In front of a large Friday evening crowd Longton were worthy winners over local rivals, Stafford, by 23pts. to 10 on a fine evening at Trentham Fields.
The game was dominated by the powerful Longton pack who had the visitors’ eight going backwards at every set scrum and maul. The front row of Ant Cornwell, George Glenn and Tim Wareham were a solid unit backed by second rows Ricky Bentley and Adam Ridge and a mighty performance from Gaz Rawlings, Pete Wilshaw and Eroni Leqaiwai.
The new half-back pairing of Josh Vickers and Grant Hallam are settling in well in their first league game together and Joe Hall was, as ever, a strong ball carrier in midfield.
Longton started on the front foot and were looking to attack from all over the pitch and it took only 10mins. for the hosts to register their first try. The Longton pack drove forward from a scrum 15m. out and No.8, Gaz Rawlings, touched down. Grant Hallam converted to make it 7pts. to nil. The next 15mins. were evenly contested but in the 31st. minute Grant Hallam landed a penalty from the Stafford “22” to put Longton 10-0pts. up. Stafford replied with a penalty to make it 10-3pts at half-time.
With 13mins. of the 2nd. half gone Longton increased their lead with another Grant Hallam penalty to make it 13-3pts. and another Grant Hallam penalty made it 16-3pts. From a driving maul on the away “22” the Longton pack drove relentless forward to crash over for Pete Wilshaw to get the touchdown. Grant Hallam converted from the touchline to make it 23-3pts. Stafford grabbed a consolation try a few minutes from time but Longton closed the match out at 23-10pts.