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Ducks put in a quacking performance to clinch final spot

Ormskirk second team take superb win over in form Aspull team

The Ormskirk Ducks progressed through to the LBS Shield final with a superb win over a tough Aspull side.

Kirk made the short journey down the M58 bolstered by a strong squad and brimming with confidence after a run of five straight wins coming into this tie.

Aspull have had a fantastic season which has seen them claim third place honours in the league standings and also boasted a 28-5 victory over the men from Green Lane in an earlier fixture.

The opening ten minutes saw Kirk holding firm in defence led by big hits from the usual sources of Michael Tamblyn and Tom Travis and there was also the somewhat unfamiliar site of a dump tackle by captain Adam Glover on Aspull's rampaging second row who proved to be a threat with the ball in hand throughout.

Kirk stepped up the play a further gear and some perfectly placed kicks from captain Adam Glover continued to ask questions of the Aspull back three and give Ormskirk the territorial advantage they needed to build on.

Aspull were perhaps lucky not to be reduced to 14 men for ten minutes as their flanker did his best to break up the play and continuously infringed in the loose. From one of these infringements Kirk found territory through the boot of Dan Bailie five metres out.

From the resulting lineout, prop Sean Fogarty took the ball on and as he fell short, the ball was recycled and from the next charge Luke Millington crashed over the line for his 11th try of the season to give Kirk the lead.

Ormskirk, to a man, stood tall and continuously forced errors from their opponents. Glover again led the defensive effort with further big hits and this seemed to inspire his flock to do the same.

But the defensive effort could only resist for so long and after a succession of quickly taken penalties forced Kirk well and truly on to the back foot, Aspull took their chance as their prop crashed over from short range.

As Aspull looked to carry out of their own 22 the ball was turned over brilliantly by the forward effort and scrum half Dan Bailie broke down the blind side. As his effort looked to be hauled short by the home side defence he offloaded superbly to onrushing winger Ben McCarthy who finished with aplomb.

Kirk were fired up and determined to grab the next score in order to seize the initiative and impose some dominance on the scoreboard. They would get this opportunity by yet another infringement, this time through a high tackle, which saw Dan Bailie claim the three points from the penalty kick.

The rest of the half was played at a frantic pace as Aspull searched for a much needed response before half time but Kirk were able to see it out to go in to the break with a 13-5 lead.

The Ducks came storming out of the blocks and would eventually work their way to within five metres of Aspull's try line.

Again it was down to some superb last gasp defending that both Tom Travis and Andrew Slater were hauled down short of the line.

This spell would eventually produce results though and it was the half time substitute, Montrose who would inspire the breakthrough.

After fielding a clearance kick just inside the opponents’ half he worked his way in field before finding another replacement, Andrew Wilson whose break developed a two-on-one situation with winger McCarthy again profiting with his second try of the match.

The conversion was brilliantly landed by Bailie to extend Kirk's lead to 20-5 and give the visitors what they would think to be an unassailable advantage.

But Aspull were certainly far from done and would come back into the game once more, no doubt lifted by their more than healthy crowd of supporters.

Ormskirk had been in winning positions on numerous occasions earlier in the season and surrendered them but they were about to show just how far they have come over the past year as they sealed their place in the final with an outstanding try, orchestrated by none other than their captain marvel, Adam Glover.

As Aspull pressed up in defence, Glover found himself down a blind alley with nowhere to turn to when he produced a deft chip over the top for winger McCarthy to race on and beat the full back to the ball and score under the posts.

With Dan Bailie again converted the score, the game was surely over at 27-12 but Aspull roused once more and scored the game’s final try in similar fashion to their previous one out wide.

This would prove to only be a consolation score though as Ormskirk played the territory game for the final ten minutes to close out a memorable victory and book their place in the final.

Captain Glover was delighted after the game and thanked all of his players and those who travelled to support the side for all of their efforts.

The Ducks will now face Broughton Park V in the final who saw off Wigan III in the other semi-final. The game will be played at Preston Grasshoppers on May 3, 12pm.

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