ORMSKIRK first XV stormed to their first bonus point victory of the season on Saturday with a 5-try haul over Marple.
Kirk went into the fixture with a host of Green Lane favourites missing for the away fixture, with both abrasive flankers Mark Webster and Martin Rorhwell nursing troublesome groin injuries.
Ormskirk were strengthened though by the return of one of their most influential players, in inside centre and ex-national league player Neil Habberfield, and Habberfield was to prove the difference between the sides in the early exchanges.
The Gingerbread Men started strongly and it was apparent to the crowd that Kirk were the stronger of the two sides.
Ormskirk took it to Marple and with veteran winger Andi Wroe making a rare appearance in the starting XV, the winger finished neatly in the corner after full back Luke Parker had joined the line and expertly drew his man before gifting Wroe an easy walk in at the corner. With the conversion missed, 5-0 at 11 minutes.
Kirk again attacked right from the re start and it wasn't long before excellent field position had been gained through solid line out set piece work by the usual suspects of Second row partnership of the gigantic Andrew Davidson and first XV favourite Danny Hitchlock.
With possession secured, Habberfield did the rest. Using all his experience and guile, the burly centre went in unopposed after skipper Prytherch identified a huge gap in the midfield. The conversion was missed 10-0 at 18 minutes.
With Kirk appreciating the potential danger Marple posed, coach Sutherland reiterated to skipper Prytherch to continue to press for more points.
Kirk’s penalty count continued to grow though as they found themselves on the wrong side of the referee’s whistle at the breakdown and errors started to creep into Kirks game.
However luckily winger Tom Owens was on hand to settle Sutherland’s nerves, the young winger creating a great solo try with a mesmerising run leaving three would be tacklers in his wake.
Finally with a conversion taken, 17-0 at 26 minutes.
With this Marple managed to secure some possession and as a result of Ormskirk’s over eagerness at the breakdown, Marple managed to convert two penalties to take the score to 17-6 at the interval.
With the second period starting it was vital Ormskirk scored first and they did just that with yet again Ben McCarthy making a searing break through the Marple midfield ranks.
The young centre managing to off load well to the supporting Parker who finished well, with the conversion taken Kirk had cemented the victory, 24-6 on 65 minutes.
Ormskirk followed up a period of forward dominance with another penalty for 27-6.
With the referee disrupting every breakdown with his interpretation of the contact area the game started to become disjointed, the final score was a true try for the rugby traditionalists.
A clean take in the line followed by a driving maul by the tight five with the young prop forward Bradley Drysdale going over from close range, to notch up his first senior try for the Green Lane club, with the conversion taken 34-6 at 70 minutes.
With the clock winding down a Marple player was dismissed for a straight red card after a nasty trip tackle which marred the game.
Kirk will have to improve for this week’s league clash against Liverpool Collegiate who are also three victories from three league games played.
The stage is set for a fiery encounter at Green Lane.
l ORMSKIRK ladies overcame a powerful Leigh outfit in this crucial league encounter which was witnessed by the Mayor & Mayoress of Ormskirk.
Still smarting from last week's loss at Kendal, the Ormskirk women drew inspiration from the civic presence to kick off the 20th Year Anniversary of Women's Rugby at the club.
The home side, who were virtually at full strength, soaked up all the early pressure from a committed and well-drilled Leigh side, who dominated the tackle area for long parts of the game.
Lou Prescott who played in Ormskirk's first ever game was quick to praise the whole squad, saying: "We tried to give everyone some game time today, so there was a lot of disruption and changing position.
“But the girls adapted superbly and just got on with the job they were given.
“We gave debuts to winger George Daulby, who looks to have such a bright future and of course we welcomed back Kayleigh Sutherland who was awesome in the loose today."
As is often the case, although all the tries were set up by the forwards, they were scored by the backs with powerful full-back Vicky Irwin grabbing two sensational scores, Charlotte Pearce showing some very classy running to score a brilliant individual try, Lou Robbo finishing off a slick handling move involving Anna, Becks and Kayleigh and Sammy Hunter blasting through the Leigh defence to score.
The next league game is at Sunderland on October 6 and coach Foster believes this will be a crucial game, commenting: "Sunderland gave Leigh a heck of a game last week, and they will be difficult to beat.”