Millom sail towards title after sinking tough Isberg
Last updated at 11:56, Tuesday, 06 May 2008
NATIONAL CONFERENCE LEAGUE TWONATIONAL CONFERENCE LEAGUE TWOASKAM travelled to Crosfields and suffered another heavy defeat in a game that should never have been played. NORTH WEST COUNTIES DIVISION ONEWALNEY came unstuck at bottom club Adlington after a poor second half showing on a pitch that resembled a ploughed field by the end of the game.NORTH WEST COUNTIES DIVISION THREEVETERAN Craig ‘Mucker’ Regan opened Dalton’s account after a good passing movement, but Andrew Nixon missed the conversion.
TITLE-CHASING Millom made the long journey to Hull to play Isberg who were lying just outside the promotion places, having defeated league leaders Normanton three weeks previously.
As early as the sixth minute Millom showed their intent when exciting young winger Elliot Miller went in for a touchdown that was ruled out by the referee.
On 10 minutes the home side took the lead with a penalty, but this only lasted two minutes.
Millom captain Graham Lupton went in for his 19th try for the season, to which Paul Evans added the extras for a scoreline of 6-2.
Fullback Warren Lloyd was causing Ideal all sorts of problems every time he had the ball.
He increased the lead on 20 minutes after some good play among the backs.
The conversion gave them a 12-2 lead.
A Paul Evans penalty on 23 minutes was quickly followed by a good individual try from Miller after he seized a dropped pass and went in from 40 metres.
At 18-2 it was looking good for the Maroons, but missed tackles allowed the home side to pull six points back on 33 minutes.
But Millom looked the most dangerous for the remainder of the half and went in with an 18-8 lead at the break.
The second half started with Millom on the attack and after only three minutes Graham Lupton went in for his second try which Evans converted.
But right from the restart sloppy play by the Maroons allowed Ideal to pull the six points back when Crosby crossed and Kay converted, 24-14.
Millom continued to attack the home line and a pass from Paul Evans put his lively halfback partner Nathan Mossop over for another converted try.
With Craig Wilson and Paul Lupton leading by example in a strong pack and Evans and Mossop organising the pacy threequarters, Millom were showing why they are favourites to finish as champions.
Ideal were trying to get back into the game, but Miller took an interception on the halfway line and showed a clean pair of heels to score between the sticks and leave Evans with an easy conversion.
He followed this with a penalty two minutes later.
Brett Leach pulled a try back for Ideal but within minutes a long pass from Evans was taken by powerful centre Steve Dawson, who crashed over for another converted try.
On 32 minutes good play by hardworking Andrew Dawson released brother Steve, who put Graham Lupton in for his second consecutive hat-trick and the extras brought up the 50 points for the sixth time this season.
With time running out Millom were still not finished and fullback Lloyd joined the line and opened up the defence to go in for his second try.
In the dying seconds Ideal scored a consolation try when Smith went in at the corner.
With nine tries and nine goals the Maroons showed the form that can see them as champions if they can beat Normanton away next week.
Another great team effort saw newly-selected Great Britain prop Craig Wilson lift the man-of-the-match award.
The whole Askam team did their best but the bigger, faster Crosfield forwards had the upper hand, and in three-try scrum-half Phil Bannon, who took the Crosfields’ man-of-the-match award, was a real handful.
Joe Alexander, Tom Shaw, Darren Gaskell, Rory Marshall were the pick of the Askam team.
Askam were behind as early as the fourth minute, going to 6-0 down, but this did not deter Askam as a Mike Wilson kick through had the Crosfields full Tony Monks having to kick the ball dead to relieve pressure. From the drop out Joe Alexander made good yards, giving Ben Lewney a timely pass, having the overlap but he dropped the ball.
When Crosfields came back at Askam they had the luck when on the last tackle they kicked through, the ball bounced off an Askam player, landing over the try line for a Crosfields player to follow up and touchdown, 10-0.
A swift Askam move saw a Mike Wilson cross-field kick land over the try line, but Tom Shaw following up just beaten to the touchdown.
Crosfields pressure told as they went 28-0 up, but just before half-time Alexander made good yards, moving the ball to Mike Wilson who made a 30 yards break.
He gave a neat inside ball to Matty Sayle, who went haring for the line, but was tackled into touch.
The second half saw Crosfields add another 22 points to their total, but Askam never threw the towel in.
With 15 minutes to go Tom Butler, Rory Marshall combined and when Marshall gave Lewney a timely pass he shot over the line to score.
Tom Shaw took the Askam man-of-the-match award.
Walney were struggling to make ground up the sloping pitch with the wind in their faces, and it took them 20 minutes to even get near the Adlington try line.
A strong run from Walney’s man-of-the-match, Adam Nicholson, paved the way for a Jamie Morrow dummy and break to send Ste Eddy over for a well-worked try.
Mark Morris converted and Walney were back in it at 6-6.
On the half-hour Walney’s Scott McAloone was harshly penalised for a high tackle and the Adlington pack drove down the slope before their scrum-half fed the big number 12 to go over in the corner.
With the wind behind him the Adlington hooker converted to take the lead 12-6.
Walney never gave up and right on the stroke of half-time they drew level, after strong drives by Eddy and Naith Strefford.
Morrow switched play and gave out a good short ball to Nicholson, who ran a great line for a fine try, converted by Morris, 12-12 at half-time.
In the second half Walney should have done better with the slope and the wind behind them, but they only completed two sets of six the whole half and poor kicks from them gave them no advantage.
Adlington played the conditions well and won the game with a converted try from the play-the-ball, closely followed by a drop goal to seal the game and send Walney home empty-handed.
Eddy and Strefford worked hard all game, but Nicholson was outstanding, never taking a backward step and doing the work of two men in attack and defence in Walney’s final game of the season.
The Seasiders pressed again and Marsden went full-length to score for 12-4.
Some good play again by Dalton, an inside ball by Regan to Postlethwaite, out to Walker, making good yards, back inside to Banks who kicks ahead but Blackpool making the ball dead over the line.
Blackpool were making good yards through strong forward play, but lost the ball for Banks to pick up and scoot 30 yards to score, Nixon converting, 12-10.
Dalton were playing into a strong wind so it made it hard for Nixon’s kicking.
Blackpool came back with Evans scoring and Knight converting, 18-10.
Swift passing put Richards in from 20 yards, but the kick was missed, making it 18-14 at half-time.
Blackpool fluffed the restart kick, which allowed Nixon to slam over a long penalty and a final score of 18-22.
First published at 11:55, Wednesday, 16 April 2008
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
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