Ormskirk entertained Port Sunlight this Saturday, determined to put last week's disappointing result behind them and get their season back on track. Straight from the kick-off 'Kirk showed their intent to play expansive rugby when a sweeping 70 yard move that ended with debutant winger Michael Jacques skipping past two defenders to open his account for the club with his first touch of the ball. Ormskirk had scored a second try before they allowed the visitors to touch the ball as bulldozing centre Neil Habberfield opened his account for the day, the first of his five-try haul in a Man of the Match performance for the stocky Welshman.
Ormskirk continued to score at regular intervals as the showed a clinical side to their play that has been missing in the early weeks of the season. First Andy Davidson scored his first try since returning to the club, running a great line onto Skipper Gaz Prytherch's neat delayed pass. This was followed by young back-rower Craig Ennis scoring twice in quick succession, both on the back of strong runs by winger Joe Hodson, the second of these required Ennis to show a great turn of foot to race away from the Port Sunlight cover defence. Hodson then got in on the act himself, taking the ball at first receiver, he dummied and stepped his way through the first line of defence and then correctly decided he didn't need his support players and crashed over the try line himself.
Port Sunlight looked dangerous at times when they had the ball and caused 'Kirk a few problems with their elusive backs but Ormskirk were not in the mood to cough up possession very often as they continued to put the Wirral team to the sword. The final two tries of the half were both scored by Habberfield, one from Alex Lambie's offload in contact and the other after Prytherch had attacked down the blindside from a ruck to put him in in the corner. With Lambie converting four of the first half tries the half-time score was 48-0 to the Gingerbread Men.
'Kirk continued with same attacking ambition in the second period. Early tries from replacement winger Ben McCarthy who finished off a flowing backs move and hooker Jonny Gorst who smashed his way over from close range taking two defenders with him set the tone for the rest of the game. Outside centre Andy Healey was next to cross the line, having had a hand in so many of the tries already, he helped himself to one, darting over from 20 yards out. Hodson then completed his brace of tries, in typical style he wholeheartedly chased a kick, forcing the Port Sunlight full-back into a mistake and pounced on the loose ball to touch down.
Habberfield then added a fourth try, his angled run onto Prytherch's cut-out pass allowed him to blast through his opposite number's outstretched arm and score by the posts. Vice-captain Dan Hitchlock was next to score, the combative number eight powered his way over in the corner after being further motivated by the strange behaviour of Port Sunlight's flanker whose antics had earned him 10 minutes in the sin-bin. Fittingly it was Habberfield who closed the scoring with the last play of the game, jogging in to score out wide. Prytherch's touchline conversion finished proceedings and as Lambie had added two conversions before leaving the field, the final score was 87-0.
Full credit to Port Sunlight, they never gave up and looked dangerous at times in attack, unfortunately for them they caught Ormskirk in a very clinical mood, riled by last week's dropped points. 'Kirk head to the Isle of Man this Saturday to take on Ramsey as they look to keep up the pressure at the top of the table.
Ormskirk 2xv End Home Hoodoo With Resounding Display
Ormskirk overcame the loss of their captain to illness to record their first home win of the season with a dominating performance at Green Lane.
With captain Glover sidelined with a bout of food poisoning (note to anyone with half a brain, do not reheat a Chinese takeaway from the night before and eat it) his able deputy, Chris Parlour, was able to overcome a chest infection to lead the team.
Ormskirk came out of the traps fired up from the pre-match team talk and with the bit between their teeth, there was a feeling that today would be the day that their wretched home form would come to an end.
The opening 15 minutes saw a war of attrition, as both sides went in search of the games crucial first score. Garstang were coming off a great performance against league leaders Bolton last week and were showing evidence of the confidence gained from that. Thankfully Kirk had 'The Wolfman' Michael Tamblyn back from a shoulder injury and a couple of big hits kept their early advances at bay.
The hosts then found their next gear and began to cause problems going forward. The interplay between backs and forwards was working well and the returning Dan Bailie picked up where he left off, using his lightning pace to break down the wing only for the ball to be dropped just short of the line.
A similar attack followed and this time Garstang were penalised for infringing at the ruck. Captain Parlour took the charge from the quickly taken penalty and the quickly recycled ball found its way to Joe Rowe, who scored underneath the posts. Two tries in two games for the New Zealander, who was playing with a smile on his face throughout, with the returning Alan Frost adding the extras to give Kirk a 7-0 lead.
From the next kick off Donnan took the high ball brilliantly before offloading to the busy John Bennett who's expertly timed pass set number eight Luke Millington free. Sadly the ball went to ground again just short of the line but this was a great example of the enterprising rugby the seconds are looking to play.
Kirk now had their noses up and they could sense a second breakthrough was on the way and sure enough they found it when Dan Bailie slipped though a gap in the defence and put the afterburners on to score the second try and extend the lead to 12.
As they made their way back up to the kick off position captain Parlour reminded the team of previous weeks where similar positions had been squandered by complacency, which seemed to do the trick as they mounted another assault on the Garstang line and stand off Frost helped himself to the games third try under the posts before popping over the conversion for good measure.
The rest of the half saw Garstang try to get a foothold on the game and to their credit the half finished in the Ormskirk 22 with some good defensive work from Millington and Tamblyn keeping the visitors at bay. Bizarrely it was prop John Donnan who kicked the ball out to take the hosts in at half time 19-0 to the good.
