U16s Dominate Devils

SAINTS scored nine tries in a commanding 46-10 victory over a big Salford side at Langtree on Wednesday evening to continue their steady progress through this year’s competition, writes Graham Henthorne.

They took control form the off scoring on the first set of six. Brad Billsborough’s cross kick on the last was expertly plucked from the grasp of his opposite number by Jack Highcock in the left corner.

Saints increased their lead on five minutes as Matty Costello finished off a planned move touching down in the left corner after a deft pass from Jack Cottington had given space to the backs.

The Saints were far from squeaky clean though and were punished for a careless knock on in their own 40 metre area as the visitors opened their account scoring in the left corner.

Then came the Dan Heslop show as the centre scored a hat-trick of tries either side of the break which ultimately took the game away from the visitors.

His first came as a short side play down the right saw Jack Unsworth and Mike Weldon put Robbie King away only for the winger to commit the full back before passing it inside to Heslop. His second, five minutes before the break came after good work from Weldon and fellow sub Dom Mirfin. From the play the ball quick hands saw Heslop in at the left corner.

Coaches Ian Lomax and Eric Frodsham were far from happy at the break and the Saints improved in the second period.

A big carry from half time sub Harry Coleman put the Saints on the front foot giving the other half time sub Rob Fairclough time to put up a towering bomb that the Salford defence wanted none of. The ball bounced and was expertly tapped back over his head by Highcock into the waiting hands of Heslop who beat the cover into the corner.

Again lax discipline and ball retention saw the Saints concede after four repeat sets had gifted territory and possession to the visitors.

But that was as good as it got as the Saints closed the game out with four further tries.

Drives from Matthew Costello and Coleman got the Saints to the line and from the play the ball a sublime dummy from Brad Billsborough saw him dive over from close range.
Another last play blind side move put Weldon into the clear and his pass in front of the full back put Costello in for his second.

Two certain overlap tries were spurned in the right corner before Josh Ganson put Jack Cottington under the sticks with a pinpoint miss pass.

The final score came courtesy more of football skills than rugby. Fairclough’s attempted 40/20 sat down infield allowing Highcock to show both good speed and awareness to beat the cover to the ball. He grubbered inside to the supporting Heslop who in turn grubbered it onto the line where it was pounced on by Ganson.

Saints could and should have scored more but are continuing to grow both as a team and individuals. The match changed in the second half as Fairclough came on and Billsborough went to hooker. Josh Eaves put in his usual stint, Matty Kilgannon did well coming back after injury and there was a promising debut from Jorge Lewtas.

Match Summary:

St Helens:

Tries: Daniel Heslop 3, Matthew Costello 2, Jack Highcock, Brad Billsborough, Josh Ganson, Jack Cottington.
Goals: Brad Billsborough 5.

Salford:

Tries: Harry Warhurst, Aaron Moore.
Goals: Ollie Grundy.

Half Time: 18-4
Full Time: 46-10

Teams:

Saints:
1. Lewis Furlong; 2. Robbie King, 3. Daniel Heslop, 4. Matthew Costello, 5. Jack Highcock; 6. Jack Unsworth, 7. Brad Billsborough; 8. Danny Lynch, 9. Josh Ganson, 10. Jack Cottington, 11. Dan Keoghan, 12. Matty Kilgannon, 13. Josh Eaves.
Subs: 14. Dom Mirfin, 15. Harry Coleman, 16. Mike Weldon, 17. Loui Pauls, 18. Rob Fairclough, 19. Jorge Lewtas.

Salford:
1. Kieran McGinnity; 2. Danny Gerard, 3. Harry Warhurst, 4. Calum Dawson, 5. Ollie Grundy; 6. Taylor Boyne, 7. Aaron Moore; 8. Lewis Gregory, 9. Jordan Thomason, 10. Liam Tasker, 11. Sam Cullen, 12. Liam Bent, 13. Brad Storey.
Subs: 14. Ryan Winders, 15. Ryan Newsome, 16. Bran Partington, 17. Dmya Hanley, 18. Jordan Cella, 19. Danté Morley-Samuels, 20. Jack Hook.

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