LSH 43 - MGM 10
Misfiring Machine in muddy mishap.
For audio match report click here.
Shorn of their talismanic leader, Dave “Dave” Bentham, warming up for a forthcoming skiing trip – stop sniggering, Benno is actually a proficient skier, astonishingly – by drinking beer and watching the first team, the MGM travelled down the East Lancs Road to old rivals Liverpool St Helens, and lost by seven tries to two.
Whilst the weather was not quite as inclement as during the home fixture, played in the teeth of Storm Brian, it was a bleak February afternoon as the Machine arrived in the badlands of outer St Helens.
Benno’s grizzled warriors were out in force today, buoyed by a smattering of second teamers and a profusion of St Mary’s personnel, making a squad of 25. And the team arrived in good time, out on the pitch warming up a full 30 minutes before kick off.
In retrospect, tinkering with the pre-match routine like that may have been the root cause of the Machine’s malaise, because the boys never really clicked today.
Frustrated by grievances about refereeing decisions and, knocked out of any kind of rhythm by the number of rolling personnel changes, the MGM did not do itself justice.
LSH adapted better to the appalling surface – more ploughed field than bowling green – and played a canny, counter-attacking game, waiting for the MGM to make a mistake then countering from deep, more often than not through their strong running full-back.
LSH were aided in their endeavours by the Machine not being at its tough tackling best – honourable exceptions here in Danny Beckett and the fearless Joe Neary – and they scored four tries in the first half, only one of which they really had to work for. Josh Goodall capped a good, busy half at 9 with a sharply taken try at the stroke of half-time, to narrow the deficit.
The Machine was better second half, asking more questions of their hosts and scoring a second try, as Joe Neary crashed over from five yards. Sadly LSH scored another three to stretch their final winning gap to 43 – 10.
In truth, it was a closer game than the score suggests, much like the home fixture earlier in the season, when LSH were again clinical in scoring breakaway tries from MGM mistakes.
There’s no point in reading too much into games like these. The Machine has been good for most of the season and the odd lull is to be expected. Let’s hope the Machine gets its mojo back next week, for its trip to rugby league boys Orrell St James.
Vive le Machine!