THE Saints Academy completed a well deserved double over the Wolves in a typically robust derby at Close Street on Saturday – emerging 34-18 winners, writes Graham Henthorne.
A first minute injury to Danny Jones meant that Derek Traynor’s charges played the whole game with only 16 and despite a mini revival in the second period were never really in any danger.
Jordan O’Neill’s knock on over the line gave the visitors a let off which they took advantage of. Bobbie Goulding’s 40/20 gave them the chance to open the scoring down their right.
It was a little one way traffic after that, however, as the Saints, playing into the teeth of a strong wind, turned the screw.
Corey Lee’s break down the right gave a repeat set but a poor kick meant the attack fizzled out.
It was left to Jamie Tracey to keep up his try a game pace as he opened the Saints account. Mark Percival had made good ground down the right before Adam Swift worked the play left putting Tracey through a massive hole.
The Saints hit the front just before quarter time as Percival scored from a set move. Callum Welsby jumped out of dummy half, gave it out to Jordan Case, back inside to Dom Speakman through the gap and he fed it on to the supporting Percival to outstrip the defence over the last 40.
The Saints, led by Brad Ashurst, James Tilley and Jordan Case, were upping the ante in all facets of the game. Pressure defence forced the Wire error in their own half and three tackles later an offload from the returning Swift and quick hands down the left put Leon Tatlock in at the corner.
Jordan Case hit the posts with the difficult conversion but made no mistake 10 minutes later converting the Saints fourth try. Good drives off their own line from Tilley, Jack Francis and Luke Thompson put the Saints on a roll and when Swift took a short Dom Speakman pass he weaved his way through and past the cover to the posts.
A repeat set in the final minutes of the half saw the visitors score their second just before the break and another ten minutes into the second period brought them to within a try.
That was as close as they got, however, as the ship was steadied on the next set as Luke Thompson made it two in two. Speakman’s’ well placed chip and Corey Lee’s fantastic chase forced the error from the full back on his own 10 which Thompson punished from the scrum.
A great chase back from his own intercepted pass from Corey Lee helped Mark Percival bring down the Wolves winger and allowed the defence to get back in position to snuff out the attack.
On the next set a great inside ball from Case, even though he knew he was going to get clattered put Swift away down the middle and he stood the full back up to go in under the posts.
The was still time for Percival to have a second try disallowed for a forward pass and for tempers to fray enough to make the referee send off the two opposing props for their part in the mass argy bargy.
Tilley and Case were outstanding in a good all round team performance which keeps the Saints up at the top of the competition ladder.
Tries: Jamie Tracey, Mark Percival, Leon Tatlock, Adam Swift 2, Luke Thompson.
Goals: Mark Percival, Jordan Case 4.
Tries: Callan Beckett 2, Gavin Bennion.
Goals: Bobbie Goulding 3.
Half Time: 22-12
Full Time: 34-18
1. Corey Lee; 2. Greg Wilde, 3. Mark Percival, 4. Jamie Tracey, 5. Leon Tatlock; 6. Adam Swift, 7. Dom Speakman; 8. Brad Ashurst, 9. Callum Welsby, 10. Danny Jones, 11. James Tilley, 12. Jordan O’Neill, 13. Jordan Case.
Subs: 14. Lewis Foster, 15. Luke Thompson, 16. Jack Francis, 17. Adam Hesketh.
1. Gene Ormsby; 2. Nathan Hill, 3. Callan Beckett, 4. Jake Eccleston, 5. Sean Henney; 6. Bobbie Goulding, 7. Scott Turner, 8. Jack Morrison, 9. Ben Moores, 10.Brad Brennan, 11. Gavin Bennion, 12. Zak Dewhurst, 13. Jimmy Rowland.
Subs: 14. Micky Learmouth, 15. Brad Smith, 16. Tom Walker, 17. Sam Brookes.