Manor Park 44 Crosby St Mary's 14
A largely changed Crosby side, featuring no fewer than 11 changes found gave a spirited performance in diffucult circumstances.
Crosby St Mary's travelled to Oldham to face a strong Manor Park side in the blistering heat. The line up featured no fewer than 11 debutants in a vastly changed side. And with regular captain Tinsley out injured, Jay Corder led his side to a spirited perfomance.
Crosby found it hard to get into the game with many of the players having never played together previously, and Manor Park took advantage of this to race into a 28-0 lead with 5 tries in the first half hour of the match.
Crosby eventually started to find some rhythm and forced a repeat set on Manor Park's line. This pressure told when John Baybut was able to release Kevin Granelli through a gap to score under the posts.
Manor Park were able to swing the momentum back in their direction with a try on the stroke of half time to make the half time scoreline 34-4.
The second half bought about a few tactical changes with Garrath Bell switching to Hooker and John Baybut moving into Scrum Half. Also debutant Ben Pepper took to a rugby field for the first time on the wing.
The tactical changes were starting to take effect as Crosby were making good ground and winning the territorial battle thanks to solid running from the likes of Mike Shaw, Mick McCarthy and Billy Murphy.
However, against the run of play Manor Park were able to score an intercept try and race the full length of the field and score. This try seemed to galvanise the Crosby outfit and a break from Mike Barlow took Crosby to the Manor Park line. The next play allowed John Baybut to play in Nick Hayes with a fantastic inside pass for Crosby's second try, converted by Aaron Smith.
Crosby weren't letting up on the opposition, with a ferocious tackle from Jay Corder knocking the ball loose. The next set released Tom Corder who was caught just short of the line, but a quick play the ball allowed John Baybut to release the onrushing Garrath Bell to knock back the tackler and charge over the line.
Crosby were pressuring the Manor Park line further but a set play by Manor Park from their own half released there winger to score a try in the last 2 minutes.
Captain Jay Corder was proud of his sides never say die attitude to come back in the second half and show some positive signs for the future in their debut season.
Man of the Match Billy Murphy
Tries: Granelli, Hayes, Bell
Goals: Smith (1/3)
Line up: J Corder (c), T Corder, Robinson, M Barlow, Hughes, K Granelli, A Smith, Murphy, Baybut, S Barlow, McCarthy, Hayes, Bell
Replacements (all used): Pepper, Davies, Shaw, Campbell