Saints’ U19s brought their season to a close with a thrilling last gasp 28-24 win against near neighbours Widnes and thereby gain revenge for the Vikings earlier success at the Totally Wicked Stadium, writes Graham Henthorne for saintsrlfc.com
The Saints scored in the first minute of the match as Sean Croston went over.
It took the Vikings ten minutes to hit back with a converted try but on quarter time Callum Hazzard took control converting his own try to put the Saints into a lead they took with them into the interval.
As ever though the Saints start to the second period was woeful as the Vikings scored twice to go into a six point lead.
The Saints hit back with a converted try from sub Chris Follin which brought the scores level.
Both sides tried hard to break the deadlock and it was the Saints through Widnes lad Elliott Jenkins who finally achieved it, the scrum half going over with winger Tom Nisbett converting.
Time to consolidate you would think but that wouldn’t be this Saints team. With ten minutes to go the Vikings edged closer and then four minutes later took a two point lead with two unconverted tries.
But the Saints weren’t finished and just managed to get themselves out of gaol with a Sam Royle try with three minutes on the clock.
Best for the Saints were Evan Bullen, Hazzard, Jenkins and the livewire Josh Eaves.
This season was always going to be virtually impossible for the current side to do anything, anywhere near like last year’s unbeatables.
However, mainly due to their own profligacy with possession, they have shown great determination to keep their line intact.
With the ball they have shown glimpses of their potential. The problem all season has been that they have not put both parts of the game together in any one match and not for a full 80 minutes.
But October brings yet another club trip to Australia and as has been noted on every previous tour the men who step off the plane back in Britain are very different animals than the lads who set off three weeks earlier.
This improvement in the players still eligible for next year coupled with the undoubted talent stepping up from the U16s will see the Saints competing for silverware again in 2018.
Tries: Brand, Buckley, Burns, King, Lyons.
Goals: Else 0/2, B Walker 2/3.
Tries: Sean Croston (1), Callum Hazzard (19), Chris Follin (48), Elliott Jenkins (61), Sam Royle (77).
Goals: Tom Nisbett 1 from 2, Callum Hazzard 3 from 3.
Half Time: 6-10
Full Time: 24-28
1. Lewis Else; 2. Jake Knox, 3. Jake Alder, 4. Keanan Brand, 5. Owen Buckley; 6. Joseph Lyons, 7. Chris Wilson; 8. Patrick McCarroll, 9. Jake Burns, 10. Luke Draper, 11. Bradley Walker, 12. Louis Glover, 13. Calum O’Neill.
Subs: 14. Ben Davies, 15. James Rutledge, 16. Daniel King, 17. Max Dudley.
1. Kevin Brown; 2. John Hutchings, 3. Cameron Brown, 4. Sean Croston, 5. Tom Nisbett; 6. Ryan Horne, 7. Elliott Jenkins; 19. Evan Bullen, 9. Josh Eaves, 11. Jorge Lewtas, 21. Ben Sims, 12. Joe Sharratt, 13. Sam Royle.
Subs: 14. Paul Nash, 15. Callum Hazzard, 16. Alex Eckley, 17. Chris Follin.