A FORMER Warrington Wolves back-rower scored the deciding try as Woolston Rovers lost their 100 per cent home record with a 24-18 defeat to league leaders Waterhead Warriors at Monk Sports Club.

Ireland international Danny Bridge, 30, the younger brother of ex-Wire centre Chris Bridge, crossed for the killer touchdown after Rovers had twice fought back to level the scores in a high-quality National Conference League Division Two encounter.

Rovers trailed 12-0 in the first half and 18-12 after the break but matters were all square until Bridge bounced off a Rovers defender and scored between the posts.

Adam Files (40 mins), Dec Leonard (53) and Harry Files (67) scored Rovers’ tries, while Ben Dixon added three conversions.

“It was a tough one to take; I felt that we went into the game a little nervous as they have a lot of talent in their squad that have played at a high level but once we got into it our boys realised it was there for the taking,” said Rovers head coach Billy Sheen.

“We must have defended for around 30 minutes of the first half and only conceded two tries, one was a scoot and the other a penalty try.

“We were outstanding and the game was there to win but it wasn’t meant to be.

“I thought every player was brilliant and it was a great game to watch.

“We will take a lot of confidence from this moving forward and I believe we can go on a bit of a run now.

“Confidence is high and the lads are playing some fantastic rugby. We have a week off now, then we will be back at it and hopefully start challenging the top two once again.”

Best for Rovers were Scott Whiteley, Matt Taylor and Alex Pendlebury.

Rovers: Ben Dixon; Alex Pendlebury, Kieran Moore, Dan Fearnley, Karlton Bates; Ryan Brown, Dec Leonard; Ryan Palin, Adam Files, Ryan Hickman, Craig Lawton, Scott Whiteley, Harry Files. Subs: Wil Roberts, Sam Wood, Joe Craven, Matt Taylor.

Meanwhile, Crosfields were defeated at home 34-14 by Stanningley in National Conference League Division One.

Soap started well and took the lead, but then hit the self destruct button with repeated unforced errors which allowed the visitors to take control of the game by half-time.

Stanningley were very controlled, aggressive and enthusiastic, well worthy winners on the day.

All of Crosfields’ score came down the left side of the attack, with tries from Corey Lee, two, and Luke Walker, but they over complicated the moves to further this opportunity.

Joe Clarke was relentless with his efforts in the middle.

Head Coach Matt Wilson said: “I’m scratching my head as to how that’s got away from us.

“We didn’t make them really work for points. We went away from what was working for us and if you don’t complete high in this league you will get hurt.

“In the second half we worked our way back into the game but we’re just playing with panic at the moment and I think that’s what a couple of defeats can bring.

“We are doing it tough at the minute, commitment levels are way off where they need to be for us to compete at this level and it’s so frustrating - you can’t keep making seven or eight changes every week and compete at this level.

“We are in a dogfight now to stay in this division but there are plenty of games for us to turn this around and it’s on the players to make those changes internally in our attitude.

“We will see now moving forward who really has the hunger for that fight.

“I know myself and my coaches do, I still fully believe in us as a group but I think the players need to believe in themselves and need to start turning up for each other on the field in the same way as they do off it.”

Soap, third from bottom in 10th, visit eighth-placed Pilkington Recs on Friday night.

In the North West Men’s League, Woolston Rovers A lost 42-16 at Golborne Parkside.

It was a much improved performance though from the previous week’s display.

The first half was keenly contested for the most part but the home side had that little extra bit of composure at crucial times and built up a 24-10 half -time lead.

Rovers scored tries through prop forward Tom Fagan and scrum half Chris Forster, with Forster adding one conversion.

The second half was a similar tale with Rovers having plenty of opportunities but some strong defence from Golborne kept them at bay for the large part.

The Rovers second-half try was scored by second row Patryk Mazur, with Forster adding the extras.

Best for Rovers were Mazur, Forster and Craig Woolvine.

Rovers A coach Liam Lawton said: “That was definitely a significant improvement on the previous week against a quality side.

“We really got stuck into the game and gave it a real go throughout and I can’t fault the effort from the lads.

“We now have a couple of weeks without a game so it will give us the opportunity to regroup and comeback stronger with a few lads close to returning from injury.”

Rovers A: Louis Griffiths; Andy Ward, Simon Bishop, Kyle Cherrett, Joe Oakes; Dom Ball, Chris Forster; Ben Crewe, Jack Hancock, Tom Fagan, Craig Woolvine, Patryk Mazur, Jay-Jay Catterall. Subs: Tom Atherton, Tom Harvey, Lewis Dawson, Rob Campbell.