Heysham Atoms just came up short at home to top five side Shevington Sharks at the weekend, losing 30-24.
e Atoms gave youth its chance as five of last season’s under 16s were given a place in the starting 13 and all contributed massively to an encouraging performance.
Second row Brad Langhorn (17) had an outstanding game, while winger Alfie Bolton in his second game grabbed himself two tries.
With Captain Jamie Cottle not available it was up to Nathan Simpson to fill into the full back role which he accomplished with sure handling, strong carries clearing his line and safe in defence.
The two teams produced 11 tries between them with the Wigan side just shading it by one.
The worrying part for the Atoms was that all six of the Shark tries came through the area which was the Atoms right edge.
The Sharks took an early 8-0 lead before a disgraceful elbow incident brought both sides together and when the dust settled Atoms centre Jack Edmondson, who was the recipitant, left the field to take no further part with a concussion injury.
Dan Helme and the Shark aggressor spent 10 minutess in the sin bin for fighting.
Shevington made it 12-0 before stand off Stuart Lacey sent out a wide pass to winger Kyel Dempsey, who spectacularly dived into the right corner for his first try of the season to make it 12-4 at half time.
The second period opened up well for the Atoms as a well practised move close to the line saw hooker Josh Whyke find Brad Langhorn who forced his way over the line in the left corner.
At 12-8 the Atoms lost their way and made a number of unforced errors and bad decisions which were ultimately punished.
The right edge defence which took a battering in the first half was again targeted and the Atoms leaked three tries in quick succession to leave the Wigan side in a winning position at 30-8.
Thankfully for the Atoms, they regrouped and found some energy to finish the game strongly.
They began to complete their sets again and Liam Hall crashed over the line in familiar fashion to start the fight back.
The momentum began to swing in the Heysham side’s favour and winger Bolton came to the fore.
He picked up two fine tries by putting himself in the right place at the right time, showing great anticipation which will only do wonders for his confidence. With the Atoms only one score behind at 24-30 and with five minutes to play it was all set up for a tense finish but the Atoms couldn’t carve out any clear cut chances but it was a really positive end to the game.
New winger Jutinda Basi came on in the second half to make his Atoms debut and will have no doubt gained invaluable experience in a very competitive game.