The scorching sunshine down at West Bank was the back drop for this morning’s performance.
Last week’s man of the match and this week’s captain Luke Barnett greeted the St Annes captain to begin the game. St Annes took the first ball in hard but with superb tackling from Shaun Arnold (back from an eye injury), Lewis Lawrenson and Lucas Middleton soon put paid to any score being chalked up. Jacob Potter and Harry Nuttall made great drives up the middle of the field with supportive back up from Jack Egerton. It was also Jack who, on West Banks next set, ran in the first try of the match for the Bears. St Annes replied next with their first try as they slipped through the Bears defence and just got the ball over the line. Fired up by their lack of defence, Thomas Boyes and Hayden McInerney made up for it in Oldham’s next set and would let nothing through. Thomas Boyes also showed his skill in attack as he had a staunching run up the field, followed by Lewis Lawrenson, Shaun Arnold and Jack Egerton making metres. Their unyielding defence put pressure on the Greens to force the knock on in their next set but then fabulous teamwork in attack as the ball was passed expertly to Hayden who scored the Bears third try. Kio Batty showed his worth next as he powered through the St Annes line as did Lewis and Jack but it was Thomas Stanton who stole the show next as he took the ball and ran half the pitch to score the fourth try for the Bears. Letting their guard down slightly the Bears allowed the Oldham side to sneak through once again with their second try. The crowd held their breath in West Banks next set as Kio Batty, Myla Kelly and Lucas Middleton made great strides but it was a high pass from the amazing Luke Barnett to Hayden McInerney who caught the ball scoring the Bears 5th try of the game. Lucas Middleton started the next set with determined run, as did Jack Egerton who took on 4 of the Greens and still kept running. A pounding run from powerful Harry Nuttall made way for Lewis Lawrenson to run the next points in for West Bank. Mighty running from Jacob potter next and then, scoring his first try in a league game was Kio Batty who scored the Bears 7th try. The first half ended with a brilliant tackle from Thomas Stanton who prevented an Oldham try just inches from the line.
Half time score - West Bank 28 – Oldham St Annes 12
The second half of the match started with Oldham scoring their 4th try. Next was a determined run from Oliver Edge who had a great game in attack and defence. In defence next was Thomas Stanton who made a superb 1 on 1 tackle, taking his man down as if he were a ragdoll. Again Oliver Edge showed his determination in defence as he went into tackle after tackle showing no fear. West Bank were unlucky next as Shaun off loaded to Myla Kelly but the Oldham defence had picked up a gear and forced a knock on. In West Banks next turn in defence they did the same, piling on the pressure and forcing the knock on. Extreme running from Harry Nuttall saw an off load to Thomas Stanton who scored a superb 8th try for the West Bankers, his personal hat trick! Again the pressure from West Bank in defence caused St Annes to knock on. More great running from Harry Nuttall, Thomas Boyes and Hayden McInerney who tore through the line of defence before Shaun Arnold used the well drilled drop off move to Thomas Stanton who scored his fourth try of the match. The last 10 minutes of the game saw the hard working Harry Nuttall powering up the field and doing well to stay in the field of play despite the Oldhams defence trying to tackle him into touch. Mighty half back Luke Barnett used the ball well and off loaded first to Oliver Edge and then to Kio Batty but it was then his run across the pitch, then a dummy before giving the ‘crash ball’ to Hayden McInerney that set him up for try number 10 for the Bears. A great run in West Banks next set from the immense Jack Egerton, who got on with the task in hand. Strong running throughout the game, Jack made every minute he was on the pitch count, taking tough tackles and making good ground. The hard working Lucas Middleton made good metres and was unlucky being caught short of the whitewash but an opportunity to take the ball over the line was seen by Shaun Arnold who saw a gap and dove through, scoring try number 11 for the Bears. Next we saw an incredible run from Danyl O’Brien who throughout the game was awesome in defence and added to the overall barrier put up by West Bank. An offload from Luke to Lucas Middleton created the 12th try for the Bears, a well deserved result for Lucas after all his hard work in defence all through the match. Proving that fear is nothing to be frightened about, during St Annes next set with the ball the mighty Myla Kelly and Danyl O’Brien defended the line as if their life depended on it, simply letting nothing through. In the Bears last set of the game Kio Batty, Jack Egerton and Harry Nuttall made great ground before Shaun Arnold snuck through with the final four points of the match.
Full Time score - West Bank 52 v Oldham St Annes Greens 28
Man of the match – Luke Barnett
Top Tackler – Shaun Arnold
Parents award – Hayden McInerney
Coaches award – Jack Egerton