Thatto Heath Crusaders A 32 – 8 Haydock
Thatto Heath Crusaders grabbed top spot in the NWML with a dominating 32-8 win over fierce rivals Haydock ARLFC at Crusader Park.
For much of the game the game looked destined to finish low scoring with both sides defence being on top, however, a hat-trick from Ryan Heaton would secure the two points.
In a first half that started scrappy, the attacking style of rugby promised by both sides soon shone through. A sweeping move allowing Heaton to show his blistering pace and race through the line untouched.
The fullback followed his early effort up with another identical try just a few minutes later. Thatto running the same move on the opposite side of the field yet the Haydock defence were still searching for answers.
Shaun Quinn would miss his second attempted conversion as Thatto cruised to a 10-0 lead. However, for all their attacking efforts Thatto’s defence fell short.
Haydock gained field position through a knock on before attacking the line and finding a huge gap in the Thatto Heath defence to half the deficit at 10-6.
Both sides would extend their scores through penalty goals before halftime, the scores an enticing 12-8 as the first half whistle blew.
After a physical first half encounter, the real test for both sides was who could keep up the intensity in the heat of the battle.
That question was shortly answered, Thatto Heath extended their lead shortly after kick off. Quinn grabbing a try of his own showing his strength to cross in the corner.
Quin would be involved again just a minutes later, first breaking through the Haydock defence before throwing a superb pass to Matty Cook in support who strolled over. The game now firmly in Thatto’s hands, 24-8.
The match threatened to get out of hand as a fight broke out between the players after a late shot, both sides with a player sent to the sin-bin.
This wouldn’t stop the Thatto Heath onslaught however, another two tries would follow before the end of the match including a hat trick for Heaton to cap a great individual performance.
The final score 32-8 meaning Thatto Heath Crusaders A move to outright top of the league by two points, remaining unbeaten in six games. Whereas Haydock slip to third behind Orrell St James A on points difference.
Alex Porter’s View from Touch
Thatto Heath Crusaders A’ romped to the top of the NWML Premier Division with a 32-8 victory over rivals Haydock at Close Street on Wednesday night. Power packed runs into the Haydock half from Jonny Rae, allowed Andrew Stott to send in Ryan Heaton for two tries in the opening 10 minutes, Shaun Quinn was successful with one conversion to give Heath a 10-0 lead. Haydock came back into it when Danny Gee crashed over, Dollin adding the extras to cut the Crusaders lead to 4 points. Ryan Heaton pulled off a try saving tackle on his opposite number to keep Haydock out, before both sides then swopped penalties, and Heath had 12-8 lead at the break.
A fine defensive effort in the 2nd half from Heath kept Haydock scoreless. Heath added tries early in the 2nd half, firstly when Shaun Quinn broke clear and found Matty Cook in support on the inside for the scrum half to score under the posts; and secondly when good hands from Cook found Shaun Quinn who powered over in the corner. Quinn was successful in converting one of the two tries and Heath had a 22-8 lead with 55 minutes played. Andrew Stott and Haydock number 7 Bacon were then sin binned for fighting. With Stott back from the sin bin, Heath added another when Stott got Dave Hull into space to score. Heath’s final try was scored when Jonny Hughes broke through and offloaded to Ryan Heaton, who rounded the full back to score in the corner, Shaun Quinn added the extras and Heath had won the local derby 32-8 and with it, went top of the NWML Premier Division. Jonny Rea took out the Man of the Match award. Heath NWML are next in action at home against Haresfinch on Saturday 20th May, 1430 kick off.