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Saturday, 25 October 2014

Great finish for Hawcoat Park

Hawcoat Park 27 North Manchester 10

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GOLDEN GRAHAM: Andy Graham races down the wing to score his 50-metre try Mark Fitzgerald

HAWCOAT Park ended a very satisfactory North Lancs League campaign with a hard-earned victory against North Manchester to cement third place in the table.

The battle up front was an even one but the Maroon and Whites’ three-quarters were superior and ran in some good tries in the second half to make sure of the win.

The first 20 minutes were very even, with Andy Graham slotting over a 30-metre penalty goal to open the scoring. The visitors replied with a penalty, before Park grabbed the advantage when hooker Dave Gallagher made a typical burst and slipped a great one-handed pass to the supporting Tim Clark, who scored under the posts. Graham converted for 10-3.

The start of the second half did not go to plan, with Brad Morrow spending 10 minutes in the sin-bin for a dangerous tackle. Then mates Mike Lightfoot and Matt Sayle became ‘blood brothers’ when they clashed heads making a tackle. Both had to go to Furness General Hospital to be stitched up.

During this spell the North Manchester pack got a try their efforts deserved to level the scores at 10-10.

It was then that the Park three-quarter line came into their own and swung the game in the home side’s favour.

Firstly young Graham, while covering at fly half for the injured Matt Sayle, made a good run before delaying a long pass perfectly for outside centre Josh Haney to run onto. Nobody was going to stop his strong running burst over the line.

The third try came after good work by full-back Jon Moses and winger Matt Burrows, with centre George Hilton capping a great season with a jinking run to touch down under the posts, Graham converting for 22-10.

The final try was the best and created by classic centre play by Haney. He made a powerful run and showed good pace to beat his man on the outside before drawing the cover to pass to Graham.

He pinned his ears back from 50 metres out to touch down in the corner.

It was the 17-year-old’s 11th try of a great first season in senior rugby.

Park chairman John Horne was pleased to see former player John Dixon home from Australia after many years, and added: “He certainly went up in the estimations of the younger lads when buying two jugs of beer to help in the end-of-season celebrations!”

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