North Lancs One
North Manchester 0
Garstang secured their second away win of the season as they comfortably overcame a struggling North Manchester side by 31-0.
This season the team have got an immaculate home record but they have inexplicably struggled on the road. This fixture was no different as they made hard work of overcoming a team who they had hammered at Hudson Park back in October.
Early on Garstang failed to follow the game plan and put in a display riddled with errors. This gave North Manchester heart and they became the team who looked most likely to score the opening try. Garstang’s afternoon deteriorated even further when they lost Dave Miller with a hand injury which has ended his season.
North Manchester had the better of the opening periods but Garstang always looked threatening and when they did get field position they decisively took advantage. The first try came when Jimmy McLennan received the ball five metres out after running a smart line and he crashed over. He also added the extras (0-7). This try seemed to relax Garstang and within minutes they added a second try when Max Everest surged over following some much improved team play. Shortly after the team scored one of their finest tries of this season or any other. Gavin Barton broke on the blindside before releasing John O’Brien who put in a pass to John Robinson.
He outpaced his man and streaked towards the line before returning the pass to Barton, he flicked a reverse pass to Billington who offloaded for Nickson to dive over the line to score. It was a magnificent try which extended the lead to 17-0 going into the break.
In the second period Garstang were keen to get the fourth try to seal the bonus point but they were frustrated by the dogged defensive work of the home side and errors of their own as the weather deteriorated. Midway through the half there was relief all round as Ben Kelsall crashed over the line to get the elusive score.
The remainder of the game was uneventful until the last minute when Max Everest intercepted the ball in his own half. The veteran second row managed to make it to within a couple of metres of the line before he was hauled down, but he offloaded as he went down and Ben Kelsall followed up to bag his second of the afternoon.
Jimmy McLennan added the conversion to leave the final score as 31-0 to Garstang.
Team: Miller, Johnston, Whitaker, Everest, Haley, Billington, Kelsall (c), O’Brien, Nickson, Dawson, Dugdale, McLennan, Knowles, Robinson, Davies. Replacements: Barton, Rowbottom, Pendlebury
On Saturday the 1st XV take on Oldham at Hudson Park. The team is looking at maintaining its proud 100 per cent home record against the champions-elect. The Blues are away against Bolton 3rds.