The storm clouds of the last week abated to allow this local derby to be staged. Following a week of heavy and continuous rain this game looked in jeopardy, so it was great to see the lads up early and keen to get on and play some rugby.
Panthers kicked off and applied some early pressure on St. Pats but even in these early exchanges it was clear that Wigan were going to be a difficult team to breakdown. However, Panthers continued to work hard in the pack and once Nathan Groom
had a sniff of the line nothing was going to stop him as he barged his way over for the first try of the game. Unfortunately the lead wasn’t going to last for long as St. Pats demonstrated good attacking play and on several occasions were able to create good overlaps from which they went onto score two quick tries and take the lead 6-12. This was going to be hard game for Panthers but they battled back into it and with possession in St. Pats half Joe Lowe
kicked on the fifth for Wills to collect for the try. Panthers battled to contain St. Pats and avoid conceding more points before half time but again to no avail as St. Pats again created an overlap by keeping the ball alive and touched down in the corner to regain the lead. This time it was Panthers turn to create and when the opportunity arose Samson was on hand following up on a perfectly weighted grubber from Joe Lowe
that confounded the Wigan defence to equalise the scores just before halftime.
Despite St. Pats first half domination Panthers were confident at half-time that would some re-organisation they could improve on their first half performance. Unfortunately, that was not to be with St. Pats running in four tries in the second half before Panthers could respond. Finally, Joe Lowe
worked his magic and went over for the final score of the game. The final score was 22-38 with Wigan St. Pats taking the spoils. Full credit to Panthers commitment, they continued to work hard throughout this game and were unlucky in a number of areas. However, with a pack that must be the envy of many a northwest counties team, good handling and strong determination this is still a team to be reckoned with.
Today’s awards went to Samson for best effort, James Fairhurst
for top tackler and Nathan Groom
deservedly got man of the match.