UKRAINE 26 - BARLA YOUNG LIONS 22
The Arsenal Stadium, Kharkov
The BARLA Young Lions fell to a four point loss after the Ukraine side had twice comeback from a twelve and six point deficit. The Under 19 side put in a great performance against a good Ukraine team that was older 25 to 26 yrs old, bigger, stronger and more physically developed than the BARLA youngsters.
It was rather sad that after continued requests that Ukraine did not furnish their team details to assist in putting their players on the international stage as to who scored their points or a respective man of the match from them. Worthy of note to the RIEF.
Whilst the Ukrainian’s were singing and dancing at the final whistle it was tears for the Young Lions who knew that they had let this one slip away.
The BARLA cause wasn’t helped by two disallowed tries from the Ukraine officials for dubious forward passes, especially when the approach play that carved out the openings was swift, decisive and spectacular and had the coaches Mark Robb and Alan Coleman purring at the execution and precision passing.
Ukraine got off to the best possible start when they went into a 4-0 lead following a try on four minutes.
This knocked BARLA off their stride but they came back and took the game by the scruff of the neck scoring two converted tries in seven minutes. On 11 minutes Ryan Watson (Kells) scored the first of his treble and on 18 minutes Watson doubled his try tally and Tom Worthington (Leigh East) kicked both goals.
Both packs then got in to each other with some big hits Perry Singleton (Barrow Island) to the fore for BARLA and four minutes from the break Watson completed his hat-trick and the visitors appeared to be in control.
But in injury time in the first half Ukraine cut the lead to six points with a converted try and four minutes into the second half their comeback was complete with their second converted try to level the game up at 16 all.
From the restart though BARLA got the ball back and on 46 minutes second row forward Leon Crellin (Egremont Rangers) bulldozed is way over and Worthington added the extras and BARLA led 22-16.
The Ukraine wouldn’t lie down though and hit back five minutes later with another six pointer to once again level the game up.
Both sides slogged it up the middle but the pressure told on BARLA when Ukraine scored the decisive try on 67 minutes.
BARLA tried to comeback to at least gain equal parity but had two scores dubiously chalked off and the final whistle saw jubilation from the Ukraine side and supporters. For the BARLA Young Lions it was a painful lesson for them to take on their learning curve and future international pathway careers.
Following the end of the tour the BARLA Young Lions Management and Coaching Staff awarded the Player of the Tour to two players Ryan Watson (Kells) and Dougie Foster (Dewsbury Celtic).
BARLA YOUNG LIONS: 1.Tom Worthington (Leigh East), 2.Ben Garner (Barrow Island), 3.Dougie Foster ( Dewsbury Celtic), 4.Ryan Watson (Kells), 5.Ryan Barnes (Egremont Rangers), 6.Tom Rigby (Thatto Heath Crusaders), 7.Joe Higham (Wigan St Patricks), 8.Tom Hall (Elland), 9.Nathan Luckock (Glasson Rangers), 10.Gary Tierney (Glasson Rangers), 11.Ian Curnow (Wath Brow Hornets), 12.Leaon Crelin (Egremont Rangers), 13.Perry Singleton (Barrow Island), 14.Dylan Wilding (Wigan St Judes), 15.Matt Holmes (Walney Central), 16.Tom Ripley (Shaw Cross Sharks), 17.Brad Smith (Kells), 18.Jorge Fairbank (Elland), 19.Arnold Mawere (Eastmoor Dragons), 20.Luke Barrett (Wigan St Judes), 21.Troy Anderson (Shaw Cross Sharks), 22.Casey Johnson (Westgate Redoubt), 23.Connor Johnson (Leigh East).
Tries: Watson 3, Crellin
Goals: Worthington 3
Half Time: 10-16
BARLA Men of the Match: Best Attacker Ryan Watson, Best Defender Perry Singleton
Report Courtesy of Dave Roberts
BARLA Media Manager