THE Saints Academy registered their first win of the season in emphatic style against the old enemy at a sun drenched Close Street on Saturday writes Graham Henthorne.
Nine tries to eight different scorers emphasised their dominance over the more experienced visitors as they secured a 44-10 victory.
The visitors pack had all played at a higher level whilst the Saints had three making their full debuts. But this proved even more of a challenge to those in the red vee and all rose to the occasion.
The Saints were 10 points to the good in even time as first Mark Percival and then Ste Yates crossed the whitewash. Percival used his pace on the outside to good effect finishing a cross field move with style before Yates took advantage of quick hands to touch down.
The visitors couldn’t live with the Saints. Josh Jones showed why he is a prospect for the future with the first of his brace using good evasive skill to bamboozle the defence.
Joe Greenwood continues to impress every game he plays with his strong running and he was rewarded with the fourth try stretching over to score after hitting the gap.
Jones scored his second and the Saints fifth, finishing a great move, to give the Saints a 24 point lead at the break.
The coaching staff were at pains to point out that last week’s second half cost the Academy the win and to not let that happen this time and that is exactly what the players did.
Danny Yates extended the lead with a great show and go before the visitors saved their blushes with two tries. But the important thing was how the Academy reacted to these scores and the response was perfect. Go down the other end and score.
Lewis Foster, again increasing the momentum at dummy half off the bench, darted over for a well deserved try before we were treated to pure Saints for the final two scores.
Corey Lee marked his debut on his home turf with a try finishing a length of the field move before James Hill did exactly the same for the final score as the Samba Saints came out of hiding.
Last week I called for the Academy to be more patient and build pressure before delivering the coup de grace. This week the Academy did exactly as was asked of them showing the maturity that can take this team far.
The Portico contingent were prominent as usual, Foster, Tilley and Ashurst showing aggression and confidence in abundance. Joe Bate as usual led from the front. The visitors were terrorised every time the centre pairing of Percival and Jones went anywhere near them but the strings were most emphatically pulled by Danny Yates.
Tries: Mark Percival, Ste Yates, Josh Jones (2), Joe Greenwood, Danny Yates, Lewis Foster, Corey Lee, James Hill.
Goals: Danny Yates 4.
Tries: Chris Taylor, Martin Crowe.
Goals: Martin Crowe.
1. Corey Lee, 2. Ste Yates, 3. Mark Percival, 4. Josh Jones, 5. James Hill, 6. Dom Speakman, 7. Danny Yates, 8. Joe Bate (pictured), 9. Marcus Baines, 10. Brad Ashurst, 11. Joe Greenwood, 12. Alex Clare, 13. Connor Dwyer.
Subs: 14. Lewis Foster, 15. James Tilley, 16. Jordan O’Neill, 17. Chris Webster.
1. Tom Hurst, 2. Martin Crowe, 3. Shae Lyon-Fraser, 4. Andy White, 5. Danny Parkinson, 6. Chris Taylor, 7. Liam Fishwick, 8. Greg Burke, 9. Liam Carberry, 10. Lewis Jackson, 11. Martin Crowe, 12. Josh O’Donnell, 13. Danny Bridge.
Subs: 14. Jacob Almond, 15. Harry Norton, 16. Joe Bullock, 17. Craig Blakeley.