Saints U16’s got their campaign off to a winning start with a commanding display against the Vikings in atrocious conditions.

Saints were dominant from the start restricting the Vikings to playing largely within their own half. Saints nearly scored on their first set of possession as Taylor Pemberton was held inches short of the line on the last.

On their next set there was a taste of things to come as the outstanding Cole Appleby bust through three tacklers before offloading to Daniel Moss who was held short. From the play the ball Daniel Ganson was caught in possession and the Vikings survived.

But the deadlock was broken on nine minutes as Appleby scored his first. A drive and offload from the quietly solid Ben O’Donnell found Pemberton who in turn found Ganson who was again caught 10 out. But a quick play the ball saw Pemberton bring Appleby on the charge and the big prop skittled the would be tacklers out of his way to score.

The Vikings capitalised on a Saints knock-on on the half way line scoring four tackles later wide to the right. But that was the queue for Saints and in particular Taylor Pemberton to up their tempo. Another O’Donnell run saw Ganson take the ball on but in dummying his way past the full back he was caught from behind. The Vikings defence was in disarray and his quick play the ball allowed Pemberton to dive over.

Pemberton and O’Donnell combined with a massive tackle to force the knock on. From the ensuing scrum Reece Sumner’s charge put McKenzie Buckley close and from his play the ball Pemberton dummied to the rampaging Appleby to allow himself to dive under the sticks untouched.

On the half hour Buckley and Matthew Parkes again forced the error with a big hit and from the scrum the Saints scored their fourth of the half. Good work from Ellis Keppell down the right was rewarded when the ball was swept left where Moss committed his opposite before putting Owen Blackwood in against his home town team.

The Vikings finished off the scoring with a 90 metre interception off a Ganson pass. Unfazed by this the Saints came out after the break scoring after 2 minutes as Appleby was initially stopped over the line but twisted out of the grasp of the three defenders to touch down.

He was denied his hat-trick when held up by four tacklers 5 minutes later. Saints piled on the agony for the Vikings with some ferocious tackling forcing error after error from their beleaguered hosts.

On the hour O’Donnell stole the ball one-on-one and an Appleby drive later Ganson put Sumner in for a deserved try down the left.

The Vikings were again gifted a try going in down the left when the kick off was dropped by Saints.

The seventh and final try for Saints came ten minutes before time as Keppell picked up a neat Ganson grubber to the right corner to go over. Pemberton capped a fine display of goal kicking with his fifth from the right touchline.

Match Summary:

Widnes U16s:
Tries: Jonathon Bennison (12 & 63), Ryan Barnes (36)

Saints U16s:
Tries: Cole Appleby (9 & 42), Taylor Pemberton (18 & 22), Owen Blackwood (33), Reece Sumner (61), Ellis Keppel (68).

Goals: Taylor Pemberton 5 from 7

Half Time: 10-22
Full Time: 16-38


1. Jonathon Bennison; 5. Tyler Pilling, 4. Harry Parkinson, 3. Leighton Hesketh, 2. Michael Cosgrove; 6. Ryan Barnes, 7. James Murray; 8. Daniel Brewin, 9. Andrew Biddle, 10. Ryan Lockett, 11. Joseph Murphy, 12. Reece McConville, 13. Samuel Goldthorpe, 14. Connor Goldthorpe, 15. Joshua Robinson, 16. James Whalley, 17. Kristian Gibson, 18. Aiden Doolan, 19. Kieran Tyrer.

1. Daniel Moss; 18. Shay Martyn, 3. Ellis Keppel, 20. Owen Blackwood, 5. Kallem Rodgers; 6. Rio Corkhill, 7. Daniel Ganson; 8. Cole Appleby, 9. Taylor Pemberton, 10. Jack Green, 11. Ben O’Donnell, 12. Reece Sumner, 13. Harrison Picton, 14. Zak Whitehead, 15. Ben Lane, 16. McKenzie Buckley, 19. Matthew Parkes.