A couple of changes were made during the break in order to steady the ship and to give breathers where they were needed and Parlour demanded that Kirk started the second half with the same intensity as they did the first.
Ask and the team will deliver as the opening 10 minutes saw plenty of possession for the Ducks with Garstang continuously tested in defence. Eventually a penalty presented itself in the opposition 22 and Frost took the three points to put Kirk 22-0 to the good.
From here the game went a little quiet in the forwards, this could be blamed on the scrums going uncontested due to an injury to the Garstang prop. We hope he was OK and recovers quickly.
With this quietness came opportunity and Garstang took full advantage as their number eight seemingly walked through a gap in the line only to be hauled down by full back Nick Gordon. Unfortunately the visitors were in support and a quickly moved ball led to the Blues first try of the game.
This was the wake up call Ormskirk needed and Jay Thomas took it upon himself to inject some energy into proceedings with a couple of barnstorming runs up the middle. From one of these stand off Frost found another gap in the defensive line before offloading perfectly in the tackle for winger, Jim McKeown, to score under the posts.
With five minutes remaining captain Parlour, who had previously gone off, re-entered the fray and made an immediate impact with a turn over just inside his own 22. The ball was then taken on by scrum half Kieran Alsopp who released Dan Bailie and the rest was down to his pace as he ran in his second try of the match. Frost converted once more and the score was now 34-7.
This should have been the final score of the game in truth but ill discipline proved to be Kirk's kryptonite and a couple of penalties awarded for back chat presented Garstang with the opportunity of a consolation try to end the game. The final score, 34-14.
Ormskirk can be incredibly proud of their performance against what was a tough Garstang side. Parlour led by example apart from his berating of the touchline at one point, John Bennett's return was a welcome boost as he steadied things well in the forwards, Tamblyn was a nuisance all afternoon and put in a selection of thunderous hits, McKeown was busy from the wing and Nick Gordon proved to be a reliable last line of defence, as well as excellent underneath the high ball.
In truth everyone played their part but this weeks man of the match was Jay Thomas who kept Kirk on the front foot with strong running and was unlucky not to find his way on the score sheet himself.
On a sad note Luke Millington picked up a nasty injury to his collarbone which is likely to see him out for a few weeks. I am sure everyone wishes him the best of luck with his recovery, get well soon mate, lets hope it is a speedy one.
Next week the seconds are at home once more, this time against Blackburn thirds where they will be hoping to keep the momentum going with another win. Onward and upwards is what I say.
Under 10s Tarleton Rugby Festival – October 13, 2013 The boys in green travelled to Tarleton RUFC with a sense of anticipation and a confidence that this would be the start of an excellent afternoon of rugby. With a squad of players now well into double figures, optimism and excitement flowed throughout the Ormskirk contingent.
Game 1 v Tarleton
Early optimism from the Ormskirk Under 10's was brought down a few notches as the host side scored 3 tries during a hard fought battle in the opening game. Ormskirk played on their strength in the rook but were unable to cover the width of the field to prevent conceding the match winning points.
Game 2 v Liverpool Collegiate 'B'
The second game needed a response from the boys in green. More awareness of the wide areas and continuance of rook domination allowed for two tries without response. Tremendous bouncebackability!
Game 3 v Liverpool Collegiate 'A'
A real classic of a game against a strong Collegiate side. Spectators & coaches alike stood in awe watching an energy sapping & gritty performance by the Ormskirk players. A tremendous effort which saw the boys in green camped out on the Collegiate try line for most of the game, ultimately preventing their opponents recording a 100% record in the tournament.
Game 4 v Vale of Lune
After 3 tough games the greens came up against a 'big' team from up the A6. With strong runners using their size and strength to good effect, the Ormskirk pack struggled with the power of their opponents. Once again though the Under 10's stuck to the task and made tackle after tackle, unfortunately this was to no avail as Ormskirk succumbed to pressure and conceded four without response.
Game 5 v Sedgley Park
With a record of 1 win & 1 draw going into the final game, only a win would do if Ormskirk were to have the chance to play for some silverware. The boys in green raised their game again with tremendous positional play, strong rucking and tackling but most of all a new sense of belief. But for the concession of a late try, this game proved to be perfect by the greens as they dominated all areas scoring four times in the process.
Plate Final v Tarleton
After earning their place in the plate final, Ormskirk started what became a bruising encounter. A slow start meant the greens were immediately on the back foot. By now a tired Under 10's were struggling against the strength of their opponents, but once again the effort shown was phenomenal. Fitness levels dipped toward the end allowing the hosts to sneak in five scores but a consolation try showed the commitment of the boys in green never wavered. (Lost 5-1; Plate Runners Up)
“Smash Brothers”; Will & Jason now available as the Rugby League season draws to a close, allowed for a lesson in raw power and presence in the contact area. It also highlighted their versatility to adapt quickly to the change in code. New recruits - playing for the first time a number of 'newbies' can hold their heads high; excellent effort in all areas. Plaudits again to Ollie; capitalizing on the teams build up play to score all seven Ormskirk tries.
“An amazing performance for such a new squad, competing really well in a tournament which saw us playing against some well established teams and walking away with our first trophy. Everyone gave everything they had & more.”