Haydock 24-14 Heysham Atoms: Under-strength visitors battle hard in defeat
An under-strength Heysham Atoms travelled to a strong Haydock side who had come from back-to-back wins in the Challenge Cup and were unlucky to go down to a 24-14 defeat.
Atoms made a strong start to the game with a pirouetting Dan Ginocchio spinning his way through the Haydock defence to find the line.
The dream start was short lived as a blistering attack from the league champions saw the Haydock full-back showing a clean pair of heels to the try line levelling the scores at 4-4.
The Atoms welcomed back the strong running lines of Nathan Simpson and Kai Davies to the side, showing how dangerous they could be even against such a strong defence.
And a strong-running Josh Tuicicia made impressive inroads to the Haydock defensive line.
The game reached a stalemate for a long period of the first half, some slick hands from the Atoms leader Jamie Cottle to Jake Harrison, who passed to Al Crookall, almost put the ever improving Andrew Taylor over for his first try of the season, but the Haydock cover defence stopped him just short.
But the lack of numbers for the Atoms told towards the tail-end of the first half.
The fatigue had set in and the individual brilliance of the Haydock former England Under-20s half-back showed as he dummied his way over the line .
Then Callum Brodie succumbed to a knee injury compounding Atoms’ already growing injury problems.
Still, Heysham came out to the second all guns blazing, a neat chip and chase from the impressive young Henry Higginson led to spilled ball from the Haydock winger allowing the fleet footed Jack Lawton to scoop up the loose ball and race the remaining 20 metres to score to reduce the deficit to 10-8
Buts the league leaders used their substitutes well and scored three quickfire tries.
There was a glimmer of hope as Jack Lawton made a dash toward the Haydock line. The quick thinking Higginson passed to Crookall returned the ball to Higginson to cross for a try.