Rylands Sharks 22-36 Heysham Atoms

The Heysham Atoms' Matty Short.
The Heysham Atoms' Matty Short.

A fine all-round performance saw the Heysham Atoms pick up their first away win in the North West Men’s Premier League.

The visitors made a shaky start in Warrington but once they got their act together there was only going to be one winner as the Atoms came from 14-0 down to bag two vital league points.

The hosts were on the board first as Heysham struggled to contain a strong Rylands pack with the Sharks soon into a 14-0 lead thanks to three tries in the opening quarter.

The Atoms had to find a way back into the game and changes in personnel on the 25-minute mark gave them the lift they needed.

Prop Curtis Lacey converted the improved performance into points, the strong-running forward smashing his way over the line to get the Atoms’ first score.

The momentum was firmly with the Atoms with hooker Daniel Helme the next to score, forcing his way over from acting half back for his second try of the season as the Heysham side got a foothold in the game, going into the break 16-12 down.

The visitors completed the turnaround early in the second half with scrum half Billy Livingstone grabbing two quick tries to put the Atoms in control of proceedings.

As the game approached the final quarter Matty Short scored a spectacular full-length try to take the Atoms to the 30-point mark as Livingstone converted.

Jack Edmondson’s arrival in the second half had tightened up the Heysham side’s defence on the edges and Mark Walker kept ploughing his side forward with some telling drives.

Youngster Micheal Forrest capped another busy performance scoring a fine long-range try which was full of pace and determination to get to the line.

Rylands finished off the scoring with a try with time almost up but it couldn’t detract from a fine first victory on the road for the Atoms this year.

The Atoms’ A team were also on their travels and lost out 50-44 in a thriller at Bury Broncos.

Both attacks were well on top as tries were seemingly scored at will.

The Atoms team was a mix of regular A teamers, some old heads and an influx of university students which made for an excellent blend.

Phil Riley at hooker captained the side and he produced a man of the match performance being strong in the tackle and lively with ball in hand.

He was closely followed by hat-trick hero Paddy Bowers and strong-running centre Sam Griffiths.

Luke Charlson benefitted from the experienced handling of second row Rob Shaw scoring his second try in as many games for the A team.

Brad Wheatman scorched in for a 80-yard breakaway try and Tom O’Brien crashed over for a confidence-boosting score. Phil Riley and Andy Peterson completed the try scoring.

At 44 points-all and with one minute remaining the Atoms conceded a sickener of a try as they failed to hold out for a valuable draw.