Tarleton Seconds hosted Blackburn thirds at Carr Lane on Saturday knowing that it was another must win game.
A large squad assembled and besides a bit of gusting wind the day was set fair for good rugby.
From the kick off Tarleton were straight into Blackburn’s defence and they couldn’t get the ball away from their 22.
Their full-back was deemed to have held on to the ball in the tackle and Lee Waddell took a quick penalty but was stopped just short of the line but Liam Thompson picked up the ball and crashed through the opposition’s legs to open the scoring.
Blackburn came straight back and pinned Tarleton in their 22 but the Tarleton defence held firm and from a five metre defensive scrum the ball was spun out wide and Sam Bradshaw broke through the Blackburn line and charged upfield and passed the ball out of the tackle to the ever present Sam Tyrer who scored in the corner.
Fraser Grieves added the extras with an impressive kick to give Tarleton a 12-0 lead.
Tarleton then played some poor rugby making several basic mistakes and trying to be a bit too clever with their passing, it was from another solid scrum that the ball found its way quickly along the line to Sam Bradshaw who ran in a good try which was also converted by Fraser.
Tarleton kept giving penalties away and Blackburn opted to kick for touch with everyone, it was fortunate for Tarleton that their line-out wasn’t working as they squandered a lot of good attacking opportunities this way.
The last penalty conceded saw Blackburn with a five metre line-out in the Tarleton 22 but again the throw went awry and the ball was taken by Dave Gordon who burst through the Blackburn line and passed the ball to Lee Waddell who made more ground to relieve the pressure.
Tarleton’s last play of the half was again from a scrum and although the pack made the line and got the ball to the pack of the maul the ref thought that the ball had been held up by some desperate Blackburn defence and the score wasn’t allowed.
The second half continued in the same manner with Tarleton having a lot of possession but Blackburn exerting some pressure with their kicking game.
Blackburn's No. 12 was starting to find gaps and broke the gain line on a few occasions but Tarleton defence and lack of support from his team mates saw the danger negated.
A good period of pressure from Tarleton ensued and from a penalty against Blackburn for holding on was kicked to the corner and a good line out move involving James Macefield and Mike Foreman saw the ball slipped to Lee Waddell who broke through two tackles to score a good try and the conversion was good to increase Tarleton's lead to 26 points.
Tarleton’s best try of the game followed, again from a good scrum the ball was picked up at No. 8 by Sam Cleaver who made some good yards and slipped the ball to Brad Jones who continued the move before releasing the ball which went through the hands of Rory Mitchell and Phil Campion to leave Sam Bradshaw the easy task of running the ball in.
33-0 ahead and another try followed when from the re-start the ball found it’s way to the rampant Tarleton forwards and Dave Gordon and Lee Waddell punched holes in the Blackburn defence and as they were going backwards the ball was given to the onrushing Bevan Taylor who crashed over to score.
38-0 up and two minutes to play and Blackburn had the last word when a No. 8 pickup went wrong and the Blackburn No. 6 picked up the loose ball and ran in to score a good try to make the final score 38-5 to Tarleton.
This was a good win and they now have two games left - Aspull away next week and Wigan away the following week. The maths is quite simple if they win these two games they will be crowned Champions.