Altrincham-Kersal 21 Warrington 46

WARRINGTON eventually managed to shake off their first-half torpor, when they conceded 14 points to a lively Altrincham outfit, to produce another bonus-point win, which moves them up to fifth in the North One West league.

An almost flawless final 35 minutes saw them rack up 40 points without reply and hopefully they can carry this form with them into their final test against high-fliers Birkenhead Park.

Warrington began this game with three sets of brothers in the squad, as the ever-present Pat and Andy Roberts kicked off in the company of Ashley and Matt Rockey, while the talented Luke Wood joined his brother Tom later in the fray.

This fraternal bond helped Warrington to start well and only good Altrincham defence denied them a score in the opening minutes.

However, the home side soon began to dominate the scrums and the lines and their forward power eventually led to the award of a penalty try, which was converted.

Altrincham then started to turn the screw against a Warrington side which seemed to have lost the plot.

Their stand-off kicked superbly to pin the visitors in their own half.

Their set scrum repeatedly drove back the Warrington eight and they even managed to boss the breakdown.

This pressure soon brought points and they crossed for their second converted tries after just 15 minutes had been played.

At this stage, Warrington seemed totally unable to put their game together and they were fortunate to benefit from two Pat Roberts’ penalties as they stumbled to the half time break.

The opening five minutes of the second period again saw Altrincham on top.

Their rugged pack drove Warrington off their own ball at a set scrum and their number eight put in a tackle breaking run before releasing his backs.

Warrington managed to scramble their defence but the final tackle virtually pulled the Altrincham centre over the line.

The conversion gave the home side a 21-6 lead and Warrington seemed to be slipping on an enormous banana skin against the bottom side in the league.

However, suddenly, Warrington’s self-belief clicked back in.

From the restart, they forced their way up-field and the forwards finally started to go through the phases, providing the space for Kevin Jones to finish in the corner.

Warrington returned to the attack immediately and when Altrincham were marched back ten yards at a penalty in their 22, Tom Wood took a quick tap, the forwards recycled the ball and the ever-alert scrum half exploited some Altrincham confusion to drill over.

Pat Roberts converted.

Warrington were now on a roll and a good take by Kevin Jones from the restart was followed by a superb touch finding kick from Tom Wood. Quick ball from the line and the silky hands of Zak Lythgoe then saw Matt Rockey break through the defence and touchdown close to the posts.

The conversion from Pat Roberts gave Warrington a 25-21 lead.

Ten minutes later, the Warrington forwards showed their handling and support talents before releasing the ball to Steve Pilkington and the ever-improving centre touched down in the corner.

Pat Roberts converted magnificently from the touchline.

Steve Pilkington played a major role in Warrington’s next try, as his incisive run broke through the fast-tiring Altrincham defence before he handed on to Kevin Jones and the veteran winger ran under the posts to claim his second try.

Awarded a penalty in the last play of the game, Warrington were now so full of confidence that they decided to run again.

Their confidence brought result as Ashley Rockey touched down under the posts and Pat Roberts converted.

“We could quite easily have lost this match,” said coach Pat Roberts.

“I find it difficult to explain our poor first half performance but we recovered in the second period to play some of our best rugby of the season.

“We can now look forward to a great game next week.”

Warrington 2nd 8 Wirral 2nd 24 A VERY much under-strength Warrington team strove manfully to stem the Wirral tide but were eventually worn down by the visitors’ pack to lose a game they needed to win to maintain their promotion challenge.

Even so, they still remain in fifth place just five points adrift from second placed Rochdale with a game in hand.

Warrington were first to set the score tins rattling with a well-struck penalty from Dan Griffiths.

Unfortunately, they were unable to add to their tally in the first half, as the visitors denied them any possession from the scrums and lines and started to rule the loose against the makeshift Warrington pack.

A rare moment of Warrington pressure on the Wirral line was bizarrely overturned when Dee Mann had the ball ripped from his grasp on the Wirral line and the Wirral right winger ran the full 100 yards to touch down.

The try was converted to make the half time score 3-10.

The opening 20 minutes of the second period saw the make-shift Warrington pack start to compete as they got to know each other better and the possession they gained finally allowed Craig Byrne to bustle over to reduce the deficit to two points.

Unfortunately, the score spurred Wirral to greater efforts and their forwards claimed a push-over try virtually from the re-start.

The conversion gave them a nine-point lead.

This soon became 16 points when their scrum half crossed under the posts and all Warrington could do was to defend heroically to prevent any further score.

“We had so many newcomers out there today that it was difficult to find any cohesion as a team,” said skipper Andy Almond.

“But I was still pleased with the way everybody played and we must now look forward to our big game next week against De La Salle, who are level with us in the table.”

Winnington Park 2nd 18 Warrington 3rd 22 WARRINGTON’S third team increased their winning streak to 14 and further strengthened their promotion prospects with this hard-earned win over Winnington Park.

Although they totally outplayed the opposition in a fast and furious first half, they had to dig deep to defend their lead in a second half but their team spirit proved just enough to withstand the strong Winnington challenge.

Craig Davies, on a rare break from his hectic filming schedule led the Warrington first half charge with a winger’s try after five minutes.

The forwards then had their say when second row Dan Johnson forced his way over following a well-executed driving maul from a line-out.

Matt Drinkwater converted.

Winnington replied with a penalty but Warrington increased their lead when the versatile Christian White, playing at number eight, picked up from the base of a scrum and proved unstoppable from five yards.

Matt Drinkwater converted and then further compounded Winnington’s woes with a penalty on the stroke of half time.

The second period saw a complete change of gear from the home side.

Their forwards stared to take control and the backs used the possession well to grab two tries, one of which was converted.

Desperate defence from Warrington resulted in two players going to the sin-bin but the heroic tackling of Warrington, with the ubiquitous Ryan Carter outstanding, prevented any further crossing of the try line.

Winnington did manage a late penalty but Warrington had done enough.

“Today, we showed the two sides of the third team coin,” said skipper Shaun McDermott.

“We were clinical in attack in the first half while the second half showed off our awesome defence.

“We face the most important game of our season next week against Firwood Waterloo.

“If we win that, we win promotion.”