TARLETON seconds visited second place BAE Warton missing a couple of key players.
However, a good squad assembled in the driving sleet and rain for this Division Four North Raging Bull North West Leagues encounter.
The first 10 minutes of the match was all Warton and Tarleton just couldn’t get into the game and were giving penalties away for fun.
From one of these, Warton kicked for the corner and from a five metre lineout their big number four attacked the line but was held up short. Quick recycling by Warton saw the Tarleton defence breached and the hosts went 5-0 ahead.
Tarleton woke up then but somehow lost possession in a rolling maul and the Warton centre ran the length of the pitch but was bundled into touch short of the line.
Tarleton's defensive lineout was poor and the ball was slapped back and gave the scrum-half no chance and the Warton flanker burst through to fall on the ball and obtain his side’s second try.
Half an hour in the Warton number 17 was sin binned f and Tarleton used the extra man advantage well, although they were stopped time after time by the Warton number seven lying on the ball or handling in the ruck.
The penalties awarded were taken as scrums and even though Tarleton were driving the Warton scrum backwards the ball was killed again. A quick penalty saw Bevan Taylor crash over in the corner and Tarleton were back in the game at 12-5.
Tarleton's pack were now on the up but Warton lost their front-row player to injury and the scrums became uncontested.
Tarleton's advantage had now been lost but still they pressed.
Another penalty for killing the ball saw Lee Booth step up to put the ball between the sticks and at 12-8 Tarleton started to look for the try.
To their credit, Warton defended well against Tarleton’s running backs and two last ditch tackles denied the West Lancashire outfit the score they needed.
At the final whistle Warton were extremely relieved but in reality Tarleton should have won this game and can prove this when they meet them again at home in a fortnight’s time.