Saddleworth Rangers vs Waterhead
On a bright, sunny morning the two teams kicked off with Saddleworth on the defence. Unfortunately the entire team appeared to still be asleep as Waterhead scored almost immediately; running straight through the Rangers defence. The first Saddleworth attack ended after the second runner knocked on and then Waterhead ran round the Rangers defence to score again.
The players seemed to wake up then and the next attack from Rangers saw a good run from Ross Heald set up Thomas Whitehead to score. Rangers then defended the next attack from Waterhead with brilliant tackles from Max Arden, Tommy Jackson and Dylan Lomax forcing a mistake from Waterhead's players and forcing them to hand possession back to Rangers.
A brilliant run from Sam Watson and some excellent interchages of passes between Ben Holmes, Max Arden, Thomas Whitehead and Charley Mayers set up Dylan Lomax to bring the scores level. Unfortunately, despite a brilliant tackle from Ellis Barnes and further tackles from Ross Heald and Dylan Lomax, Waterhead scored on their next attack to regain the lead.
The scores were brought level again on the next Saddleworth attack with an excellent run from Charley Mayers followed by Ross Heald and Sam Watson before a brilliant pass from Ben Holmes set Thomas Whitehead free to score his second. Again despite a great tackle from Rory Lloyd and further tackles from Ellis Barnes, Tommy Jackson, Ross Heald and Thomas Whitehead, Waterhead were able to find a way through to regain their lead.
Saddleworth's next attack came to nothing and Waterhead looked to be making good progress for another try when Sam Watson brilliantly intercepted a pass to regain possession for Rangers. Thomas Whitehead then ran in an excellent solo try to again bring the scores level. Waterhead then replied with a solo try of their own to negate this effort. Rangers' final attack of the half came to nothing and the teams broke for half time with the score at 4-5
The second half started brightly for Rangers with Sam Watson making one of his strong runs through the Waterhead defence, Rory Lloyd then made a brilliant run and came very close to scoring before Tommy Jackson again brought the scores level. Two tackles from Sam Watson were followed by two brilliant tackles from Ellis Barnes then Max Arden to hold off Waterhead's next attack.
Saddleworth looked to pull ahead with their next attack but the best efforts of Tommy Jackson, Dylan Lomax, Ellis Barnes, Thomas Whitehead and Charley Mayers were not enough to breach the Waterhead defence this time. Waterhead then ran straight through Rangers' defence and scored again.
Saddleworth again replied to bring the scores level; Ben Holmes scoring brilliantly after set up play from Callum Wiezniak, Rory Lloyd, Dylan Lomax and Thomas Whitehead who himself came within inches of scoring. Unfortunately Waterhead again ran straight through Rangers' defence to score with another solo effort.
Rangers' attack from the restart came to nothing and Waterhead pulled ahead with the following attack despite excellent tackles from Ellis Barnes, Ross Heald and Sam Watson. Thomas Whitehead scored again for Rangers on the next attack after Max Arden, Callum Wiezniak and Ross Heald made good progress up the field.
Waterhead again scored to regain their advantage and Saddleworth's next attack ended with Tommy Jackson coming within inches of scoring after being set up by runs from Rory Lloyd, Ben Holmes Max Arden and Ellis Barnes.
Ben Holmes looked to be holding off Waterhead with two brilliant tackles but despite another tackle from Sam Watson, Waterhead ran the ball home to pull three tries ahead.
The match finished with Tommy Jackson and Dylan Lomax both making brilliant runs to set up Sam Watson to power through Waterhead's defence and score for Rangers. This was followed by Waterhead's last attack which, despite tackles from Rory Lloyd, Thomas Whitehead, Sam Watson and Charley Mayers, saw them score again to end the match with the result at Rangers: 8 - Waterhead: 11.
Some excellent play both in attack and defending, should have resulted in a much closer scoreline if not a victory for Rangers had the players been awake and played from the start instead of gifting Waterhead a two point advantage.
Man Of the Match: Thomas Whitehead
Parent's Award: Tommy Jackson
Most Improved: Sam Watson
Top Tackler: Ross Heald