The Heysham Atoms’ Under 18s travelled to Warrington for their penultimate game of the season with a stretched squad for the second week in a row.
The Atoms put in a brave performance, full of energy, grit and determination and led at the break and with 15 minutes to go.
At that point however they were reduced to 12 men and that proved to be the turning point of the contest.
The Heysham side constructed three well-taken first-half tries however.
Centre Michael Forrest broke clear directly from a scrum for an excellent individual try and hooker Matty Humpage scored in similar fashion breaking away from the cover and having enough pace to finish it off.
The third try by Jack Lawton was started by Jack Edmondson taking the ball up strongly and getting a quick play the ball. Humpage then made excellent yards finding the supporting loose forward Dan Helme with a well-timed inside pass and he in turn found stand-off Will Hunt who was backing up the move and he returned the the pass to Helme with an offload out of the tackle.
Helme made the final cut out pass to full back Lawton who shot into the right-hand corner for a breathtaking try.
The Atoms were 16-14 up at the break but the game turned in a split second after man of the match Edmondson had scored a 50-yard try to give the visitors a 22-20 lead.
The red card then came at a crucial stage of the game but it didn’t deter the Atoms youngsters with two well-placed kicks giving the Heysham side a chance to go for glory with the Bulls having to drop out from under their sticks.
Kyel Dempsey scored in the right-hand corner only to be harshly pulled back for a forward pass.
This disappointment was further compounded as the Bulls went to the other end and scored the all-important try that put them two scores clear and handed them victory.
The Atoms youngsters can now look forward to the final game of the season against fierce local rivals Blackpool Scorpions at the Trimpell in two weeks time.
The Heysham Atoms’ senior side were handed their fourth walkover win of the season on Saturday with Chorley Panthers unable to field a team.
Andrew Helme’s side are next due to face Hindpool Tigers from Barrow at home this Saturday, September 6.
The Atoms sit second in the North West Men’s League Division One, two points behind Bold Miners with a game in hand. Hindpool are a place and six points further back in third. The match is the first of the Atoms’ final three as they bid to win the division and seal promotion to the Premier League.