Culcheth Eagles arrived looking like a much different outfit than the one that we faced last September. They were more organised, better defensively and clearly they've worked hard on their game over the past 6-7 months but this morning they came up against a hungry, determined Hindley outfit.
The opening exchanges were in favour of the visitors as Hindley had to withstand repeat sets in their own half of the field but when Hindley turned the ball over they showed their strength as well as great skills to make good yards that laid the platform for the first try.
Hindley swept the ball out wide and Scott Aspey
outpaced the Eagles defence to go in at the corner on the left side. The conversion was unsuccessful (as were all attempts today, despite some efforts going very
Aspey's try was quickly followed by a barnstorming effort by Danny Carroll
who shrugged off numerous defenders on his way to the line and it was clear that Hindley were really in the mood.
Another great flowing move soon saw Josh Whittle
showing a clean pair of heels (not literally, of course...it was a mudbath out there today!) and again the try was scored down the left.
almost extended the lead with a long range effort that saw him run 40 yards to the right hand corner but was adjudged to have lost control as he went over the line for what would have been a great try.
As the half was drawing to a close, Aspey went in for his second try. Reminiscent of Billy Boston (ask your Grandparents, lads!) he flew down the right hand side and even had time to go under the posts had he not decided to slide through the mud, much to his Dad's disgust!
HT Hindley 16 Culcheth Eagles 0
The half time team talk centred around the need to put Culcheth under pressure when they had the ball and the line speed was crucial to this...and boy, did they respond!
The urgency in defence went up several notches and the Culcheth team struggled to make any inroads at all.
Hindley's attack were able to expose tired players and Carroll showed his strength yet again when he barged through the middle for his second try.
Connor Davies-Aspey got in on the act with a great solo try, selling the Eagles an outrageous dummy before going over.
The try of the game came last. Hindley's forwards (who were all fantastic today) made the hard yards and on the fourth play Carroll made a break and could have been excused had he gone alone but he chose to offload to the supporting Harry McRoberts
who held off two or three of the Eagles defenders before crashing over to complete a great team move.
The highlight of the game came in the final few moments as Hindley were brutal in defence and forced Culcheth into touch twice (although once they were harshly penalised as the official had called 'held') and also the visitors made a few handling errors due to the sheer pressure they were put under.
FT Hindley 28 Culcheth Eagles 0
Great display of flowing rugby this morning in less than ideal conditions...WELL DONE TO ALL 14 HINDLEY PLAYERS
Man of the Match
- David Bullough
(his best performance in a Black & Gold shirt)
- Scott Aspey
(two brilliant try-saving tackles to keep the opposition scoreless)
- Reece Cassidy
and Connor Davies-Aspey (directed play superbly all day, very unselfish with the ball)