A bright and sunny West Bank morning was the setting for the first match of the season for West Bank’s new U9’s. With a full squad raring to go the Bears spectators were in for a Mother’s day treat!
The first half of the match began with St Jude’s taking the ball in first. Unlucky for them there was a knock on at the 5th tackle which led the turnover. As ever, West Bank superstar Thomas Stanton was eager to get going and on his first run with the ball scored the first try for West Bank. In St Jude’s next set Jacob Potter and Shaun Arnold showed their worth by stopping the Wigan side just short of the line. West Bank next completed a full set of six with superb running from Luke Barnett, Hayden McInerney and Jacob Potter, this was finished with a beautiful try from the small but mighty Myla Kelly who scooted around the defence into the left corner. Exceptional teamwork in defence again from Jacob and Shaun led to the Jude’s being tackled into touch on their first run which once again led to the turnover. Spectacular running next from Danyl O’Brien and Lucas Middleton, who took off around the line of defence and ran in try number three for the Bears. In West Banks next set there was more strong running from Hayden, Danyl and Luke Barnett who almost sneaked in a try, but off loaded to Shaun who passed to Hayden who got the ball out to Oliver Edge, outstanding team work. Next, playing a year above his age, the strapping Danyl O’Brien put up a marvellous defence on St Jude’s next attempt in attack, letting nothing past him! West Bank next had new legs on the pitch with Jack Egerton, Lewis Lawrenson joining the throng, and the Bears new addition to the team, Kio Batty made great yards up the middle of the field with his first run. On the sixth play of the ball it was up to the skilful Luke Barnett who stepped inside from touch to get try number three for the Bears. First rate defence from Lewis next as he applied pressure to the Maroons to prevent any points from them. This was followed by expert running from Harry Nuttall and Kio Batty up the mid field, making good ground. In the Bears next set of six we saw an exceptional run from Alfie Ryan who almost had the next try but was unfortunately tackled onto his back just on the line, unlucky. A great defence from West Bank meant that there was no chance of a try for the Jude’s in this half of the match but in the Bears next set the speedy Lewis Lawrenson ran in try number 4 followed in the final set of the half with a pounding run and try number five from Harry Nuttall.
Half time score – West Bank 20 – St Jude’s 0
The second half began with gusto as Jacob made a determined run followed by Kio with the same determination. A great run from Danyl who managed to stay in touch as he was tackled was followed by a side stepping run from Shaun who made a tidy pass to Alfie. On the last play of the ball the brilliant Thomas Stanton ran in his second try of the game after top notch passing from Jacob and Lucas right around the Wigan defence. A spectacular 1 on 1 tackle from Shaun next secured a no score for the Jude’s, this was followed up by more great attack from Oliver, Thomas Boyes and Kio. There was no waiting about for the Bears as Shaun with the newly named drop off ‘dab’ move, dabbed to Thomas S, and try number seven was created. St Jude’s made good ground in their next set but unfortunately for them failed to score. Danyl and Oliver put in more great running next as the St Jude’s defence put in some strong tackles but this wasn’t going to stop a determined Shaun from going over the whitewash the Bears 8th try. Although St Jude’s didn’t score, they never gave up and their tackling was outstanding. Maintaining the Bears strong attack Jacob and Shaun made good ground up field before Luke ran in his second try of the game. The Wigan defence reared its head again as in West Banks next set Harry took a heavy knock but Harry being Harry, soldiered on. St Jude’s next tried an off load which was intercepted by West Bank which led to the turn over and try 10 for the Bears from Thomas Stanton. With minutes to go West Banks ball was taken in by Kio and Alfie who both took tough tackles. Thomas Boyes expertly off loaded to Harry and Hayden did the same when Harry was there again to take the ball. On the last play of the ball Jack, who had worked hard all game scored a well deserved try and with more superb running in the last set of the match from Luke, Alfie and Kio, Jack took the ball all the way down the field to score the last points of the game, what a way to finish!
Full time score – West Bank 48 – St Jude’s 0
Man of the match – Luke Barnett
Coach’s award – THE WHOLE TEAM!
Top Tackler – Jacob Potter
Parents award – Lucas Middleton