2 weeks ago
By Paul I'Anson
A 4 try second half comeback earns Acklam a thrilling draw
After failing to take chances in the first half and falling behind to a determined Horden side Acklam came back strongly after the break to earn a thrilling draw.
In the early stages opportunities to score came and went for the home team. First young winger Jacob Robinson appeared to be clear but a poor pass caused him to stumble and the Horden defence was able to snuff out the danger. Then a line out peel from prop Paul Owens created an overlap which Acklam failed to use.
After 20 minutes Robinson took a Horden kick and his great run resulted in Acklam having what looked like a clear run to the line, only for play to be stopped for a Horden player to be penalised and sinbinned for foul play.
However, the play was far from one sided and when the deadlock was broken it was the visitors who did it - from an Acklam scrum just outside their 22 Horden cleverly stole the ball to run through and score under the posts, with an easy conversion giving them a 7 nil lead. Stung by this Acklam went back on the attack and Horden were penalised deep in their territory, giving Acklam centre Marcus Sudron the opportunity to kick the penalty.
However, Horden then stunned Acklam again after the home side knocked on from the restart. From the scrum Horden's outside centre sliced through some poor midfield defence to score their second try, again converted to give the visitors a 14 - 3 lead at the break. They had just been more clinical in taking their chances.
Acklam started the second half determined to get back in the game. After they gained possession the ball went out wide to Robinson and he made another great run to score behind the posts. The conversion pulled the score back to 10-14.However, more mistakes from the restart gave Horden a scrum then a penalty in quick succession and they took advantage. They kicked for the corner, then a line out drive and peel gave their big number 8 the opportunity to go through a couple of tackles to score. A good conversion took Horden's lead back to 11 points and they stretched it to 14 a few minutes later when after an excellent run by their full back Acklam were penalised in front of their posts and the visitors kicked the penalty.
Acklam brought replacement Chris Walker on in the backline and started to play some lovely rugby in the last quarter. Stand off Danny Ashton made a break before passing inside for Walker to find full back Brad Gater up in support on his shoulder to run in a lovely try. Acklam ran again - another super run by Robinson was carried on by Ashton and Walker with the ball eventually going out wide to second row Paddy O'Brien who threw a little dummy before cutting inside to finish off another great team try.
However, Horden hadn't finished either - after a good kick to touch near Acklam's line one of their big forwards stole the ball at the front of the line out and crashed over in the corner for their bonus point try. The conversion attempt fell short so Horden led 22 -29 with just over five minutes to play.
With the tension mounting Horden kicked downfield but Acklam launched a great counter attack, fittingly finished off by man of the match Robinson, who had the presence of mind to beat another defender behind the line to enable him to dot the ball down between the posts and make the conversion a formality. Although now level at 29-29 Acklam felt they still had time to get the winning score - Ashton ran and regathered his own grubber kick, but his pass was intercepted then knocked on by a desperate Horden defender, then the full time whistle went. A draw was probably a fair result, with both sides earning 3 points - 2 for the draw and one for scoring 4 tries - in what developed into a very entertaining game.
Updated 10:56 - 15 Jan 2019 by Mark Collins