1st XV relegated after latest loss.

Posted by: Dudley on Monday, March 26th, 2012

Ormskirk 1st XV 12 - 38 New Brighton 1st XV

With no less than 12 forwards injured or unavailable for this fixture, and only being able to have 1 substitute, it always looked like it was going to be an uphill struggle for bottom of the league Ormskirk but to their credit they made 2nd placed New Brighton work very hard for their victory. New Brighton utilised their big forwards and direct-running centres to good effect throughout the first half and with the wind at their backs they pinned Ormskirk back in their own territory. For the most part, ‘Kirk’s defence stood firm against the relentless attacking of the Wirral side but unfortunately on 4 occassions the pressure paid off as the barged their way over for 3 tries from close range and one out wide. All 4 were converted and New Brighton led 28-0 at the break.

The second half was a very different story, now with the elements in their favour Ormskirk used their kicking game to get in good places on the pitch and also played a much more expansive game with the ball in hand, making for a competitive, entertaining 40 minutes of rugby. It was against the run of play that New Brighton added their 4th try of the afternoon and also added a penalty to extend their lead to 38-0. It was clear to everybody at Green Lane that this wasn’t an accurate reflection of the game that was being played out but this has been the case far too many times this season, hence the Gingerbread Men’s lowly league position. Thankfully, Ormskirk finished the game with a flourish, sparked by John Curley’s thrilling interception try from his own ‘22. Curley showed his opposite number a clean pair of heels before rounding New Brighton’s full-back to score the try of the day upto this point, converted by James Illingworth. Ormskirk continued to attack and almost scored again immediately, a blind-side move from a scrum split open the visitors defence with Andy Healey making good yards but unfortunately his final speculative off-load went to ground. Ormskirk continued to attack and looked dangerous everytime they had the ball, New Brighton are on course for promotion for a reason though and they met ‘Kirk’s attacks with some great defence. There was nothing the visitors defence could do about the final try of the day though, fielding a clearance kick on half-way, ‘Kirk winger Jake Hodson powered between two defenders, left two more flat-footed as he stepped past them and then accelerated past the full-back for the best individual try seen at Green Lane for years.

The game finished with Ormskirk back on the attack but unable to register any more points against a strong New Brighton side that were good value for their victory. This result, along with others in South Lancs 1 mean that Ormskirk are now sure to be relegated back to Level 8 of the national league structure. As upsetting as this is for all those commited players and members of the club, the poor levels of availability this season meant that this drop was inevitable. The standard of rugby Ormskirk are capable of mean that they should compete in South Lancs 1 but they must now rebuild next season and look to return to level 7 as soon as possible.

Ormskirk: 1, Hirsimaki 2, Salisbury 3, Gateley 4, Merrill 5, Clarke 6, Molyneux 7, Thomas 8, Parker 9, Prytherch 10, Illingworth 11,Hodson 12, Croft 13, Johnson 14, Curley 15, Healey. 16, Wroe

Filed under: Match Reports, 1st XV

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