Scholars Beat Cumbria

SAINTS Scholarship U16s made it seven wins out of eight finishing the season off in style with a twelve try 58-0 demolition of a game Cumbrian outfit, writes Graham Henthorne.

Although the result was probably never in doubt, the Saints made it hard for themselves in the first 15 minutes with a completion rate of less than 20%. This meant that for much of that time they were camped in their own 30 metre zone defending for their lives.

The fact that they didn’t concede any points in this period and still scored three tries of their own speaks volumes for the Saints resilience under pressure.

A great penalty kick to touch from Lewis Fairhurst gave the Saints their first opportunity of the game. Jordan Darwin opened the scoring in his first game back from many months out due to injury, taking Ben Morris’ lovely miss pass to dive over in the right corner.

After another sustained period of defending a quick tap restart allowed Fairhurst to put Lewis Hatton through and he in turn put Ricky Bailey clear to sprint 50 metres to increase the lead.

Fairhurst then got on the scoresheet himself but in bizarre fashion as an awful high pass bounced away from the defence giving him an easy run to the line.

The Saints were finally settling into a semblance of normality allowing their forwards to get on top of the Cumbrian six.

Bailey should have scored his second dropping the ball in the act of scoring, but Kieron Herbert did increase the lead further plucking the ball out of the air from a sublime cross field kick from Fairhurst.

The stand-off, along with partners in crime Danny Richardson and Josh Houghton were conducting a bit of a masterclass and they combined to whip three great passes out to give Bailey a walk in for his second.

On the stroke of the interval Josh Jenkins put the game beyond doubt scoring his first ever competitive try charging onto the ball and taking three over the line with him.

The second half started with a flurry from the home side resulting in a try being disallowed for a double movement but the Saints had already extended the lead with a try from Liam Cooper from a great double pumped Richardson pass.

That proved to be it from the Cumbrians and there then followed a steady stream of tries from the Saints.

Jake Spedding emulated Herbert with an aerial take of Richardson’s cross kick to score before Chris Worrall was rewarded for another solid performance with a try from a barnstorming drive.

Joey Brady showed his pace finishing Spedding’s break from his own line going the final 70 metres to score by the sticks. Jenkins got his second collecting an Aaron Smith offload to plunge over before Richardson scored a great individual try jinking his way past 6 defenders to score.

Some difficult and some wayward kicking meant the score remained of the respectable side but once the Saints realised they were in a game there was only ever going to be one winner.

Josh Jenkins went well, Morgan Knowles gave another gritty display to his Cumbrian counterparts but the pick of the forwards was Kieron Atherton whose drives and, in particular, his defence showed a real bite. Richardson and Houghton both directed play well but the star of the show was most definitely Lewis Fairhurst who showed a deftness of touch both in hand and with boot not seen for a while at this level.

Match Summary:

Cumbria U16s:
Tries:
Goals:

St Helens U16s:
Tries: Rickie Bailey 2, Jordan Darwin, Joey Brady, Kieron Herbert, Lewis Fairhurst, Danny Richardson, Jake Spedding, Liam Cooper, Chris Worrall, Josh Jenkins 2.
Goals: Lewis Fairhurst 4, Danny Richardson.

Half Time: 28-0
Full Time: 58-0

Teams:
Cumbria:

1. Joe Wright; 2. Liam Hunsdale, 3. Liam Armstrong, 4. Jon Cameron, 5. Kieran Mews; 6. Jordan Johnson, 7. Ross Barker; 8. Brad Bouch, 9. Luke McIntee, 10. Danny Cain, 26. Matt While, 30. Liam Kirkbride, 37. Brad Walker.
Subs: 15. Kieran Haleron, 16. Liam McNicholas, 17. Ryan Smith, 18. Connor Fitzsimons, 19. Grady Slater, 38. Kieran Walker, 39. Jack Gordon.

Saints:
1. Rickie Bailey; 2. Jordan Darwin, 3. Ryan Lynch, 4. Joey Brady, 5. Kieron Herbert; 6. Lewis Fairhurst, 7. Josh Houghton; 8. Kieron Atherton, 9. Aaron Smith, 10. James Nicholl, 11. Ben Morris, 12. Lewis Hatton, 13. Morgan Knowles.
Subs: 14. Danny Richardson, 15. Jake Spedding, 16. Jake Campbell, 17. Phil Atherton, 18. Chris Worrall, 19. Josh Jenkins, 21. Liam Cooper.

Thank you to Gary Richardson @09gaz_rich for the picture.

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