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Oldham St Anne's U’13s 10 v 36 West Bank Bears
7:30am Thursday 7th March 2013 in Sport
West Bank travelled away to open the season in the NWC Development Cup and after a long hard winter of training they were eager to put the results of the last two friendlies behind them. Could they bring their A game to an Oldham side who historically have made things difficult for the Bears?
The answer came very quickly as the team settled from the first whistle, Lee Dyas catching cleanly and cleverly brought Jack McDonald into the game, who with a dummy step to the left committed the Saints line of defence opening up a massive gap in the middle of the park, which he duly exploited running the full length of the field only to be tackled on the Saints try line.
Some quick thinking and swift passing along the Bears line found Jordan Howarth for a spectacular try down the Saints left side.
The game continued in the same manner with some strong tackling and hits from both sides Scott Curphey, George Timms, Morgan Chesters and Will Donnely all contributing in the middle of the park.
It wasn't long before the Bears added more points in what was turning out to be a very strong attacking first half for the Bears, with Jonathan Dearden, Lee Dyas and James Stancliffe all placing the ball into the Saints scoring Zone and with two conversions by Jack McDonald it took the score to 20 - 0 for the Bears. Not to be out done the Saints set up a great second half with a try and conversion right on the whistle. Half time score 20-6 Game on.
Second half started in a ferocious manner with both sides looking to gain territorial advantage from the off. The Green Army's number 21 taking the lead pushing his team down the field resulting in a deserved try, taking the score to 20-10.
The Saints 21 continued to drag his team by the collar and tirelessly punished the Bears right flank, run after run pushing the Bears resolve to the limit, but for some strong last ditch tackling from Jack Baker and Jordan Howarth he could have quite easily made his mark further on the score sheet.
Then the Bears awoke the giant Conner Brittle who with immense power carried the ball in successive drives on both occasions with 4 Saint players hanging off him, he managed to gain control for the team and stem the Saints attack. This gave the Bears more confidence and Scott Curphey capped a great performance with a strong try to take the points to 24-10.
From the kick off the Bears found a renewed spirit and with some quick passing utilising the short game to the max they found the ever reliable Ryan Leicester on the left flank who with some great hands safely placed the ball down to take the lead to 30-10 and send the Bears into a state of euphoria. Things were rounded off nicely with a further try from Lee Dyas and a conversion from Jack McDonald. Final score 36-10.
A great all round team display by the Bears, every player deserves a mention, with a number of new players starting to make an impact the season is starting to look an exciting prospect. Special mention this week however goes to Kieran Owens who at full back had composure and a determination far beyond his years.
Man of the match was Jack McDonald for a magnificent display showing great leadership and a commitment to drive the Bears forward at every opportunity.