Woolston Rovers A 30 Ashton Bears A 26

WOOLSTON Rovers A progressed through to the North West Men’s League Trophy first round following a narrow victory over Ashton Bears A in the preliminary round at Monks Sports Club on Saturday afternoon.

Rovers started the game well and took the lead in the second minute when prop forward Mark Robinson scored.

Scrum half Jason Rutter converted, but then they were unable to build on that despite having the majority of the play until just after the midway point when stand off Dominic Ball scored and Rutter added the conversion.

Rovers pulled further clear shortly afterwards when great team play paved the way for hooker Martin Ball to score.

Rutter converted but then some slack play allowed Ashton to get themselves back into the game on the half hour with an unconverted try from substitute Matt Farrell and then six minutes before the break substitute Rob Barker scored and hooker Phil Miles added the conversion to make the half time score 18-10 to Rovers.

Ashton narrowed the game further four minutes into the second half when centre Jordan Green scored, but Rovers soon got back on the front foot when a lovely cross field kick by D Ball was brilliantly caught by winger Christian Taylor and he scored between the posts to give Rutter an easy conversion.

Four minutes later Rovers were over again when some fine team play enabled D Ball to go over for his second try; Rutter once again added the extras to make the score 30-14 but they then took their foot off the gas and allowed the Bears to score tries through Farrell and Miles, both converted by Miles to set up a nervy finish, but they held on to record a deserved 30-26 win.

Man-of-the-match was awarded to Rovers prop forward Mark Robinson.

After the game Rovers’ coach Chris Ball said: “I am so pleased that we were able to get the win; we should have been further clear but we let them get back into the game twice through our own errors but we showed great character in the closing five minutes to keep them at bay and put our name in the hat for the first round.

“We will be working hard in training this week to prepare for our game at Leigh Miners Rangers on Friday evening, kick off 7.30pm.

“We know that it will be a tough test for us but I am sure that we will be able to put in a good performance that will hopefully enable us to gain the two league points.”

Rovers A Steve Arnold: Christian Taylor, Dan Turner, Carl Litherland, Jordan Millington: Dominic Ball, Jason Rutter: Mark Robinson, Martin Ball, Tom Fagan, Sam Wood, James Dudley, Scott Whiteley.