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Honor James


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An end of an era at County Open Age rugby took place as Yorkshire fell short of a perfect ten from ten victories over Lancashire as they were comprehensively beaten by a clinical Lancashire side who hit the ‘White Rose’ with an eight try salvo against half that number by the visitors who had battled back to 16-10 just before the break. Two Lancashire tries early in the second half made sure there was to be no ‘Fergie Time’ comeback like last year and they underlined the win with a brace of tries in the final seven minutes.

For Lancashire Head Coach Martin Crompton it was a fantastic debut for him in charge of the side in a Tri Series as he downed the Yorkshire colours and it wasn’t the start of the Tri Series career that Head Coach Gordon Long wanted for the visitors.

In a great team display Lancashire’s forwards were rampant in defencer and go forward to cement the work for the backs and man of the match Anthony Bate (Thatto Heath Crusaders) just edged his second row partner Sean Foster (Wigan St Cuthberts) who showed both his international and county experience on the day. Half backs Ryan Smith (Wigan St Patricks) and Danny Lynch (Pilkington Recs) worked well together prompting their backs and forwards and always looked dangerous in hand or with the boot.

Yorkshire who had to make positional changes during the game were well served in the forwards by Zak Johnson (Westgate Wolves), Darren Bumby (Hull Dockers), Tom Radley (West Hull), Scott Mountain (Skirlaugh) and halfbacks Stuart Smith (Skirlaugh) and Carl Puckering (East Hull) who kicked their side downfield especially in the first half and Danny Rouse (Castleford Lock Lane) who put in a big contribution in a beaten side on the day.

Lancashire got off to a great start after two minutes following long kick downfield on the last, Yorkshire couldn’t collect the ball, Nathan Jones chased it pick up the loose ball to score and Shaun Quinn (Thatto Heath Crusaders) added the extras.

Yorkshire though began to dominate with the pack making great drives and busts and Lancashire had to defend their line and kick from the drop out. The defence then held James Delaney (Dewsbury Moor) on his back over the tryline.

Then on the back of penalties Lancashire doubled their lead perhaps against run of play on 15 minutes. From the play the ball Smith found Bate who drove for the line, he appeared to be wrapped up but got an offload out to Foster to drive and stretch over.

Yorkshire though continued to take the game to the home with a Puckering ingoal grubber forcing another drop out and the pressure paid off ten minutes later when Jamie Fields (Hunslet Old Boys) drove forward, he offloaded to Puckering who passed out to Smith who cut through the defence to score out wide to cut the lead to eight points.

Six minutes later Lancashire regained their buffer on the last tackle on the short side, from the play the ball Andy Higham (Wigan St Patricks) took the pass to burrow over in the corner. Lancashire began taking the game to Yorkshire but was undone on 37 minutes when Puckering intercepted on his own 30 metre line. He sped downfield pursued by Ryan Rogers (Pilkington Recs) who appeared to have him covered ten metres out. Puckering stopped Rogers overran lost his balance and Puckering continued his run to score in the corner and for good measure added the extras with a brilliant touchline conversion. The next score was vital and the home scored in the opening on the back of a blistering 30 metre downfield drive from Foster. On the last tackle Rogers put in a banana kick which went under the sticks and Lynch swooped in acrobatically to score another six pointer to restore the twelve point advantage.

On 48 minutes Tom Richardson (West Hull) had a try disallowed and three minutes later it was 26-10 when Lynch, Martin Packingham (Ince Rose Bridge), Quinn,and Higham combined superb handling to put Paul Hersnip (Hindley) in at the corner. It looked game over but the visitors hit back seven minutes later with a fine individual effort from Smith who jinked up the touchline to score in the corner.

The sides then swapped tries firstly when Matthew Holding (Thatto Heath Crusaders) after Bate had superbly sliced through the Yorkshire defence on 65 minutes and four minutes later when Rouse put Kieron Murphy (Hunslet Old Boys) over after Tom Moorby (Drighlington) had acted as a foil for the try. There was still twelve points in it but Lancashire made sure of the win with two tries in two minutes. There looked little on from the play the ball to Smith but he saw some light and jinked fleet footedly through a tired defence for an individual effort on &3 minutes and on their next attack Holding scored his second from the play the ball on the short side and Quinn kicked both conversions for a famous win to get the Yorkshire monkey off their backs.

