Heysham Atoms 52-12 Wigan St Judes

Heysham Atoms' Mark Walker under pressure against Wigan St Judes. Picture: Tony North
Heysham Atoms' Mark Walker under pressure against Wigan St Judes. Picture: Tony North
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The Heysham Atoms maintained top spot as they navigated tricky opponents Wigan St Judes at the Trimpell on Saturday.

It was a sluggish start from both sides before the home side settled, in-form centre Dan Ginocchio ripping a ball out in a one-on-one tackle to give the Atoms their first chance.

Heysham Atoms' Josh Whyke under pressure against Wigan St Judes. Picture: Tony North

Heysham Atoms' Josh Whyke under pressure against Wigan St Judes. Picture: Tony North

Liam Hall ran his favourite line and as so often in his career the outcome was a try.

The Atoms had to re-adjust their back line as they lost Andrew Collins early in the piece but a strong bench meant Jake Harrison could move into the centre without too much disruption.

Al Crookall’s strong running up the middle was causing no end of problems and he found loose forward Mark Walker on his shoulder to take the scoring pass for the next try.

St Judes have been in good form of late and they soon reduced the arrears with a well-taken try after an Atoms error.

From the restart the Atoms chased hard however and Harrison forced an error that Jack Edmondson pounced upon, picking up the loose ball and forcing his way over the line.

The Atoms right side defence then had to be on their guard after the water break as they held up a visiting winger in the act of scoring.

Having prevented the Wigan side from a second score the Atoms increased their lead, Stuart Lacey running the ball on the last tackle, swapping passes with Ginocchio, before putting right winger Matty Short away with a nice pass for his sixth try of the season.

Scrum half Billy Livingstone then made a fine break only to see the next pass intercepted with the Judes Stand off sprinting 60 metres to score as the Atoms led 24-12 at the break.

Any doubts the Atoms may have had about staying at the top of the North West Men’s League Division One were put to bed with five unanswered tries in the second half however.

Walker got his second of the game, skirting across the face of the defensive line and finding sufficient space to force his way over before Jake Harrison’s break put the Atoms deep into Judes territory.

Six slick passes later Lacey had the space to stroll over the line untouched.

It wasn’t all one way traffic however, with the Atoms forced to drop the ball out from under the posts twice in quick succession as their defensive line stood firm.

With the pressure averted, Crookall proved too big and too strong scoring close to the posts before a pin point Lacey kick found winger Andy Garnett unmarked in the left hand corner to place the ball over the line.

The ninth and final Atoms try was on the back of a Mark Walker break, with Jack Lawton trailing the run before scoring.

Livingstone added his eighth goal out of nine to complete another Atoms 50-point haul.