Littleborough 31 - 18 Aldwinians
By TREV HULMES
It was a bad day at the office for Aldwinians as they conceded five tries to lose their three match winning run, compounded by first half injuries to players.
There were worrying early signs that the team didn’t have their focus on this match.From the kick off ,the Littleborough forwards drove the ball back at their opponents , but initial tackles were woeful and enabled the home side to build up a head of steam.Missed tackles led to a penalty on 3 mins from 40 mtres out, which was pushed wide of the posts.A ray of hope for Aldwinians came from a fumbled ball in the Littleborough back line which was kicked through by wing Wynand Van Zyl deep into the opposing half leading to the first scrum .The ball was then driven forward by captain and prop Connor Prendergast
, earning a penalty which Wade Martin
converted on 6 mins for a 0- 3 lead.
Another spate of poor tackling and wayward kicks enabled Littleborough to gather momentum.Then,with the game only 12 mins old, centre Jamie Henderson
left the field injured, to be followed 5 mins later by fly half Callum McMahon
with a sprung shoulder.From that point onward,Littleborough were boosted by this piece of good fortune and they also played the better style of rugby to suit the conditions and the weak points in the Aldwinians reorganised lineup.They notched up their first try on 21 mins after a line out offence led to a quick penalty and drive and then maintained territorial advantage from the restart, when Aldwinians conceded a penallty in a ruck.Looking sharper with ball in hand ,the home side always had a supporting player tracking the ball carrier .this allowed continuity of the play as the tackled man fed his team mate to take the ball deeper into attack.The inevitable second try was scored in the 36th min and for the first time, the defence in the reorganised Aldwinians back line was exposed as the Littleborough threequarters fed the ball out left to right without a tackle being made with the wing going over in the corner.Just before the break, Aldwinians kept themselves in the game with a late penalty to go in 12 -6 in arrears.
The second half produced three tries for Littleborough and two for Aldwinians,but this statistic didn’t reflect any major improvement in the standard of the visitors play.The home side were clearly in charge as the Audenshaw side had ,by now, introduced all their 3 replacements and had to cope with personnel changes in the front row.Now fielding a very youthful threequarter line,with an average age of 20yrs 9 mths,there was no surprise that Littleborough repeated the style of their previous try in the 55th min.Another sweeping movement ,this time from right to left, by their backs ,resulted in a try on the left wing without a tackle being made; this time superbly converted to extend their lead to 19- 6.Then a flurry of tries up to the 73rd minute.The first try of the afternoon for Aldwinians from colt Tom Hughes
after a dropped ball by Littleborough was scooped up and he raced away to score on the left .Back came the hosts with a dominant set of forward drives to secure their try bonus point and a fifth with Aldwinians consolation coming from a sharp break into space by Alex Hughes
to score under the posts converted by Wade Martin
.Final score 31 -18.
This Saturday Hawcoat Park from Barrow are the visitors kick off 3 pm , and beforehand the clubs u7,u8 and u9 teams welcome Sutton Coldfield to Audenshaw Park. Matches start at 11am.