Aldwinians 29 - 20 Wigton
There is a tradition that follows these two clubs when they encounter each other.Over the last few seasons the home side has taken the spoils ,and history repeated itself today.
There is a tradition that follows these two clubs when they encounter each other.Over the last few seasons the home
side has taken the spoils ,and history repeated itself as Aldwinians engineered the bonus point victory.
This was an important fixture for the Audenshaw side, to establish some consistency after the fine victory at Keswick last week.From Wigtons kick off , back row Lewis Quinn
collected and drove determinedly back into midfield to set up the ball for the following forwards.Ball won again,and another drive from him put his early mark on the game.With the first exchanges producing solid defensive work it was frustrating that the initial error came from Aldwinians as Wigton passed the ball down the threequarter line.With the game only 6 mins old , a dogleg defence in the home centres opened the space for the Wigton no 13 to breeze through for an unconverted try.
That lead was short lived as the Aldwinians pack earned a line out 30 mtres out,took a short penalty to set up a drive deep into Wigtons 22 area to set up a scrum.Controlling the drive ,space was created at the base for David Tootill
to pick up and feed scrum half Matty Ross
who accelerated through the cover for try converted by fly half James Worrall.At 7-5 up after just 10 mins there was a hint from the play that this could open up into a really entertaining game. That view was backed up a couple of minutes later after a speculative kick from full back Richard Mooney
had the Wigton defence in two minds.The ball was left to bounce ,it angled away from them right into the hand of wing Mitchell Van Zyl
who scorched away to the try line on 12 mins.Worrall made sure of the conversion and the lead increased to 14 -5.
The scoreboard was not tested again until the half hour mark but in between, Wigton came back into the game.Ouinn again made his mark with some good tackles but an increase in the penalty count against Aldwinians frequently pushed them back into their own half .On the half hour a penalty took the visitors to a line out 15m out.From the catch and drive the forwards surged toward the Aldwinians line but they were well contained initially by captain Connor Prendergast
and his forward pack.Further penalties were conceded and inevitably the referee lost patience,sent second row Andrew Ormrod
to the sin bin and at the next drive awarded a Penalty try-reducing the arrears to 14 -12.
Recovering their poise ,the attacking role was reversed in the run in to the break.Showing more focus and commitment there was a more coordinated challenge from Aldwinians,although one man down, as they won lineouts,secured ruck ball and worked it out into midfield.Running the ball right then left the backs searched for gaps in the defence, also using Ouinns and Tootills penetration skills to breach the gain line.A Worrall penalty on 35 mins seemed scant reward for the workload, particularly as it was countered by a Wigton effort shortly after to keep the difference only two points.Then, with the half time whistle looming ,the best move of the match involving forwards and backs released Richard Mooney
at pace to scythe through to the posts to give a relatively more comfortable margin of 24 -15 at the break.
With 39 points scored in the first half,the spectators were eager to see more of the same in the second period.The way Aldwinians set off ,that seemed likely.The backs were in full flow switching play left and right with solid injections of forward drives from Tootill ,Quinn and ,James Summerscales
.Added to that ,the first two scrums of the half saw Wigton driven back at a rate of knots and concede a penalty.To take full advantage the next play was to drive again ,and this time the try line was crossed with David Tootill
on hand to touch the ball down in the 50th min ,extending the margin to 29-15 and earning the try bonus point.
The restart enabled Wigton to enter the home part of the field for the first time in the half.Aldwinians defended well to protect their lead to edge play up to half way, but Wigton responded,determined to get back into the game.Their cause was assisted with the second Yelllow card penalty for Aldwinians with centre Jamie Henderson
going to the Bin on 63 mins.Their reward came minutes later with a third try taking advantage of the extra space, but the missed conversion just kept them at arms length at 29-20,as the game moved into its final phase.Once again a stern test for Aldwinians resolve at the latter end of a game-they are getting plenty of practice!Having survived the remaining 6 mins of Henderson’s absence at no cost,the referee became upset with Aldwinians application of the laws and there was a sequence of penalties given away that kept Wigton going forward and living in hope of getting something out of the game. The defence held its nerve,and though the points tally had dried up , it was an absorbing encounter, that will stand both teams in good stead for the seasons battles ahead.