On a wet and windy afternoon at Trentham Fields Longton eventually ran out comfortable winners against bottom club, Old Saltlians, by 64pts to 10, after a sluggish first half-half. Longton exerted all of the early pressure but Old Salts held out. The visitors didn’t look like a team that hasn’t won a game this season and, in fact, scored the first points of the game in the 14th. minute from a penalty in front of the posts for a 3pts. to nil lead.
It was taking Longton some time to work their way into the game but on 17 minutes the ball was moved left and after several passes Paul Housley had the first of many thundering runs to crash over for the first try converted by Grant Hallam for a 7-3pts. lead. After 35mins. Old Salts finally managed to get into the home “22” for one of the few times and a forward drive crashed over the Longton try line from 5m. The conversion was successful giving Old Salts a 10-7pts. lead. Longton came straight back as they realised that they were in a contest and began to settle into a good pattern by giving a number of short crisp passes in the forwards allowing George Glenn to plunge over in the corner. The difficult conversion just missed but Longton were now in front at 12-10pts.
Immediately afterwards Longton scored again; strong runs from Paul Housley was followed by a forceful burst from centre, Sam Dumigan, to touch down. Grant Hallam converted to make the score 19-10pts. The try scorer took a knock shortly after and was forced to leave the field to be replaced by Chris Edmondson. Only 3mins. had gone after this when Longton moved the ball left with fly-half, Grant Hallam, making a fine break to score and he converted his own score to make the score 26-10pts. Just 5mins. later swift passing out left by the backs resulted in Paul Housley going over for his second try; the difficult conversion just missed leaving Longton looking comfortable at 31-10pts. Then, only 3mins. later came another score as Longton were clearly gaining in confidence to move the ball around against a tiring opposition. Scrum-half, Jordan Hough, who had a fine match, went over for another try after some strong carries by the pack with Adam Ridge prominent. Grant Hallam converted to make it 38-10pts.
It took another 9mins. for the next score to come from a rampant Longton; it was a try in the corner which Grant Hallam converted with a superb kick to make the score 45-10pts. Longton were now playing with freedom and produced some fine running rugby aided by strong ball carrying from the pack with Pete Wilshaw and Adam Ridge prominent. With 24mins. of the half gone the ball was transferred rapidly right for a try in the corner which Grant Hallam superbly converted once again to make the score 52-10pts. There was no end to the scoring with the next try coming in the 28th. minute through Christian Prince. Grant Hallam again converted to make it 59-10pts.
From the kick-off Longton moved the ball quickly left with some beautifully timed passes after five of which a cut-back 20m. out saw Paul Housley go over for his 4th. try in a Man-of-the-Match performance. The difficult conversion missed and not long after the final whistle blew to bring to an end a thoroughly entertaining game with the well-beaten opposition playing their part and the 5 points gained was a useful Christmas present for the home team.
Next week Longton travel down to Stourbridge Lions who currently sit one place off the bottom, this being the last game before the Christmas break and Longton will be hoping to repeat today’s form on their travels. M. Wheat