Shotton Steel 85 Bangor 0

by Mark Higgins

SHOTTON Steel returned to the top of Division Three North after a comprehensive home win over Bangor.

Despite their 100% league record Steel found themselves second in the league with Rhosllanerchrugog out in front, having played two games more.

But Steel's bonus point win at Rowley's Drive couple with Llangollen's defeat of Rhos meant it was all change at the top.

It was clear from the outset the weather would have a major part to play with a strong wind present throughout the match.

For a second week running Steel would be faced with uncontested scrums as the visitor's we unable to field a recognised front row.

As expected with the conditions the game was punctuated by errors early on with the visitors enjoying some early territory.

Steel were soon able to find their feet however and it was South African Number Eight Darren Leach who crossed for the first score of the game in his maiden start for the first after impressing with the seconds.

Steel's lineout was working well and soon after gave the backs clean ball for John Ketland to cross.

Centre partnership of Daniel Lynskey and Louis McDonnell were proving a handful with both notching five pointers in the first period.

Hooker Stu Harris also got his name on the scoreboard after running a great line in support of fly half Steve Ellson.

Karl Rusowicz, filling in at full back while Dicky Grace recovers from a broken arm, always looked dangerous and was able to pick his lines well and utilise his blistering pace to grab a brace.

Bangor were not without their high points, especially in the second period. They will have been disappointed not to come away with a score after a sustained attack on the Shotton line with only some strong, resolute home defence keeping them out.

In all Steel managed 13 tries including a hat trick from McDonnell. Other scores included Rusovicz, Daniel Lynskey, Adam Lynskey, Leach, Harris, Ellson, Ketland, and club captain Mark Higgins on his return from injury.

Steel now face a massive test in the Swalec Bowl next weekend when they face a trip to Dolgellau - the leader in Division Two.

Mark Higgins said: "We had some tough conditions to deal with today and having uncontested scrums isn't ideal for either side but I thought we adapted pretty well and put in a decent performance. I thought the lineout went well despite the conditions which is good to see because the set piece is going to be crucial next week. Returning to the top of the league is obviously nice but there is still a long way to go as we still have some very big games left to play."


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