Last season, each team won their home game by a close margin, so a close contest was expected today and what a match it was.
Pilks were behind within 2 minutes when the kick-off was fumbled under their own posts. Crosfields scored from the resultant scrum and went further ahead 5 minutes later with a fabulous try that went through numerous pairs of hands and Pilks found themselves 10-0 down before they had settled into the match. The early exchanges found Pilks scrappy and understandably rusty given this was the first match for 3 months, and what was needed was a period of controlling the ball to give Themselves a chance to get back into the game. And get back they did in typical style.
On 15 mins, a play the ball 40m out in a central position, saw Jacob Cummings
hit a long pass to Sam Heaton
, who put a peach of a ball to Adam Woosey who stepped inside, evaded 3 tacklers and raced under the posts. Cummings converted and within 2 minutes was unsuccessful with another conversion as Joe Hide raced over in the corner after more entertaining lead up work.
Right on half time, another period of Crosfields pressure saw them regain the lead with weight of numbers seeing them take a 16-10 half time lead.
The early moments off the 2nd half saw Pilks stamping their authority on the game. Some fine darts from Heaton, Cummings and Hide, together with a couple of outstanding charges from Tom Wadsworth
and Louis Heyes
put Pilks in control and a Cummings bomb on the last tackle saw indecision in the home team defence who allowed the ball to bounce, and watch in land in Woosey’s hands without checking stride. He went over under the posts and Cummings goaled to lock the game up at 16-16.
It was then Crosfields turn to get back into the match, and their forwards made some good ground to give them some good field position. Pressure was telling and a couple of handling errors gave the home side a scrum 10m out and a period on the Pilks line. His pressure told and a converted try put the Warrington side ahead 22-16 with just 5 minutes left.
But this Pilks team never knows when its beaten, and as so often last season the roared back at the opposition to turn the game.
From the resultant kick-off, Cummings floated a short kick which for the second time in the match was allowed to bounce and Woosey gathered in full flow. He then went on an incredible mazing run, beating 6 defenders on his way to the line to bring Pilks back to within 2 points. It appeared at this stage that the kick could decide the result, and from not the easiest of positions, Cummings hit the bar. 22-20 to Crosfields, with just 3 mins to go.
Pilks roared back at the opposition from the kick off and a combination of good handling and strong running took them to within yards of the Crosfields’ line. A turnover gave the ball back to the hooe side, but some determined defence forced a knock on, 10m out and 10m in from the right touchline. Luke Taylor
picked up at Loose Forward and went blind side, stepped inside and took 4 defenders over the line. It seemed an age before the referee pointed for the try to cue wild scenes for the lads on the pitch and parents alike. There was not enough time for a Crosfields fightback.
Character and determination had shone through for a fine win to start the season. Well led by Sam Heaton
, supported by Jacob Cummings
and Luke Taylor
, the play the ball marshalled by Aidan Hull
, with some strong running by Scott Atherton
, Tom Wadsworth
, exceptional flair from Joe Hide, Adam Woosey and Matty Doyle, and some excellent defence from John Bogg
and the outstanding Jerome Thompson.