LACK LUSTRE VULCANS LOSE THEIR WAY’
After a bright start Winlaton failed to function as a team and were always chasing the game due to lack of possession and poor discipline and as a result Houghton were worthy winners.
For the first league game of the season Coach Rolly WILLS gave the opportunity to a number of the ‘New Signings’ to make their 1st Team debuts. In the three quarters was centre Liam O’ HALLERON and Jordan Palliser on the wing and on the bench prop Liam Beck, Michael BEWLEY and 17-year-old Ellis Taylor covering the back row.
The game commenced on a warm sunny day on a perfect dry playing surface with Winlaton playing down the slope and the advantage of a stiff breeze blowing down the field.
Houghton gaining possession commenced a series of attacks on the Vulcans but well-disciplined and aggressive defence prevented a score and they were able to clear their lines. This was followed by a number of scrums which saw number 8 Kieran Thomas picking up at the base and making good yardage breaking several tackles.
On 7MINS Winlaton made a great start when they discovered a route to the try line. After winning quick ball from line out the forwards drove on with a bout of interpassing with William Grice,Jon Lee and BELL conspicuous the ball was quickly moved through the three quarters hands giving PALLISER some room and he worked his way down the left around the cover defence to crash over on the corner for a well worked team try (5PTS) his attempt to convert his own try just failing.
For the remainder of the first quarter saw neither side being able to gain ascendency but Winlaton with some poor clearances were giving the visitors the opportunity to run the ball out of their own half and test the home defence. The Vulcans then made a succession of mistakes inviting Houghton to take the lead which they did.
On 25MINS from scrum in the Winlaton 22 they set up a barrage of attacks on the Vulcans defence and they eventually broke through and scored under the posts making the conversion easy (5PTS) + (2PTS).
From the restart Winlaton made an ‘Instant Riposte ‘winning the ball and the forwards through Darren Cornwall, BELL and LEE driving down field and as a result Houghton infringed about 30 metres out and on 27MINS PALLISER stepped up to convert the penalty (3PTS).
After this Winlaton discipline deserted them and at the break down they could not cope with Houghton’s physicality in those departments and as a result gave away a succession of penalties as well as being deprived of any worthwhile possession. As a result, on 35MINS after a number of passing movements and off loads between the visitor’s forwards and three quarters they crashed over for another converted try (5PTS + 2 PTS).
To make matters worse at the half was ending Steve Whitmore was harshly ‘Yellow Carded’ for a high tackle.
Again the Vulcans responded with the forwards taking the ball to the opposition again with THOMAS, CORNWALL. GRICE and Dale Pattinson making good yardage and it was Houghton’s turn to concede numerous penalties and as a result on the last play of the half PALLISER again stepped up and converted a 35 metre penalty kick (3PTS).
HALF TIME 11PTS-14PTS
The Vulcans made the best start of the second half with the forwards with Captain LOWES leading the charge supported by PATTISON and CORNWALL taking on the opposition and driving up the slope giving the three quarters through O’ HALLERON and PALLISER to make strong runs.
But unfortunately from a number of infringements by Houghton which gave Winlaton several attacking lineout opportunities in the opposition 22 they were lost due to poor execution and ill-discipline preventing the Vulcans from adding to their score.
The Vulcans were further disrupted through an injury to fullback SEDDON but gave the subs TAYLOR; BEWLEY and BECK the chance to make their debuts.
As the game petered out as the regular sound of the referee’s whistle was the dominant factor and it looked as though the best Winlaton could hope for was a losing bonus point. But as the game went into extra time after the Vulcans opted to run the ball in their 22 rather than clear their lines possession was lost and Houghton launched another attack and scored another converted try (5PTS) + (2PTS) resulting in an NIL gain for all their efforts !!!
FINAL SCORE 11PTS – 21PTS
Man of the Match Kieron THOMAS