Academy Bow Out

SAINTS Academy bowed out of the Play-Offs 44-18 at the semi-final stage after a disappointing second half display, writes Graham Henthorne.

For 25 minutes the Saints were following the game plan, getting at the weak left side defence of the visitors and were comfortably sitting on a 12 point lead.

But the old Achilles heel of dropped ball in their own half inviting teams on to them surfaced yet again and having got away with it three times they were punished on the fourth.

The Saints started much the brighter and took the lead on six minutes with a set play. The visitors gave away a penalty for obstruction in possession on their own 10 metre line. Phil Atherton drove the ball close and from the play the ball Lewis Charnock dummied wide right before turning it back left to the charging Matty Fozard who went straight over the top of the play the ball to score.

A great defensive set on the Saints line kept the visitors out forcing the error. Jake Spedding, one of the few players to emerge with anything like credit from the game broke away on a 70 metre run just being grabbed from behind, but a repeat set was the reward. Five tackles after the restart and Charnock ducked blind in the right corner slipping the ball away to Matty Fleming to go in. A great touchline conversion put the Saints 12 ahead.

At this stage the visitors were definitely rocking and finding it difficult to defend the Saints relentless right side attack. Defensively the Saints were up for it as well typified by a magnificent last ditch tackle from Danny Richardson, Adam Saunders and Fleming which saved a try.

But it all went wrong in a twenty minute period either side of the break as the game plan went out of the window, the visitors got a breather and scored thirty points to take the game away from the Saints.

In truth there was little to shout about from the Saints after the break as they completed only two sets under their own steam.

One were Lewis Charnock was inches short of the line in stretching out on the last.

The other when Lewis Galbraith scored in the corner after a Dave Hewitt chip over the defence was taken in by Ricky Bailey before feeding his winger.

Fozard and Spedding were best for the Saints and were pushed hard by Liam Cooper who did long minutes off the bench but too many others were off the pace in the wrong game.

Match Summary:

Saints U19s:
Tries: Lewis Galbraith, Matty Fleming, Matty Fozard.
Goals: Dave Hewitt, Lewis Charnock 2.

Wigan U19s:
Tries: Liam Marshall 2, Lewis Tierney 2, Grant Beecham, Liam Forsyth 2, Ryan Hampshire,.
Goals: Ryan Hampshire 6.

Half Time: 12-18
Full Time: 18-44


1. Ricky Bailey; 2. Adam Saunders, 4. Matty Fleming, 3. Jake Spedding, 5. Lewis Galbraith; 6. Danny Richardson, 7. Dave Hewitt; 8. Phil Atherton, 9. Lewis Charnock, 10. Matty Fozard, 11. Olly Davies, 12. Andre Savelio, 13. Morgan Knowles.
Subs: 14. Jonah Cunningham, 15. Chris Worrall, 16. Liam Cooper, 17. Joe Ryan.

6. Ryan Hampshire; 5. Lewis Tierney, 4. Liam Forsyth, 3. Oliver Gildart, 2. Liam Marshall; 24. Jamie Doran, 7. Jake Shorrocks; 8. Ben Austin, 9. Callum Wright, 10. Robert Lever, 11. Grant Beecham, 12. Nick Gregson, 13. Kyle Shelford.
Subs: 14. Luke Waterworth, 15. Brad Lawrence, 16. Kieran Sherratt, 17. Macauley Davies.

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