Ugly it May Be, but a much needed win - First Team Match Report 14 Nov 09

Posted by: Monty on Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

A LATE drop-goal from fly-half John Armstrong gave Ormskirk their first win in four weeks after beating Hoylake 21-19 at Green Lane on Saturday.

A try in each half plus 11 points from the boot of Armstrong made sure Ben Davis’ men snatched victory in a match where they were only in the lead for the final ten minutes.

The much needed victory sends Ormskirk up to fourth in South Lancs/Cheshire One after promotion chasers Sale, Bowdon and Widnes all slipped up over the weekend.

The visitors out-played Kirk for the majority of the first-half with the home side only venturing into the opposition half on a few occasions. Led by their skipper and fly-half Stephen Young, Hoylake pinned Ormskirk back inside their own 22 and raced into a 16-3 lead.

Young slotted an early penalty within the first five minutes before one of Ormskirk’s brief forays into Hoylake’s half ended with Armstrong equalling the score with a penalty.

But as the half progressed Hoylake’s pack began to take control, gaining the upper hand in the scrum and regularly driving the Green Lane men back to regain possession.

Hoylake’s momentum, which was aided by Ormskirk’s indiscipline at the breakdown with several players caught handling in the ruck, gave Young the ideal field position to create the first try of the match.

The Hoylake skipper received the ball from an attacking scrum and chipped the ball past Ormskirk’s defence before sprinting through to touch down before the cover defence could prevent the score. Young added the conversion and two further penalties to give the visitors a commanding lead before half-time.

Ormskirk’s hopes were raised just before the break though as a deft chip from Mark Essex was collected by winger James Illingworth who scored in the corner to take the score to 16-8.

Skipper Davis re-jigged his forward pack for the second-half, bringing on experienced back-rower Paul Kearney while Essex switched from centre to scrum-half in place of Matt Evans. The extra experience in and around the scrum proved enough for the home side to gain parity and Ormskirk set about reducing Hoylake’s lead.

Andy Wilson, who had switched from back-row to centre in the half-time re-shuffle, scored the crucial try of the match after good work from Davis and Essex down the blindside got the ball to Wilson who crashed his way over the line.

With the score now 16-15, after Armstrong had added the conversion, Young managed to land another penalty to give his side a four point lead going into the final stages of the match but Armstrong’s cool head meant Ormskirk landed six points in the next five minutes courtesy of a further penalty and the dramatic drop goal. Both sides spurned scoring opportunities in the closing stages and Ormskirk succeeded in keeping their slender advantage until the final whistle.

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