Heysham Atoms’ improved form of late continued with a 44-28 home victory over bottom club Haresfinch from St Helens at the weekend.
The game was far from a classic, as both sides struggled for any kind of continuity, although over 70 points were scored.
The Atoms showed their class in the final quarter of the match, scoring three tries to finally take the game away from Haresfinch, who had fought back to 28-28 mid-way through the second period.
The Atoms started brightly, as full back Michael Forrest made a break, and he was held up just short of the line.
A kick from Stuart Lacey on the last tackle saw winger Anthony Livingstone rise above his opposite number to claim the ball, only to have it knocked out of his grasp as he tried to put the ball down.
The Atoms were in no mood to let this pressure slip, and Lacey again made a telling contribution – he took on the line and popped out an excellent off-load in the tackle to the in-form Olly Murray, who went under the posts for the first score.
Anthony Livingstone then intercepted a pass on the Atoms’ 20 metre line, and sprinted away to score his first try of the season.
He was chased hard and caught, but showed enough strength and determination to stay on his feet and keep moving forward to propel himself over the line.
However, the Atoms started to stray from their game plan and began to off-load the ball needlessly as the play became loose and lacked direction.
This was the only invitation the enthusiastic Haresfinch needed, and their scrum half dummied his way over the line .
Mitch Chapman plucked a cross-field kick out of the air and immediately fed Andrew Collins, who sprinted away 70 metres to score.
A chip and chase for Haresfinch saw them bring the scores back close at 16-12, before a quick fire break involving Dan Helme, Jake Harrison and Livingstone put Lacey away.
He again off-loaded in the tackle to Forrest, who finished off an enterprising move as the Atoms went into half-time 22-12 down.
The Atoms were on the front foot straight from the restart as Helme found Collins with an inside pass.
He wrong-footed the defensive line and went under the posts for his second try of the game.
The next period was all about Haresfinch as they totally dominated field position and were able to score three back-to-back tries, one which was a penalty try, to bring the scores back level at 28-28 with 19 minutes remaining.
The momentum had all been with the St Helens side, but some quick thinking from a penalty from second row Harrison saw him take a quick tap and he made a 30-metre break.
The ball was swung back to the right, and stand off Lacey found a gap and scored a decisive try.
A penalty kick from Livingstone put the Atoms one score ahead at 34-28, then Jack Edmondson made a big break down the left wing.
Mark Walker floated into the acting half back role, picking up the ball and forcing his way over close to left corner flag.
The next score was on the back of two strong carries, one from Kyel Dempsey and the other from Callum Brodie.
Stuart Lacey broke across of the Haresfinch defenders and Jack Lawton, on his return from injury, showed he had lost none of his pace, hitting a hole and finishing off the move with the Atoms’ eighth try of the contest close to the final whistle.