Having played just one game in the last six weeks, a little rustiness was perhaps only to be expected as the Panthers prepared to do battle with the green and golds from Golborne. Parkside have been filling their free dates recently with friendlies against some of the top sides in the age group and an impressive run of results had not gone unnoticed.
On a difficult surface, today`s game was never going to be won with style or finesse and with neither side being able to take control, a forward battle up the middle looked to be the order of the day.
With neither pack prepared to take a backward step, this certainly wasn`t a game for the faint-hearted and a combination of huge collisions and slippery ball ensured the handling error count was quite high during the opening stanza.
Golborne have assembled a fine mix of power and pace in their team with some very dangerous strike players, but it was Chorley that drew first blood. After gaining a valuable repeat set near the Golborne line, the ball was shipped left to Hayden Baah
who showed great composure to give the visitors the edge going into half time. Parkside 0 – 4 Panthers.
An accidental offside call at the start of the second period allowed Golborne the chance to cross between the stick`s and with the extra`s tagged on the host`s had a narrow lead of 6 points to 4.
The Parkside line continued to hold firm despite some very determined carries from forwards Ben Evans
, Jack Jolly, Bobby Green
and George Minton
The Panthers were able to match the defensive display from Golborne however, with Owen Farnworth
, Jack Thompson
, Ciaran Johnson
and Jordan “Terminator” Eccles all producing try saving tackles meaning points for either side would be few and far between.
Golborne finally managed to breach the Panthers line again for a well deserved try out wide to extend the lead to Parkside 10 – 4 Panthers.
“Success in the affairs of life often serves to hide one`s abilities, whereas adversity frequently give`s one an opportunity to discover them.”
When two very evenly matched sides come together and every player on those two sides gives 100% commitment to the cause, then common sense say`s their isn`t going to be very much between them when the final whistle blows.
Another huge up-field drive from the Chorley pack took the attack deep into Golborne territory allowing George Minton
to step in at dummy half. The second row is very often where you will find the unsung hero`s on a rugby league field. It is also where you will often find the hardest grafters and anyone that has followed closely what George Minton
does week in, week out will be well aware of the damage that he can inflict on the opposition both in attack and in defence. With several would be tacklers trying to hold him out, Minton stretched out a telescopic arm and securely grounded the ball over the line to claw the score back to 10 – 8. Scrum half Ciaran Johnson
soaked up the pressure and calmly stepped forward to level the scores and to earn Chorley another valuable point in the race for the title. Golborne Parkside 10 - 10 Chorley Panthers.
Panthers unbeaten run was seriously tested today and yet remains intact. Credit should go to the two teams for the RESPECT on show during the hand shakes and back slapping at the end following some brutal exchanges during the match. After 100 minutes of intense rugby between these lads this season, they are separated by just 2 points…says it all really. Well done boys!