De La Salle....................... 38
Garstang found themselves 5-0 down in the first two minutes when Della’s number ten jinked through twice for one of his other teammates to take it over in the corner.
From the restart Garstang grabbed some momentum and after a good drive forward from Luke Ford was brought down and a player judged to have come in from the side. Jimmy McLennan stepped up to slot the three points.
Della then put some good moves together but the great tackling efforts of Mark Rodgerson, Ben Kelsall and Adam Nickson weren’t enough to keep them out and another jink from Della’s 10 took him over under the post subsequently converted.
Five minutes later Garstang received another penalty in the same place as earlier but this time the ball struck the upright.
Garstang were struggling to keep possession and the early changes were rung when Chris Sullivan and John O Brian came onto the field for Tom Parky and Lawson Whittaker.
The half-finished with Della getting their third try of the game after some poor tackling from Garstang and some good handling from Della’s backs.
Knowledge shared at half time and Garstang went out with more purpose and some strong running from O’Brian, Orri and the ever elusive Graeme Slater saw some early field advantage for the Blues but when Della turned it over deep in their own half some fluid movement saw them gain the bonus point from the game.
Garstang were far from dead and buried and it seemed that going four tries down was the time to wake up. Garstang had dominated the line out and scrum all day with some excellent work from all the pack driving ten to 20 yards a time from the line but Della’s defence was holding up.
Danny Gunn made his appearance after two weeks away in the sun and Garstang can take a lot of pride in the fact set pieces are still as stable no matter how many changes are rung or who comes in and out of the side.
Garstang started to see more possession and with Steve Rowbottom (who had an excellent game at 10) pulling the strings and Nickson crashing into the line from full back everyone believed it was only a matter of time before the tries started coming.
But unfortunately they came for Della when they brought a maul down (illegally but the ref who had a very good game was unsighted) the ball then came out for the ten to skip through and over for his second.
A quick move from the restart and some good offloading saw Della cross the line again two minutes later making the score 38-3.
With 10 minutes to go Garstang could have curled over but the determination to score kicked in and some excellent driving and support from Lawson, Ben, John, Dave Miller and Martin Hindle ended with Slater getting a much deserved try.
This was the belief that was missing from the start and although Garstang went very close when Mark Rodgerson was deemed to have hit the corner flag whilst crossing the line it was all too late.
Dave Miller received a much deserved Players Man of Match, but was pushed close by Slater, Nickson and Rowbottom.
Next Saturday Garstang are at home again as they take on Thornton Cleveleys and the Blues are away also against Thornton Cleveleys 2nd team. Both games kick off at 2.15pm.