LANCASHIRE ARL: 1. Shaun Quinn (Thatto Heath Crusaders), 2. Nathan Jones (Wigan St Judes), 3. Paul Hersnip (Hindley), 4. Matthew Holding (Thatto Heath Crusaders), 5. Andy Higham (Wigan St Patricks), 6. Ryan Smith (Wigan St Patricks), Danny Lynch (Pilkington Recs), 8. Elliot Davies (Wigan St Patricks), 9. Matthew Meaden (Ince Rose Bridge), 10. Steve Marsh (Blackbrook), 11. Anthony Bates (Thatto Heath Crusaders), 12. Sean Foster (Wigan St Cuthberts), 13. Luke Bradshaw (Thatto Heath Crusaders), Subs: 14. Martin Packingham (Ince Rose Bridge), 15. Ryan Rogers (Pilkington Recs), 16. Stephen Sutcliffe (Hindley), 17. Tom Owen (Wigan St Judes).

Tries: Jones 2, Foster 12, Higham 31, Lynch 41, Hersnip 51,Holding 65, 75, Murphy 75

Goals: Quinn 4/8

YORKSHIRE ARL: 1. Jack Ridsdill (West Hull), 2. Mike Johnson (Skirlaugh), 3.Keiron Murphy (Hunslet Old Boys, 4.Adam Sellars (York Acorn), 5.Tom Moorby (Driglington), 6. Carl Puckering (East Hull), 7. Stuart Smith (Skirlaugh), 8. Zak Johnson (Westgate Warriors), 9 James Delaney (Dewsbury Moor), 10. Darren Bumby (Hull Dockers), 11. Tom Radley (West Hull), 12 Jon Eccles (Hull Dockers), 13. Scott Mountain (Skirlaugh). Subs: 14. Danny Rowse (Castleford Lock Lane), 15. Tom Richardson (West Hull), 16. Chris Bingham (Sharlston Rovers , 17. Jamie Fields (Hunslet Old Boys).

Tries: Smith 25, 58, Puckering 37, Murphy 69,

Goals: Puckering 1/4

Half Time: 16-10

Man of the Match: Anthony Bate (Lancashire)



Lancashire got their campaign to win their sixth successive championship off to a great start with a superb nine try performance against a gallant Yorkshire side that led 6-0 and were in control of the game in the opening fifteen minutes. Lancashire stormed back with a trio of in the last eleven minutes of the half giving them a 20-6 lead. A similar treble in four minutes periods late in the game made it Lancashire’s biggest ever win in the competition and Yorkshire’s heaviest ever loss at this age group.

Lancashire were outstanding from one to seventeen and there were many contenders for the man of the match but that honour went to Tom Whittle (Wigan St Judes) who tore Yorkshire to pieces with his thundering drives at and through the visitors defence. He was ably assisted by club half backs Jack Jones and Tom Rigby (Thatto Heath Crusaders) with the former chipping in with 16 pts, and a number of try assists as the latter. For Yorkshire their pack battled hard with Jorge Fairbank (Elland) and Ryan Kelsey (Normanton Knights) to the fore and promptings from their half backs Mason Bailey (Thornhill Trojans), Tom Halloran (Dewsbury Celtic) Jamie Hodgkinson (West Hull) and Callum Lane (West Hull).

Yorkshire had the best of the opening exchanges on the back of several penalties and Lancashire’s line defence was superb and Jacob Parker (West Hull) overran a pass from club mate Dan Cure with the line beckoning after the home side had lost the ball on their own 30 metre line.

The pressure told though on 14 minutes after a penalty when on the fourth tackle Fairbank took a Halloran drop off pass to go over from close range and Halloran added the extras.

Lancashire replied though four minutes later following a penalty, on the last tackle Jones found Rigby who put a crossfield bomb into the corner which was superbly taken by Dylan Wilding (Wigan St Judes) to score the first of his brace.

