ROUND THREE of the Blacksticks Blue Junior Challenge saw Ormskirk under-13s pitted against Rossendale up in the hills of Lancashire.
Ormskirk kicked off into the sun and Rossendale received.
The initial clashes showed Ormskirk to be dominant in the ruck and, with Matty W and James Mc leading the charge the ball was turned over.
After several phases the ball came to Tom G in the less familiar role as centre. He powered down the pitch dragging defenders in his wake and grounded the ball for our first score.
Kirk’s second score came hot on its heels. Runs from Andy M, Tom G and Matty W brought Kirk back into the Rossendale half after the kick-off to resume and a penalty was awarded. Aidan L took a quick tap only to be brought back for not being at the mark, the second attempt saw play stop as Rossendale hadn’t gone back 10 but the third time proved the charm and Aidan ran into the corner to make the score Rossendale 0-10 Ormskirk.
The kick to resume fell to Louis H but his sprint upfield was felled by a high tackle. Play was stopped and before the coaches could get half way across the pitch Louis returned to his feet. Rossendale were awarded a penalty and they opted to kick to touch. A second penalty was awarded at the lineout much to the bewilderment of the Ormskirk coaches on the far touchline and sadly a number of the players. A quick pen was taken and Rossendale ran in to take the score to 5-10.
The second half saw Ormskirk go further ahead. Huge runs from Tom, Matty W and Dominic S with magnificent support play from Alex G soon had Kirk in the Rossendale half. Joe C picked the ball up from a ruck and made a quick pass to Louis H. Louis slipped a tackle and was through. His pace carried him in to make our third try and this time Dom stepped up and claimed the extras for 5-17.
In the dying seconds, James S showed our forwards have some pace too.
Receiving the ball in the unfamiliar role of wing (three of our four usual wingers having succumbed to illness or wonky stairs) he powered up the field from deep to within spitting distance of the tryline before being pushed into touch to the final whistle and the great relief of Rossendale.