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Woolston Rovers 30 Irlam Hornets 14
1:54pm Thursday 19th April 2012 in Amateur RL
WOOLSTON Rovers finished off the winter era in the best possible style by collecting the NWC Challenge Cup with a hard-fought victory over Irlam at Rylands.
Hornets had stung Rylands in the previous round, so Woolston knew they needed a strong performance to overpower them and man-of-the-match Billy Maunder provided.
Irlam opened the scoring with the boot, but Woolston hit back when Jon Cole burst through a gap to score on the right.
Hornet’s impressive forwards were dominating the middle, but Woolston started to hit their straps by moving the ball wide, first winger Martin Corker crossing after Matt Taylor’s final pass, before Taylor grabbed a try himself after great link play from Craig Harris and Maunder.
Holding a 14-2 lead at the break Woolston needed to start the second half well, but instead suffered from lapses at the back, allowing Irlam a cheap try from dummy half.
That seemed to wake them up though, leading to great play from Taylor and Corker on the left sending Maunder over with an inside pass to ease the pressure.
Irlam were turning up the pressure, with Rovers enduring four sets on their own line before Maunder's brilliant interception allowed him to go the length of the field and break the Hornet’s hearts.
With Irlam’s pack tiring Woolston began to dominate, Dobson’s 30-metre break sending back rower Rob Hayes over out wide, before Paul Berry's close range try sealed a wonderful win for Rovers ahead of their move to the summer era.