100% Home Record
By Paul Morrison
Mike Penrice reports.
Wigton completed their home programme for the season and kept their 100% home record in emphatic style with a 58-5 win over Trafford. The first half was particularly impressive with Wigton’s handling and running being very impressive. With the points in the bag, the second half was somewhat looser as the intensity of the first half was not quite matched and Trafford were able to obtain a better share of possession.
Trafford started brightly by kicking off and then winning back the ball. They worked their way into the Wigton 22 but the home defence was not in a generous mood and terminated the move by holding up the ball carrier in a maul.
Wigton soon opened their account with a try from their own half. Second row Mark Deans carried the ball up strongly and the ball was moved neatly to the short side where centre David Hanabury worked some space for left winger Stephen Harris. He made ground and then linked with centre Richard Moffatt supporting on the inside. Moffatt, one of the most consistent performers this season, stretched his legs to gallop between the sticks. Stand off Dan Reed added the conversion to give Wigton a 7-0 lead.
From the restart Trafford won a penalty and set up a line out in Wigton’s 22. However, the defence was stern and Trafford tried a grubber kick to the in goal area but Harris was first there to defuse the danger.
Wigton’s second try can from deep inside their own half. Trafford had a scrum but the Greens pushed them off the ball. The ball was quickly moved along the back line to the right with Moffatt making ground to Trafford’s 22. The ball was recycled and moved back to the left. Harris was able to hand off his opposite number to score and give Wigton a 12-0 lead.
The third try was not long in coming. Reed kicked a penalty into the Trafford 22. The forwards caught and drove the ball and when it was passed out to the backs, Moffatt drifted outside his opposite number. From a resulting ruck scrum half Fergus Ledingham tried to snipe over the line but was tackled. However the next pass found full back Oliver Lewis who was able to force his way over for a 17-0 scoreline.
Wigton soon had the visitors under pressure again with a scrum in their 22. However, Trafford had a chance to clear their lines when they were awarded a free kick. However, the clearance, whilst having distance, failed to make touch and was fielded by Lewis. He cut right through the midfield and then passed to Moffatt. He in turn passed to winger Aron Henderson who crossed unopposed for the fourth try. At 22-0 Wigton had wrapped up the bonus point with barely a quarter of the match gone.
A fifth try looked to be in the offing but a Trafford defender intercepted virtually on the tryline and carried the ball to halfway. Wigton then managed to win a turnover and Deans eagerly got his hands on the ball. He charged up, scattered a couple of defenders and linked up with Harris. He made further good progress and passed to Moffatt coming up on the inside. The big centre went charging over for his second try. Reed found the angle just too acute to land the conversion so the score remained at 27-0.
A scrum from inside Wigton’s own half was the launch pad for another long range try. The industrious Greg Wrathall picked up a No 8 and combined perfectly with his scrum half Ledingham. Trafford, aware of the running threat from Wigton’s backs, started to drift wide, but Ledingham straightened down the middle and as he drew the full back, flanker Jay Henderson was in support to land the try. Reed made no mistake with the conversion giving a 34-0 score.
The scoring of the first half was completed by Deans who took a ball in the 22 on the charge. He ran through the defender with ease and crossed the line, making the half time score 39-0 in a clinical display to match anything Wigton have produced this season.
The second half was a more even affair. Wigton probably wished the game could have been played in one eighty minute period and Trafford were able to regroup somewhat in the second half. They had a greater share of possession and spent lengthy periods in the Wigton red zone. Wigton, already with an eye on next week’s derby at Bower Park, rant the changes and didn’t quite reproduce the fluency of the first half although they still score three tries to one.
Dan Reed was the creator for the first of them, hitting Aron Henderson with a well weighted, accurate pass. He found hooker Elliot Armstrong in support on the inside and he eagerly crossed for the try, a just reward for a series of consistent performances from a rapidly improving player. Reed added the conversion for a 46-0 lead.
There then followed a period of Trafford pressure as they started to find the accuracy and confidence which had largely evaded them in the first half. However the Wigton defence looked reasonably comfortable defending and were eventually able to work their way out of their own half. Hanabury on half way fielded a somewhat aimless clearance kick and he passed to Lewis. The full back showed excellent footwork and strength to weave his way through a number of defenders and score a great solo try from forty yards out. Reed converted and Wigton notched up the half century at 53-0.
Trafford again had a long period in Wigton territory and finally their centre Nathan May managed to get over the line for a try which few could begrudge them and was deserved on the balance of play in the second half.
However, Wigton had the final word. Deans, for the umpteenth time, carried the ball up the middle and the ball went to Reed. He managed to float a beautiful pass over the top of several bodies to find Harris and give him a strong outside run to cross for the final try. Shortly afterwards referee Castles in a slightly different time zone to most of spectators, blew for full time with Wigton convincing 58-5 victors.
Thus we have finished the home season by defeating every other team in the league. To draw a highly satisfying season to a close we now only need to produce a similarly convincing performance next week when we are away somewhere to somebody.