The Heysham Atoms came away pointless from their trip to St Helen, going down 18-14 to Clock Face Miners in their North West Premier League clash.
The Atoms competed well in the early exchanges and the first chances in the game fell to the Heysham side.
First winger Matty Short went close after a slick handling move, then Liam Hall was held up over the line, which was no mean feat, by scrambling the Clock Face defence.
The Miners were focusing their attacks down the Atoms’ right and persistent probing proved fruitful as the winger went in at their corner for a 4-0 lead.
When allowed, the Atoms’ attacking line looked in good order and an Olly Murray offload got Jack Lawton into space.
He drew the last defender, putting Tom Crookall away to score in the right hand corner to make it 4-4.
Three penalties in a row saw the Atoms go from attacking the Clock Face line to defending their own in the blink of an eye.
Clock Face took advantage of this charity, scoring a controversial try to the right of the posts to leave the score 10-4 to the hosts at half time.
The Atoms opened up the second half in impressive fashion, forcing the pace of the game.
New Atoms forward Leandro Kwiczor made an outstanding break but the Atoms’ support runners just couldn’t get to him in time to keep the move going.
The signs were good and with Tom Crookall running the ball strongly the Atoms were becoming a real threat.
Lawton provided the try assist for the second time after man of the match Jake Harrison had made a half break.
He gave winger Dialon Hernandez his first touch in rugby league, sprinting into the right hand corner for the Atoms’ second try although the conversion was missed as the Atoms trailed by two points.
Dan Rodriguez came on for a spiky little cameo, making good yards with strong carries and Matty Short saved his team with an excellent run out of defence when it looked like he would be trapped behind his own goal line.
Jamie Cottle came up with two try saving tackles in the same set of six to inspire his team to go and get a grip on this tight game.
A penalty shot was declined in favour of running the ball and going for the win which paid off immediately.
Another crisp handling move from left to right saw Cottle drop a pass off to Michael Forrest – he jinked his way past a couple of defenders to score close to the posts for a 14-10 lead with 11 minutes left to play.
The home side pushed hard for victory and their loose forward found the elusive gap and powered over for a crucial try.
The kick was good giving them a two point cushion.
Ironically the game ended with another penalty to Clock Face which proved to be the last action of the match.
*In the North West Men’s Entry League Heysham Atoms A went down 42-32 at home to Burnley and Pendle.