Altrincham Kersal (34) v (5) Vale of Lune Senior Colts
An impressive victory marked by some outstanding team play
On a sunny afternoon at Stelfox Avenue this Colts performance added to the positive feeling around the club.
Kersal started well, putting together wave after wave of attacking moves. The Lune defence held strong though, forcing AK to regroup and keep the pressure on. After 15 minutes they made the breakthrough from a lineout 5m from the Lune line. Pat Brooks Maher took a good catch, quickly giving the ball to Sam Walsh. Walsh fed Tom Sullivan who made a run down the blind side before dropping his shoulder and scoring the try to give AK the lead. 5-0
Straight from the kick off AK scored a superbly worked try. Aaron Antrobus caught the high ball cleanly, stepping in field gaining 10m before going to ground and neatly offloading to Sullivan who picked the ball up off his toes before passing to the on rushing Walsh. He sprinted a good 35m, stepping inside to leave three covering defenders grasping at air. Sullivan was supporting on the right and Walsh popped a clever pass out of the the back for him to run onto and stride under the posts to score his second. Max Brookes converted to take the score to 12-0.
Kersal continued to dominate the play for the remainder of the half, but were not able to capitalise and extend the lead before the break.
Playing with the wind behind, the home side were eager to put more pressure on Lune. Soon after kick off Tom Gill kicked deep into the Lune corner, the ball rolling into touch only a few metres from the Lune line. They threw to four, but it was too high, hitting the man at five, who caught it on the back foot. Sullivan was on him like a shot, ripping the ball clean and stepping over from two metres out to complete his hat trick. 17-0.
There followed a period of scrappy play in midfield with both teams exchanging possession through sloppy control of the ball. AK eventually secured the ball 10m inside the Lune half, Gill chipped low into the corner, the kick was perfect. The covering Lune defender picked up the ball, but had Harry Backhouse bearing down on him immediately. The pass inside was wayward and the Lune centre couldn't secure it. Matt Ratcliffe was first there to kick over the Lune line and touch the ball down to move the score to 22-0.
Lune eventually put some points on the board shortly after. From a scrum wide on the right, the visitors won the ball and passed it neatly through the back line scoring in the left corner. 22-5
From the restart Gill kicked long, Lune attempted to run the ball out, but were penalised for not releasing following good work by Antrobus at the ruck. Kersal chose to throw long to Brooks Maher at four, it looked like the ball was too high, but with a stretch to his rear he managed to control the ball behind his head with his fingertips and bring it down to set up the driving maul. Alistair Merrill was the man with the ball in hand as the pack crossed the line to score. 27-5
AK completed a thoroughly satisfactory day with another score late on. From a 5m lineout Brooks-Maher took another superb catch, which typified the quality of the Kersal line out ball throughout the game. Sullivan came blind looking to release Higson on the touch line, but the option had been cut out by Lune. He turned inside in the tackle and found Merrill who did really well to stretch and score from two metres out, whilst being smothered by two tacklers. Brookes converted to make the final score 34-5.