Hard Toil at Aspull for KK's Troops
By Roger Holmes
Promotion Candidates too Strong on the Day
After the weather postponement last week, hopes were high and a full squad with a mix of power, speed and the usual heavyweights made the trip down the M61.
With the prematch words ringing in the ears to get stuck in & to be physical, the maroons received the opening kick. Some quick phases saw the forwards chomping at the bit to get involved.
Within five mins on the clock the maroon defence was tested. A loose ball emerged and Matt Bleasdale, having a leg stretch at outside centre, got a toe to the ball sending it towards the Aspull sticks - and the foot race was on. Bleasdale out in front with the Aspull fullback on his heels; but not to be out done Joe Wilkinson having his first game at fly half for the 2s decided he had given them both more than enough head start and still managed to get his toe on the ball, bouncing it off the base of the post to collect as he dived over the line to open the score. No extras.
From the kick off, again the pack was on a mission. Powerful running from the fatboys setting up great phases & this was turning into a one sided event.
When with barely ten mins on the clock and Jamie Taylor powered his way over the line . Extras added from the boot of James Dickinson.
This seemed to awake Aspull who came back using their rugby league heritage to run some strong hard lines. The defence worked tirelessly but only to watch Aspull switch from one side to the other and score. With extras added this got their tails up. And back they came - just before the half time to score almost two identical tries and one lot of extras to take the lead at the interval.
A couple changes at the saw Bleasdale move out from the the centres to the wing to bring Josh Dolan in alongside Dickinson at centre. Murray gave Tom Hardman a rest at tight head.
The set piece was solid; with Danny Cowgill and Andrew Ralph Rigby jumping well at the line out, the scrum with James Pate having an awesome game at loose head meant the power to weight ratio was an unstoppable force once moving.
The pack worked tirelessly but with the defence tiring under continued pressure cracks started to appear for Aspull to exploit. A couple more tries saw them start to slip out of sight. The pack refocused & determined started the phases ; shuffle after shuffle, then the pick an go. Simon Wriggley at 9 went wide - soft hands to Dickinson who although smashed the tackle & half going down but moving forward meters made. Taylor picked and went and Wriggley on his heels picked and popped it down for the try his first for the 2s. A great piece of play well worked by a team working together.
The last of the changes saw Lucas Wright [pic] making his senior debut at 9 with a calm head and given time to settle behind a solid pack will be a great addition to the senior sides well worth watching for the future.
Phil Forrest Winstanley came on for Bleasdale and Patrick Enion on for Taylor; the young Colt certainly making his mark on this twos team - a strong young forward, fearless in his tackles and the youthful energy to be everywhere around the park causing a nuisance at every turn.
Special mention to Adam Penney coming on to give Roger Holmes a rest for 10 mins even though his back barely allows him to stand up.
What else is there to say this team together just works it has everything needed to succeed they have the belief and the skills to get the results swinging back the right way, it will come this team may be down but not out. The game ended 45-17 to Aspull plenty positives to move on to next weeks trip to Hawcoat Park.
Report by KK