The Heysham Atoms rounded off their second summer season with an excellent away victory against a Wigan side that could have gained promotion with a win.
The Atoms had a fantastic opening and were never behind in this high-scoring game as they secured third place in the Domino’s Pizza North West Men’s League Division One.
The blistering start saw Heysham race into an 18-0 inside the first quarter.
The first Atoms try came on their third set of six as they attacked close to the posts.
Scrum Half Dan Helme danced across the face of the defensive line creating the overlap showing the ball to the dummy runners.
He found centre Jamie Cottle who drew the last defender and put exciting young winger Kia Davis in at the corner.
Mark Walker and Al Crookall were causing all sorts of damage in the middle channels with their intelligent lines of running and it was fitting that Walker got the Atoms’ second score with a scoot from dummy half.
Unsung hero Dan Ginocchio then intercepted a loose pass and sprinted 60 yards upfield before being held up by the last defender.
The visitors kept up the pressure however and second rower Callum Hall cut inside the cover to score his fifth try of the season.
A couple of easy penalties then helped the Wigan side towards the Atoms line and they were able to score from their first meaningful attack and a quick second try meant the score was suddenly 18-10.
The Atoms regained their composure however and the outstanding Walker spun out of a tackle to register his second try and give the Atoms a 12-point cushion.
A couple of unaccustomed missed tackles gave Spring View their third try and it was only a cover tackle from Helme that prevented further damage before the break.
The promotion prize was firmly in the Wigan players’ eyes as they started the second period the stronger.
The Atoms line was immediately under pressure and only good team defence and a knock-on over the line prevented further scores.
The hosts kept play at the right end of the field and did finally reduce the deficit to just two as the left winger went over in at the corner.
Walker completed an impressive hat-trick taking an inside pass from Callum Hall and driving his way over the line as Heysham hit back.
The next Atoms try was the game changer however and broke Spring View hearts.
A Stuart Lacey ‘bomb’ on the last was expertly caught by Ginocchio who out jumped the full back and ran under the posts for a brilliant score.
Spring View gave themselves a lifeline with 12 minutes left on the clock as a cut out pass try brought them back to 34-24 to set up a tense finale.
The home side threw everything into one last effort to snatch victory but were met by some impressive Atoms defence.
Billy Livingstone’s intelligent dummy half running drew a penalty in front of the posts as the discipline of the Wigan side deteriorated as the time and game slipped away.
Two more penalties in kicking range were gratefully accepted as the Atoms reached the 40-point mark.
Spring View scored the final try with a kick and chase wide out on the left but it was all in vain as the Atoms secured the victory and an excellent top-three finish.
Portrait pools man of the match: 1 Mark Walker 2 Al Crookall 3 Jason Short
Atoms: J Harrison, M Humpage, J Cottle, D Ginocchio, K Davis, S Lacey, D Helme, D Mcvernon, B Livingstone, J Short, C Hall, A Crookall, M Walker. Replacements: A Helme, A Collins, C Thomas, G Winder.