THE Reserves hung on at the death to deal the Wolves only their third defeat of the season and claim a fine 38-32 win writes Graham Henthorne, Team Manager.
As the first team got some players back so did the Reserves giving Coach Ian Talbot as big a squad to choose from as he’s had all season and when it mattered those players dropping back came up trumps.
The home side scored first capitalising on a knock on in goal but the Saints hit straight back. Despite being brought back from scoring for a penalty Matty Ashe saved the refs blushes showing and going down the left.
The Wolves regained the lead but again it was short-lived. Matty Ashe was stopped short but as the play was worked left Ban Karalius put Joe Greenwood through a yawning gap at the posts.
A half break and quick play the ball from Nathan Ashe put the defence on the back foot allowing big brother Matty to put Dan Brotherton in at the corner with a booming 20 metre pass.
The Saints pack were dominating their opposite numbers increasing the pressure on the men in primrose and blue and it tolled as a high kick was spilled giving the Saints a scrum on the 10 metre line. From the scrum Tommy Makinson (pictured) showed the form he showed at the DW jinking his way over for the score.
The Wolves, with first team hooker John Clarke to the fore, scored down the left and finished the stronger forcing the Saints into some desperate defence.
The second half started with the Wolves pressing down the Saints left only for Josh Jones to pick up the last tackle grubber and go 50 metres downfield. On the last quick hands saw Dan Brotherton in at the corner only for the big winger to drop the ball over the line.
On the next set Jones again broke down the middle this time finding Nathan Ashe in support to go the final 40 for the try, crucially putting the Saints three scores to the good.
A defensive lapse of biblical proportions saw the home side pull one back before Matty Ashe made full use of the wind at his back for a 40/20. From the scrum Scott Hale was held inches short before we were treated to a try conceived in the back yard of the Ashe home back in New Zealand. Nathan’s grubber rebounded of the post into the waiting arms of a grateful Matty for the easiest of scores.
On the hour the Wolves big right winger scored in the corner to pull back to within 10 but the lead was back to 16 on the next set.
Nathan Ashe’s grubber to the line was missed by the full back kicked on again by Ashe onto a Wolves player before being kicked again by yet another onto his own man. Finally it fell at the feet of Aaron Lloyd who dropped on it for the try.
As in the first half the Saints began to tire as the half wore on and the Wolves made it a nervy final few minutes scoring twice wide out on the right.
The Reserves’ nerve held and they came away with a great win. The Ashe brothers were instrumental in most things for the Saints but Ant Walker, Jordan Hand, Scott Hale and Danny Jones did great work in the engine room to set up the win.
Tries: Paul Brearley 2, James Saltonstall, Callum Beckett, James Mendieka, Gavin Williams, Ben Evans
Goals: Ryan Shaw 2
Tries: Nathan Ashe, Tommy Makinson, Dan Brotherton, Matty Ashe 2, Aaron Lloyd, Joe Greenwood
Goals: Tommy Makinson 5
Half Time: 20-12
Full Time: 38-32
1. Ben Hellewell, 27. Paul Brearley, 4. James Saltonstall, 3. Callum Beckett, 2. Ryan Shaw, 7. James Mendieka, 6.
Gavin Williams, 8. Jamie Peasnell, 9. John Clarke, 10. Glen Riley, 11. James Laithwaite, 12. Liam Hulme, 13. Andrew Finn.
Subs: 14. Bradley Brennan, 15. Brad Dwyer, 16. Ben Evans, 19. Ryan Duffy.
1. Nathan Ashe, 2. Simon Atherton, 4. Josh Jones, 3. Tommy Makinson, 5. Dan Brotherton, 6. Matty Ashe, 7. Ben Karalius, 8. Gareth Frodsham, 9. Aaron Lloyd, 10. Anthony Walker, 11. Scott Hale, 12. Joe Greenwood, 13. Danny Jones.
Subs: 14. Marcus Baines, 15. Josh Greaves, 16. Jordan Hand, 17. Tommy Johnson.