Heysham Atoms 14-30 Spring View

FOR only the second time this season the Atoms lost at home, making it two league defeats on the trot against one of their closest rivals.

The out-of-sorts Atoms had a poor first 40 minutes, conceding 20 points without reply which is too big a start to give anyone in this league, especially one of the promotion candidates.

The Atoms’ early endeavours looked promising with first, captain Craig Dixon unlucky not to win the race to the touchdown after a hack through from a Spring View error, and then the dangerous centre Al Crookall going agonisingly close.

These missed opportunities would come back to haunt the Atoms as Spring View gave a lesson in taking their opportunities when they presented themselves.

The Atoms got their numbers wrong wide out on the right and two quick passes through the halves gave their strong running centre an easy run through the line.

If the first Spring View try was a gift then the second was a piece of individual brilliance from their stand-off, who chipped and chased his own kick, retrieving the ball perfectly on the first bounce going under the posts for a 12-0 lead.

The returning prop forward duo of Hall and McVernon were doing most damage for the Atoms, always being able to break the first tackle, showing how badly they were missed last week.

A Billy Livingstone interception relieved some pressure from the Atoms line but this was short lived as the very next play the ball was lost, giving possession straight back to the Wigan side.

The third Spring View try had controversy written all over it as it appeared the Wigan winger was in touch prior to touching down in the right hand corner with everyone on the ground except referee and linesman spotting the indiscretion.

To further compound matters the ball was kicked straight out from the Atoms’ restart and then Jake Harrison appeared to have scored, only to be denied by an unsighted referee.

The Atoms were still feeling sorry for themselves and hard done by when Spring View’s hooker ripped them apart, not for the first time, right down the middle of the ruck, scoring close to the posts for their 20th unanswered point.

The final action of the half saw the Atoms go close after some swift hands got Winder away with a sniff of the line.

Good defence kept him out but this was a positive to end the half on.

The Atoms second period was so much different from the first, showing a great determination to get themselves back in the game.

They dominated possession and field position but ultimately the first half mountain was too big to climb.

Hall and McVernon’s second spell was just as disruptive to the opposition’s defence as their first and the Atoms looked a far better side with these two back on the field.

Ginocchio found his running boots and Neil Walker stepped up off the bench to add a bit more width to their play with his tidy passing game.

A quickly taken penalty from Craig Dixon got the scoreboard moving in the Atoms’ direction for the first time in the game, taking the defenders by surprise scoring close to the posts.

Spring View were back to a 20-point cushion within 10 minutes of the restart scoring their fifth try of the contest.

The next 30 minutes was all about the Atoms’ attack and Spring View’s resolute defence.

Hooker Michael Marrin made an excellent tackle in midfield, dislodging the ball from a Spring View runner.

The loose ball was secured quickly and good hands put Al Crookall over the line for his fifth try of the season. Dan Helme then went close before Jake Harrison found the perfect off-load to Al Crookall, who barged his way over for his second try of the afternoon.

The unlikely comeback had now gathered momentum and the Atoms were in sight, only two converted tries behind.

The Atoms continued to press and put pressure on Spring View’s line.

Hall was unlucky not to get the nod going very close in the right hand corner and then for the second time in the match winger Winder was bundled into touch with the line agonisingly close.

The Atoms created plenty of chances to score which again was a very positive sign and on another day these chances would have resulted in more points.

The final score of the game fittingly went to Spring View on the very last attack of the match with a great cut out pass finding their winger wide out on the left.

Portrait Pools Man of the Match: 1 McVernon, 2 Hall, 3 Dixon.

Heysham Atoms: Harrison, Jackson, Crookall, Dixon, Winder, Lacey, Livingstone, Hall, Marrin, McVernon, Hall, Ginocchio, Helme. Res: Helme, Shaw, Raines, Walker.