SAINTS reserves went down 20-18 to Wakefield on Friday night, writes Graham Henthorne, Team Manager.
The Saints were first on the board, Matty Ashurst spinning out of a tackle to reach over the line. This after good defence had produced a repeat set.
But the Wildcats quickly took control and with it the lead. A big defensive effort on the line kept them at bay twice but on the next set the scrum half jinked around the static Saints defenders to score under the sticks.
The Saints were failing to push the Wildcats back with the kicking game and then compounding the problems by turning over possession cheaply in their own half.
The Wildcats took the lead from such a knock on as their big prop strolled over unopposed.
The Saints continued to battle on and minutes before the break their luck changed. A double penalty put the Reserves on the attack and quick hands from Ben Karalius and then Matty Ashurst saw Jordan Case go over for his first try at this level. Tommy Johnson’s second conversion levelled it at 12 apiece.
But on the stroke of half time the Wildcats regained the lead with a penalty for the Saints markers not being square.
The second period opened with the Wildcats taking two drop goals to extend their lead but in between the Reserves should have gone ahead.
On the last Karalius went wide to Scott Hale. The big second rower stretched his legs before putting a pass out to his winger Simon Atherton. The line seemed to be open for him but he pass it back inside just over the head of Karalius and the chance was lost.
The Saints were showing some signs of life at last but the recovery was short lived as Ashurst’s pass was intercepted by the Wildcats centre who had an easy run in to the line.
The Saints were running out of troops but battled bravely on and set up a nerve jangling final ten minutes as Karalius took Ashurst’s offload to score after good work from the tireless Jordan Hand and Andrew Dixon.
As the time ticked on the Saints got increasingly desperate but just as the last chance seemed to have gone good work at marker by Josh Jones gave the Saints possession in the visitor’s 10 metre area. However with four tackles to go, forty seconds remaining on your correspondent’s watch and the Saints inches short, the final whistle blew.
Tries: Ben Karalius, Matty Ashurst, Jordan Case.
Goals: Tommy Johnson 3.
Tries: Declan Storey, Liam Kay, Ben Gledhill.
Goals: Kieran Hyde 3.
Drop Goals: Kieran Hyde 2.
Half Time: 12-14
Full Time: 18-20
1. Tommy Johnson, 2. Simon Atherton, 3. Josh Jones, 4. Alex Trumper, 5. Dan Brotherton, 6. Kenny Hughes, 7. Ben Karalius, 8. Jordan Hand, 9. Aaron Lloyd, 10. Anthony Walker, 11. Andrew Dixon, 12. Scott Hale, 13. Matty Ashurst.
Subs: 14. Marcus Baines, 15. Jordan Case, 16. Joe Bate, 17. Samir Tahrouai.
1. Josh Hardcastle, 2. Lee Brickwood, 3. Declan Storey, 4. Danny Cowling, 5. Greg Johnson, 6. Kieran Hyde, 7.
Liam Kay, 8. Kyle Trout, 9. Tom Henderson, 10. Ben Gledhill, 11. Chris Annekin, 12. Adam Slater, 13. Andrew Tate.
Subs: 14. Lucas Walshaw, 15. Russ Spiers, 16. Michael Tate, 17. Lloyd Templeton.