Cunliffe playing at full back contributed 21 points.

LSH went ahead in the seventh minute with a Cunliffe penalty.

The home side increased their lead 10 minutes later with an excellent try.

A neat running and passing move involving Matt Johnston, Cunliffe and Alex McClurg found Josh Lynch on the left wing. Still with some work to do the winger rounded his opponent to score. Cunliffe converted.

Anselmians then showed their speed and power, launching many strong attacks from midfield, all of which were met with an equally strong and determined defence.

The rest of the half was scoreless, and the Moss Lane faithful spent most of the break wondering if a 10-point lead would be enough when playing against the strong wind that helped them in the first half.

In truth the wind had lessened but this couldn’t explain LSH’s explosive start to the second half.

A surging run from Alex McClurg was only halted when he lost his footing, yet the recycled ball reached Cunliffe who scored closed to the right-hand corner flag.

Just four minutes later the resolute full-back scored a seemingly impossible try, Cunliffe carrying the ball for over 50 yards, palming off any opposition in sight.

The man of the moment then slotted a penalty in the 50th minute to give LSH a 23-0 lead.

Anselmians responded almost immediately with two unconverted tries in the next five minutes, the first from close range and the second from distance to bring them back into the game at 23-10.

By now though the LSH pack seemed to have the measure of their opponents and with the skipper urging his team on and leading by example the hosts never really looked like caving in.

After a period of relative calm Cunliffe slotted another penalty in the 68th minute to put LSH further ahead.

Anselmians persevered and were rewarded with a converted try in the 78th minute, but despite seven minutes of additional time, that is how the score remained.

This Saturday LSH travel to Southport as they attempt to close the gap with league leaders Broughton Park.