ORMSKIRK kicked off their league campaign with the first of three journeys to the Isle of Man.
A strong team arrived at Ormskirk HQ bright and early on Saturday morning, knowing that a long day lay ahead of them.
Manx teams are known for their strong home form and Douglas were no different, coming into the match with a reputed four season unbeaten record at home.
Ormskirk started much the brighter, with the opening 10 minutes being a decidedly one-sided affair.
Great work from the forwards afforded the Ormskirk backs time and options on the ball and had it not been for some resolute Douglas defence, the visitors could have a dream start.
A tackle on the touchline by the diminutive yet strong Joe Hodgson seemed to sum up the Ormskirk start, powerful, yet skilful.
The powerful start from the Green Lane men was rewarded on eight minutes with a penalty to the left of the posts that was confidently dispatched by stand-off Alex Lambie.
The shock of the opening 10 minutes spurred the Douglas team into life and a series of dubious penalties allowed the stand-off to pin Ormskirk deep in their own half.
A strong scrum inside Ormskirk’s 22 metre line set up the first try of the game, as a retreating visitors’ backline failed to deal with a powerful run from the Douglas centre.
Douglas were now moving the ball with confidence and only dogged defence from the Ormskirk men kept the scoreline down.
A couple of early successes from big runners down the centre of the field set the tone for the Douglas men. After repelling a number of attacks in this area, the Ormskirk defence finally gave way and Douglas forced their way over for the second try of the game.
A poor decision from the man in the middle gave Douglas great field position five metres from the Ormskirk line which they capitalised on, and from a bright start, the West Lancashire outfit were suddenly looking at the scoreboard in collective disbelief.
However, if the hard-learned lessons from last season have shown anything, it’s that Ormskirk teams will not go down without a fight.
Ormskirk began to regain a little of the opening momentum and started to control the game, albeit in fleeting patches. A superb run from prop Ryan Purcell, bouncing four defenders before off-loading the ball to wing Ollie Griffiths, resulted in the first league try of Ormskirk’s 2012-13 season.
Ormskirk have put in a great deal of hard work in the off-season, with new coach Donny Sutherland making wholesale changes to the Green Lane side’s style of play.
Ormskirk will be hugely disappointed with the opening weekend’s result, but will be happy that the hard work is beginning to show signs of fruition.
Once the new player combinations being to gel and the final execution has been refined, the team can be sure to look forward to a successful season.
ORMSKIRK look to get back to winning ways on Saturday with the first home game of the new season against Moore. The match kicks-off at 3pm.