The Heysham Atoms rose back to the top of the pile, displacing their opponents Hindpool of Barrow with a hard fought victory.
Strong carries were the order of the day in the opening exchanges and Short and Hall set a good tempo.
Although on the end of a 4-0 early penalty count The Atoms were able to force their way in range of Hindpool’s line.
Second row Al Crookal came onto the ball with enough determination to twist his way over the line and give his side the lead.
With ex-Great Britain scrum half Bobbie Goulding scouting for the Barrow Raiders hooker Mathew Humpage put himself in the shop window with a number of sharp breaks from the dummy half position.
He set up a good attacking platform close to Hindpool’s line where Al Crookal repeated his feat of scoring, wriggling his way over the line under some heavy challenges to give The Atoms a healthy 12-0 lead.
In these games there is very little to choose between the sides and this match proved to be no different.
The Hindpool number one, supported by his two hardworking second rows, began to give The Atoms defenders some questions to answer.
The pressure they exerted gave Hindpool the opportunity to score just before the break which they gratefully took as The Atoms went into half time 12-6 ahead.
The Atoms almost increased their lead early in the second period as a well placed Lacey kick was chased hard by centre Dan Ginocchio, he won the race to the touch down but was ajudged to have knocked forward in the act of scoring. Ginocchio wasn’t to be out done and he rounded off an excellent performance by intercepting a stray pass and sprinting 60 metres to the line.
Captain Lacey inteligently made it 19-6 to The Atoms with a well taken drop goal with 20 minutes left to play.
At this point the heavens opened and from here on in looking after the ball became very difficult for both sides.
Some stunning defence from Mark Walker and Dan Ginocchio kept Hindpool’s dangerous left centre at bay and Jamie Cottle at full back nearly added to The Atoms score with a break out of defence that was only halted by an excellent cover tackle by the Hindpool hooker.
Hindpool made the last 10 minutes quite uncomfortable for The Atoms as they scored their second converted try, bringing them to within seven points of the Heysham side.
The Atoms were not going to be denied and were able to see the game out and claim the two competition points with an outstanding all round team performance.