Match report: Garstang RUFC 38 North Manchester 19

Garstang claimed victory against North Manchester at the weekend
Garstang claimed victory against North Manchester at the weekend
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Garstang RUFC had to dig deep against a spirited North Manchester side before winning 38-19 in the first round of the Lancashire Bowl.

An early onslaught from the visitors saw them leading by 7-0 as they scored the opening try.

Garstang fought back well but had to wait until midway through the half to get back into the game as Chris Woodhouse finished exceptionally well after a well-worked move to leave them 7-5 adrift.

On the stroke of half-time the same player doubled his tally with another great try to get Garstang into the lead for the first time at 12-7.

The team got the perfect start to the second half when they introduced Lawson Whittaker and he crashed over within moments of coming onto the pitch, putting Garstang 10 points clear at 17-7.

At that point the team thought they had overcome the visitors’ resistance but North Manchester were in no mood to lie down and they came storming back into the game.

With 20 minutes to go they got their reward as they scored in the corner to close within five points.

Moments later and things got even worse for Garstang as the visitors scored another one, which was converted to give them the lead as they went 19-17 in front.

Faced with the very real possibility of going out of the cup at the first hurdle Garstang rolled their sleeves up and came right back into the game.

They got back in front with 10 minutes to play as Woodhouse completed his hat-trick with a well taken try which was converted to put Garstang 24-19 ahead.

Minutes later, Joel Dugdale smashed over to effectively seal the game with another converted try for a 12-point cushion at 31-19.

Then, with the last play of the game, Whittaker smashed through the last line of defence to make the scoreline a bit more emphatic than it really had been.

Duncan Lambert converted both to seal a 38-19 win which sees Garstang progress into the quarter-finals.

On Saturday the league campaign starts and Garstang have a tough assignment as they take on Eccles who are one of the favourites for promotion. The game is at home and kicks off at 3pm.