Widnes West Bank Bears 44-36 Heysham Atoms

Jake Harrison.
Jake Harrison.

The trip to last season’s Premier League champions was always going to be a tough ask but the Heysham Atoms contributed tremendously to this high-scoring game.

The Atoms showed a real intent straight from the kick-off in their first set opening up West Bank with winger Kyel Dempsey touching down in the left-hand corner, only to be brought back for a foot out of play.

The Atoms then had to soak up some pressure themselves and just as it looked like they had cleared their lines they were hit with back-to-back tries giving West Bank an early 10-0 lead.

The Atoms wrestled back the initiative as Mark Walker and Liam Hall made an immediate impact off the bench on the 20 minute mark.

An inside ball from Dan Helme to Michael Forrest got the Atoms’ first score, converted by the reliable boot of Billy Livingstone.

Jamie Cottle then changed the angle of attack and Jake Harrison used his footwork to break the line and score the Atoms second.

Hall scored his first of the afternoon which resulted in a melee behind the posts and when order was restored three players had to sit out the next 10 minutes.

As the half drew to a close the Atoms were again in the ascendancy as Helme charged onto a well-timed pass from hooker Livingstone.

The break took him right down the middle of the park where Cottle rounded off the play forcing a goal line drop out with a well placed kick to make it 18-10 at half-time.

The Atoms’ poor start to the first half was mirrored in the second as they conceded two soft tries in the opening exchanges as West Bank opened up a 34-18 lead.

Hall settled the Atoms down again, scoring his second of the game from close range, but a lack of concentration straight from the kick-off undid all the hard work as the short kick was regained by the full back and he launched an immediate attack down the Atoms right.

The scrambling Atoms defenders couldn’t prevent another score as the defenders looked more and more fatigued.

Prop forward Matt Mount scored his first Atoms try and Heysham just about had enough time to stage a late rally to claim the points but an unwanted error straight from the kick-off put paid to that as the Widnes side took the gift of field position with both hands finishing their scoring for the afternoon.