LANGTREE Park saw its first miracle on the Saturday as the U18s staged one of the biggest come back since Lazarus to beat Widnes 46-30, writes Graham Henthorne.
Trailing by 24 points after only 15 minutes and unable to either hold onto possession or the opposition all looked up for Derek Traynor’s charges.
But the introduction of Brad Ashurst off the bench gave the Saints a little stability in both attack and defence and gradually they began the long climb back from adversity.
Two tries were missed before the Saints finally troubled the scorers as Lewis Sheridan burrowed his way in from close range.
Good work from Tom Roughley saw André Savelio (pictured) stopped short but Lewis Foster darted over from the play the ball to put the Saints back in touch at the break.
Patience was the call at the interval, continue to play to the game plan and the tries will come and sure enough within 10 minutes the Saints had turned the match completely on its head.
Sheridan got a repeat set with a neat grubber and when Lewis Charnock repeated the feat on the last Savelio snatched the bouncing ball out of the grasp of the full back to score the first of his hat-trick.
From the restart Ashurst and Savelio spread terror through the now panicking Vikings with tremendous runs from deep gaining another repeats set. Strong running Luke Thompson was held inches short but Ashurst drove over. Charnock’s fourth goal put the scores level.
Ashurst was again involved as the Saints took the lead for the first time. His divine short ball put Sheridan away, he broke a tackle and fed it inside to the supporting Corey Lee who’s trolled to the posts.
A momentary lapse allowed the visitors to draw level again before the forwards steamrollered their opposite number into submission in the last quarter.
Strong runs from Leon Tatlock and Greg Richards put the Saints on the Vikings 20 only for Charnock to run it on the last finding Savelio for the score.
The big second rower could have had four only for knocking on over the line but had the last laugh scoring after James Tilley’s 40 metre break.
Sandwiched in between was a deserved try for Charnock who was put in by a Tilley offload.
This was a victory for power over 65 minutes versus power over 15 minutes. The visitors were outstanding during that opening burst but couldn’t handle the Saints once they decided to play.
Savelio, Thompson, Richards and Chris Webster were good but Charnock and Ashurst were outstanding.
Tries: Corey Lee, Lewis Sheridan, Lewis Foster, Lewis Charnock, André Savelio 3, Brad Ashurst.
Goals: Lewis Charnock 7.
Tries: Jack Owens, Kyle Ross, Tom Gilmore 2, Alex Tague.
Goals: Tom Gilmore 5.
Half Time: 12-24
Full Time: 46-30
1. Corey Lee; 2. Ben Parry, 3. Matt Wood, 4. Lewis Galbraith, 5. Leon Tatlock; 6. Tom Roughley, 7. Lewis Sheridan; 8. Greg Richards, 9. Lewis Foster, 10. Matt Cooke, 11. Luke Thompson, 16. James Tilley, 14. Lewis Charnock.
Subs: 12. André Savelio, 13. Connor Dwyer, 15. Chris Webster, 17. Brad Ashurst.
1. Jack Owens; 2. Kiaran Butterworth, 3. Danny Stapleton, 4. Dean Ainsworth, 5. Kyle Ross; 6. Nathan Fernyhough, 7. Tom Gilmore; 8. Alex Tague, 9. Ste Ball, 10. Lewis Whitty, 11. Liam Orme, 12. Lloyd Hankin, 13. Jon Rigby.
Subs: 14. Lewis Hulme, 15. Sam McGrory, 16. Jason Blackmore, 17. Niall Rowlands.