“I'm so proud of the lads today, Askam were 4 places above us and we know we're always in for a tough game against them, but we contained them and found gaps against their tired defence. Everyone played well but a special mention to debutante Luke Walker ”
Ian Boden - Head Coach
Debut centre Luke Walker was the standout performer in a superb team performance at the Webb Security Rec as Crosfields punished a very good Askam team who came in to the game four places higher.
A try and some defence splitting runs and offloads were the highlights for Walker, with other notable contributions coming from Jack Reid who controlled the game from standoff and full back John Whittaker who got his second consecutive hat trick.
Askam arrived early from their long trip south to ensure any travel fatigue wasn't to factor in their performance, and they came out of the blocks fast looking the well drilled and well prepared side their league position shows. It was the home team who broke the deadlock first though as new signing Luke Walker burst through the line and found the ever willing support of Hayden James to race in under the sticks from 40 yards after 6 minutes.
Askam were on the back foot and a handling error forced a scrum 40 metres from the Askam line. Swift hands out of the back of that scrum allowed Walker to step, fend and cross in the corner to extend the lead to 10 points after 10 minutes. Reid adding an excellent touchline conversion.
Askam clicked in to gear and had a strong ten minute spell resulting in a try and a near miss. First on 14 minutes full back Russ Bolton punched through a hole off a short ball to score and on 25 minutes a last gasp intervention from Billy Sheen prevented the visitors levelling.
That was to be as good as it got for Askam in the 1st half as the momentum swung back the way of the home team. The introduction of Matty Barber from the bench provided some dynamic go forward and put the Soap firmly on the front foot. It was a typical Barber burst that gained Soap good field position with his team mates following suite and sweeping upfield. A final pass to Sheen, who strolled over unopposed was ruled forward to halt this momentum, but Soap came back to finish the half in the clear ascendency.
Two tries before the half time whistle put daylight between the sides on the scoreboard as first Jack Reid dummied his way through before finding Tom Millington to crash over followed by a towering bomb from Sheen just before half time which bounced kindly for Whittaker to pounce for his first of the afternoon. HT 24-6 to the Soap with Reid converting all 4 tries.
Crosfields came out in the second half determined not to let the good work of the first go to waste. They pummeled the visitor's defensive line but couldn't quite get the breakthrough they were looking for. It was the Cumbrians who managed to, as a couple of knock ons and a penalty for a swinging arm gave Askam much needed field position to execute a set move and open the second half scoring on 49 minutes. Sam Broadley finishing off a nice move for a converted try to reduce the gap.
The visitors couldn't capitalise though and struggled to contain a rampant Crosfields side who seemed to be able to lift a gear and kick on. Tries at regular intervals were to follow as Askam never troubled the scorers again.
5 minutes after conceding the Soap marched downfield and spread the ball wide for Whittaker to break the line before feeding Nathan Taylor who dived over in the corner to score. Tom Brown was next to punish the tiring defence as a barnstorming run and offload to Whittaker 10 metres out extended the lead to 34-12 on 66 minutes.
The Soap were on a roll now as the game drew to a close playing free flowing exciting rugby that was a joy to watch. Strong running and excellent handling showed that this side have the ability to push hard for a promotion spot this year as Kane Ditchfield was the next to break through and again feed the excellent Whittaker for his hat trick try converted by Reid.
The best try of the game was saved until the last as another Luke Walker break and clever round the player offload to Bailey Hartley saw Billy Sheen spectacularly finish in the corner to round off a thoroughly dominant performance against one of the division's top sides.
Walker was given man of the match but coach Ian Boden gave special mention to Dan Reid who worked tirelessly all afternoon from the wing, helping the forwards out on countless occasions.
Soap are at home again next week as Saddleworth are the visitors coming off the back of an impressive win against a strong Dewsbury Moor side k.o.2:30pm
Updated 15:38 - 21 Jun 2018 by Kate Hall