Heysham Atoms 28-26 Haresfinch
A determined Atoms win in atrocious conditions kept the Heysham side on track for a top four finish and a place in the play-offs at the end of the season.
The weather played its part but both sides served up an excellent game for a crowd that braved the wind and rain and with a sympathetic referee who kept the game flowing at every opportunity.
There was very little to choose between the two sides just as in the previous game in St Helens where Haresfinch won by a single point with a last ditch drop goal to take the spoils 29-28.
In this encounter both sides had periods of dominance and the result was never secure right up until the final whistle.
The Haresfinch side had the better of the opening exchanges, racing into a 10-0 lead within the first 14 minutes as the Atoms struggled with the speed of the play.
Hooker Billy Livingstone scored the first Atoms try, burrowing under a couple of defenders to the right of the sticks.
Haresfinch extended their lead a little too easy for the Atoms’ liking as they were exposed again down their left hand side on the 25 minute mark.
The next period of play was all about the Atoms as they turned a 16-6 deficit into a 28-16 lead with a four try blitz.
Mark Walker’s strength close to the line took him over for his third try of the season and reward for his considerable efforts.
Captain Jamie Cottle was constantly involved in the action being provider and runner with equally good effect.
His try came as he found some space and skipped around his marker as the momentum swing gathered pace.
Centre Jack Lawton then got himself on the end of a short passing move to score after Jake Harrison had forced a turn over with great tackle.
The first try of the second half was a trade mark Jack Edmondson effort as he powered his way through a couple of would-be tacklers to put the Atoms in a commanding position as Livingstone banged over his fourth conversion.
Liam Hall made a real second half impact as the physicality in his tackling and running really helped lift his team as the injuries began to take their toll on the Atoms.
Haresfinch set up a tense finish to this end-to-end game as they scored two more tries with their right winger completing his hat-trick. Winger Kyel Dempsey came up with a couple of vital tackles and replacement Luke Charlson ran strongly out of defence to clear his lines as Haresfich pressed hard for victory.
The Atoms’ slender lead was maintained as they worked hard to keep their line in tact and secured the precious two points.