HEAD coach Martyn Ellis was proud of his young Latchford Albion side in a 36-16 loss at North West Men's League leaders Haresfinch.

With seven of the previous week's 17-man squad unavailable, five members of the club’s excellent under 18s side stepped up to the plate.

With so many changes, and against a well organised Finch side, Albion found the first half a tough experience and were 20-0 down at the break.

Some tactical changes, and led by the outstanding captain Charlie Groarke, saw a much different approach and the second half was tied at 16-16 which was a great achievement especially with Albion's completion rate being at 100 per cent.

Josh Barnard notched a debut try, with others coming from Stuart Simm and Jack Sherratt, with Nathan Bond adding two conversions.

“It’s a bit strange but I was happier than I have been in games where we won," said Ellis.

"This performance shows what a great infrastructure the club has as we were not a weaker side despite so many changes.

"We had five players in the squad who have played less than 20 open-age games combined and an average squad age of 21, playing against a very tough experienced side who sit top of the league and they more than stood their ground.

"The second half was a joy to watch as we did not make a single handling error and really took the game to Finch.

"It showed what a fantastic spirit this club has.“

On Saturday Albion will be back on home soil when they host Heysham Atoms, kick-off 2.30pm at Victoria Park.