Hoylake 40 Garstang RUFC 31: Wasteful Garstang start the season with a defeat

Garstang RUFC lost against Hoylake
Garstang RUFC lost against Hoylake

Garstang RUFC’s first XV kicked off the season proper with a 40-31 defeat at Hoylake.

While they totally dominated possession and territory, Garstang were wasteful in the final third.

In comparison, Hoylake lived on scraps but were clinical whenever they had a sniff of a score.

Garstang fell behind a quarter of an hour into the game when Hoylake spilled the ball but it was deemed to be a Garstang knock-on.

Hoylake made a sharp break from the resulting scrum and went under the posts to lead 7-0.

Garstang went right back at Hoylake and levelled the scores when Elliott Davies Taylor threw a dummy close to the line and went over.

Shortly afterwards, the same player made another incisive break before releasing Ainsley Pye to cross.

Nevertheless, Hoylake led at half-time as they punished sloppy defending to score twice for a 21-14 lead.

That advantage was extended early in the second half with another converted try making it 28-14.

Garstang rallied, however, and got within two points when Joel Dugdale went over, followed by a second converted effort for Davies Taylor to trail 28-26.

With a little more than 10 minutes remaining, Garstang forced a penalty but, rather than take the three points, they took a quick tap and wasted the opportunity.

It was especially painful as, from the restart, Hoylake went the length of the pitch to score in the corner.

Trailing 33-26, Garstang saw Hoylake kick a turnover downfield and win the race for a converted try.

With one bonus point achieved for scoring four tries, Garstang knew they could get a second in losing by seven points or fewer.

The last play saw Dugdale score in the corner to make it 40-31 but Kieran Davies’ conversion struck the post.

Elsewhere, the Blues posted a 57-17 win against Kirkby Lonsdale Warriors.

The first XV host New Brighton on Saturday with the Blues facing Southport (both 3pm).