Lancashire took control and began turning the screw, Danny Carney (Thatto Heath Crusaders) stepping into touch after a flowing move metres from the line and then forcing a Yorkshire drop out minutes later. The pressure told on 29 minutes when Lancashire took the lead, which they were not to lose for the rest of the game. On the fourth tackle after back to back penalties Jones found Ben Roberts (Thatto Heath Crusaders) and club mate Jordan Houghton took his pass and stretched his arm out to score, Jones kicking the first of his six goals. Lancashire were in the driving seat and added two tries in the last five minutes of the half. On 35 minutes Leon Tatlock’s (Thatto Heath Crusaders) cut out pass found Wilding for his second after good work from Jones and Roberts. Then from the play the ball Nicky Ratcliffe (Leigh East) scooted away found Whittle who bulldozed 30 metres before returning the pass to Ratcliffe to go under the sticks for a six pointer.

A Jones bomb forced a Yorkshire drop out but they regained possession after a short kick, they went downfield and Ged Goddard (Eastmoor Dragons) had a try in the corner chalked off. Their frustration saw them give a penalty away and Lancashire increased their lead as a result on 45 minutes. On the fourth tackle Jones inside pass found Roberts and he drove through several Yorkshire players to score another six pointer for a 26-6 lead.

The ‘Red Rose’ continued to press forcing another drop out and had a try disallowed for a double movement before increasing their lead on 52 minutes when Rigby and Jones combined for Houghton’s brace. Lancashire knocked on from the restart and following a penalty Yorkshire registered their final points three minutes later. When Lane found Troy Anderson (Driglington) to score in the corner.

After quickfire penalties against Lancashire the whistle blower ran out of patience and sinbinned the home sides Luke Barrett (Wigan St Judes) for a professional foul. They held out with some great defence during that periods and even bomb a further score. Seconds prior to the player returning they scored Jones and Houghton found Carney with the line beckoning, he unselfishly passed inside to Jones who scored and added the extras.

From the restart Ratcliffe made a superb break down the middle and as tackled offloaded to Jack Breheny (Wigan St Judes) to score on seventy minutes and two minutes later a superb move saw them score their final try. From a scrum Jones on their 30 metre line he kicked downfield with the Yorkshire defence up in the line and Matthew Gee (Orrell St James) won the foot race over Jones to score by the posts for a final six pointer.

LANCASHIRE ARL UNDER 19’S: 1. Ben Roberts (Thatto Heath Crusaders), 2. Danny Carney (Thatto Heath Crusaders), 3. Jordan Houghton (Thatto Heath Crusaders), 4. Mathew Gee (Orrell St James), 5. Dylan Wilding (Wigan St Judes), Jack Jones (Thatto Heath Crusaders), 7. Tom Rigby (Thatto Heath Crusaders), 8. Luke Barrett (Wigan St Judes), 9. Sean Kenny (Thatto Heath Crusaders), 10. Jack Breheny (Wigan St Judes), 11. Jack Connor (Saddleworth Rangers), 12. Leon Tatlock (Thatto Heath Crusaders), 13. Tom Whittle (Wigan St Judes). Subs: Nicky Ratcliffe (Leigh East), 15. Brad Hargreaves (Leigh East), 16. James Marsh (Thatto Heath Crusaders), 17. Tom Fletcher (Leigh East).

Tries: Wilding 18, 35, Houghton 29, 52, Ratcliffe 39, Roberts 45, Jones 68, Breheny 70, Gee 72,

Goals: Jones 6/9

YORKSHIRE ARL UNDER 19’S: Jamie Hodgkinson (West Hull), 2. Ged Goddard (Eastmoor Dragons), 3. Declan Tomlinson (East Leeds), 4. Dan Cure (West Hull), 5. Jacob Parker (West Hull), 7. Mason Bailey (Thornhill Trojans), 7. Tom Halloran (Dewsbury Celtic), 8. Ryan Kelsey (Normanton Knights), 9. Billy Grimmer (Skirlaugh), 10. Jorge Fairbank (Elland), 11. Troy Anderson (Driglington), 12. Travis Jones (Skirlaugh), 13. Matt Faulkner (Holderness Vikings). Subs: 14. Adam Guthrie (West Hull), 15. Tom Hall (Elland), 16. Callum Lane (West Hull), 17. Ged Carter (Skirlaugh).

Tries: Fairbank 14, Jones 55,

Goals: Halloran 1/2

Half Time: 20-6

Man of the Match: Tom Whittle (Lancashire)

Steve Manning

BARLA Media Manager

Edited by Honor James

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