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Kirk promotion dream shattered as Bowdon edge narrow victory

Ducks give Fleetwood a roasting

Ormskirk RFC 1st XV

Ormskirk's hopes of promotion from South Lancs/Cheshire 2 were finally ended in their penultimate game of the season with this two point loss to fellow promotion chasers Bowdon.

Even without hooker Chris Tyms (work commitments) and the unavailable Mark Webster and winger Jack Whisker (required by the Senior Colts for Sunday's semi-final), Kirk were hopeful of recording a victory.

Bowdon had other ideas though and, led by their inside centre who was again comfortably their biggest threat throughout, started the game the stronger side.

After a long-range penalty had put them in front after five minutes, they added two tries, one of which was converted as they threatened to run away with the game.

In between these tries Ormskirk enjoyed some territory but after Ben McCarthy's pass that released winger Joe Hodson was deemed to have been forward, they only managed three points through an Alex Lambie penalty.

The Gingerbread Men finally got a foothold in the game after 30 minutes, with the scrums already going well led by props Val Gateley and Ryan Purcell, the line-outs also started to click and this gave them the platform to work their way down the field.

As the visitors struggled to cope with Kirk's forward pressure the penalties started to be awarded and from one of these Ormskirk notched their first try with thr final play of the half.

Skipper Gaz Prytherch's quick tap caught the defence retreating and he dummied the last defender to dive over in the corner, just reward for the pressure 'Kirk had put on in the previous 10 minutes.

With the elements now in their favour, Ormskirk were hopeful of coming back to take the spoils and started the second half strongly, pinning the visitors back in their own territory.

Bowdon's defence held firm though and after 'Kirk missed the chance to cut their lead as Lambie's penalty attempt drifted narrowly wide, the visitors got themselves back on the front foot.

Bowdon did turn their pressure into seven points when they capitalised on Andy Wroe's sliced clearance attempt that somehow found it's way their number 8 behind the try line and he touched down to extend their lead to 22-8.

Kirk weren't ready to roll over just yet though and after a driving maul from a line-out 15 yards out had been thwarted inches short of the line, good vision from Hodson saw space on the blindside and after taking Prytherch's long pass he attracted three defenders before offloading to the supporting McCarthy who dived over in the corner to narrow the gap.

Ormskirk's hopes of stealing a victory were dashed soon after though as Bowdon scored their fourth and decisive try as their big number 12 proved unstoppable as he hit the ball at pace 10 yards out.

The final ten minutes belonged to Ormskirk and they added two more tries.

The first was straight off the training ground as fly-half Andy Croft's delayed pass put Hodson through a gap in midfield to score his 32nd try of the season, Lambie converted.

With two Bowdon players belatedly sent to the sin-bin for continuous infringements, Glyn Roberts scored Ormskirk's fourth try in the last minute, barging through a fringe defender after some strong forward play had piled the pressure on Bowdon.

Lambie's conversion was the final act of a thrilling encounter in which Bowdon were worthy winners as they look to gain the promotion spot that Ormskirk have targeted all season but now isn't to be.

The curtain comes down on Ormskirk 1st team's season this Saturday day they welcome local rivals Orrell to Green Lane.

Well done to the Colts on making it through to the finals at the end of the month.

Just a small matter of a tour to Spain next week first!!  They now play Marple Senior Colts in the final at Eccles Rufc on April, 27 kick off at 12.30