WEST PARK 0 LIVERPOOL ST HELENS 33

Liverpool St Helens went into the local derby encounter at West Park with quite a lot at stake. Earlier in the season the Red Rocks outfit had held the Moss Laners to a draw after an outstanding performance, a result which had set back LSH’s promotion hopes. Now, after a decent run, LSH had put themselves back into contention and needed nothing less than a bonus point win to keep them in it. There was also the small matter of bragging rights in the town.  

After 80 minutes of slogging through a rain-soaked, soft and muddy pitch, they had achieved what was their primary objective, to return to Moss Lane with five points. In a match played in good spirit, in which LSH dominated throughout, LSH registered five tries, the first four to claim the bonus point with the fifth, an absolute cracker to light up a gloomy afternoon, timed to send the Moss Lane Faithful back home especially happy.

As could be expected West Park started full of energy and desire but like LSH soon found that the wet and boggy conditions were likely to take their toll. LSH gradually made their presence felt with every man in the pack making a full contribution, including Jan Lourens making a rare but very effective appearance. After being held up over the line twice in the first fifteen minutes, they scored through Dave Cunliffe crashing over from short range in the left hand corner. Dan Filson converted. 0-7. LSH continued to press and ten minutes later, after a series of drives towards the West Park line were awarded a penalty try. 0-14. They kept up the momentum with stand-off Matty Johnston racing over from 20 yards for the third try in the 32nd minute after good work from Matt Cunliffe. Matt Cunliffe converted (Filson had been replaced by Alex McClurg when injured, with Matty Johnston switching to full back) for a 0-21 scoreline which is how it remained at half time.

The second half was a much more pedestrian affair, partly due to the surface and partly due to LSH initially playing as though the job was done. It took an animated dugout and some forthright urgings from the side-lines to remind them that the business was far from finished. This had some effect and in the 66th minute after a multi-phase attack on the West Park line, prop Ross McCauley scored from close range to claim the bonus point.  0-26.

West Park did come close to scoring in the right hand corner before LSH moved the ball the length of the field with the Cunliffe brothers initially combining to release winger Josh Lynch who ran the ball in from distance to round the afternoon off, converted. 0-33.

Team:  15 Filson 14 Kean 13 Cunliffe M 12 Cunliffe D 11 Lynch 10 Johnston 9 Wilson (capt) 1 McCauley 2 Houlton 3 Lourens

4 Royle 5 Potter 6 Hull 7 Mitchell 8 Webster 16 Heywood 17 Gore 18 McClurg.


John Williams