Match Report by Andy Southward

Thatto Heath Crusaders 16 – 6 West Hull

Thatto Heath Crusaders showed their champion credentials with a hard-fought 16-8 win over West Hull at Crusader Park.

Coming into the game unbeaten in the league and flying high at the top of the league Thatto Heath knew a solid defensive effort would be needed against West Hull.

The away side’s Challenge Cup win being the only blemish on a perfect record so far this season for the Crusaders.

The first half was a bruising affair with both sides showing some tough defence to keep the scores level at half-time with neither side able to cross.

The biggest blow to Richard Owen’s side was Sean Kenny leaving the field within the first quarter due to a head knock. The hooker’s injury halting the home side’s momentum going forward.

Much to the joy of the spectators the second half would tell a different tale with both sides starting to play more expansive rugby after a big defensive effort in the first forty.

West Hull crossed early in the second half, Jamie Edwards grabbing his first try of the afternoon as the away side spread the ball out wide.

Sean Kenny would return to the field for the second half and his speed out of dummy half gave Thatto a new lease of life as they hit the front for the first time in the match.

A short ball from dummy half found Danny Davies who used his strength to crash over despite the attention of two defenders. Bobbie Goulding would add the extras to give his side a two-point lead, 6-4.

As the half grew on so did the home sides confidence as they established more control over their opposition. It would again by Kenny to provide the assist with a sweet grubber that bounced perfectly for Jamie Tracy.

Both sides would throw everything into the game West Hull twice being stopped a metre out from the line before Thatto turned defence into attack.

Jamie Tracy charging down a loose ball before racing eighty metres untouched to cross for his second of the day. Bobbie Goulding couldn’t add the conversion Crusaders lead remaining 16-4.

West Hull would cross again before the end of the game, Jamie Edwards grabbing his second of the day to make the home side sweat that bit more in the remaining minutes.

However, Thatto heath held on for the win to extend their unbeaten run in the league and further their lead at the top of the table.

The home side now look forward to a top of the table clash against Siddal next weekend and know a similar defensive effort will be needed.

Photo Courtesy of Barry Lyon (@KBLyon)

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