Heysham Atoms 18-23 Hindley
Heysham Atoms fell to a third successive defeat on Sunday at home to Hindley in what was a close and absorbing contest.
The Atoms began strongly with Mark Walker ruling the ruck area in the hooking role, while the forwards were on top with prop forward Matt Mount making some excellent yards.
Michael Forrest looked dangerous with ball in hand, making the first break of the game as the Atoms passed the ball to left with winger Luke Charlson just running out of space with the try line in touching distance.
This controlled start from the Atoms continued and the in-form second rower, Jake Harrison, side-stepped his way through the first line of defence on a dangerous run down the middle of the field.
The ball was moved swiftly back to the right where stand off Dan Helme found Jack Edmondson with a short pass.
The centre’s line was good enough to get him over the line and the Atoms had a 6-0 lead with Forrest adding the extras.
It took 18 minutes for the Wigan side to register their first score as they switched play from one side to the other, scoring to the left of the posts.
Edmondson scored his second try again, showing good strength and a poachers instinct close to the line.
A couple of handling errors on the trot usually means trouble at this level and true to form the Atoms conceded as the half came to a close with the score at 10-10. The Atoms were a little disappointed to turn around with the scores all square but they were determined to regain the initiative straight from the re-start.
The Atoms forced an attacking scrum when a well placed kick was batted into touch 10 metres from Hindley’s line.
A short pass to prop forward Josh O’Donnell saw him force his way over the line but he still had plenty to do to get the ball down.
Luckily for the Atoms, his agility and ball control saw him place the ball down on the line and the Atoms were again in front in this tight encounter.
The Atoms critically went down to 12 men as a yellow card for foul play was brandished and the Atoms’ line came under pressure as the numerical advantage took its toll.
Although the Atoms only conceded one try in this period they spent the whole time defending which drained the energy levels at an alarming rate.
With numbers back to even the Atoms re-took the lead with a two point penalty goal from Forrest in front of the posts with 15 minutes left to play.
The all important try came with 10 minutes remaining and it went to Hindley as the fatigue in the Atoms’ defensive line was now taking effect.
A drop goal from their experienced stand off soon followed to give Hindley a five point cushion.
With less than eight minutes left the Atoms summoned up their last drops of remaining energy to go full out for the victory.
Captain for the day and man of the match, Dan Helme, made a break from inside his own half that just kept going as he refused to be put over by the Hindley defenders.
The Atoms kept the ball alive even on the last tackle but they just couldn’t find that clear cut opening.
Hindley held firm and took the two vital competition points.