No rest for Panthers as they record a double

Ben Conner makes a break for Panthers Under-12s
Ben Conner makes a break for Panthers Under-12s

Chorley Panthers’ Under-18s scored a double victory when they beat Portico and Saddleworth in the space of four days.

Panthers hosted Portico and were first on the scoresheet, with Mickey Beardsworth showing great footwork to dance over.

But Portico’s short and high kick-offs proved Panthers’ downfall and Portico drew level when winning the ball back.

Panthers responded in emphatic fashion as they turned on the class with four unanswered tries from Alfie Bowers, Harry Hewitt, Beardsworth and the try of the game seeing great hands put Pete Edwards in the corner.

But just before half-time a lapse in concentration saw Portico pull one back to make it 28-12 at the break.

Josh Rourke was unplayable in the first half, coming out from the back and setting up tries.

But Portico who started to find their rhythm, and with their impressive No.7 pulling the strings, they scored the next three tries to pull the score back to 28-22

Man of the match Hewitt was proving to be a handful up the middle and was rewarded with two tries in quick succession.

But Portico were not dead and buried, and some quick penalty plays saw them reduce the gap and set up a grandstand finish with the score 38-34 going into the closing stages.

It was a fitting end to the game to see returning Panthers’ Matty Ashcroft ghost through off a perfect pass from Beardsowrth to clinch a 42-34 victory.

Chorley then built on that win by grinding out a 44-32 victory at Saddleworth.

First over the try line was Beardsworth, who crossed to score the first of his hat-trick.

Some poor defence in the middle saw Saddleworth come right back to level the scores.

However, Chorley settled quickly and looked to have control, with Ashcroft scoring the first of his 
hat-trick.

But Saddleworth scored three tries in quick succession to go into half-time with a narrow 22-20 lead.

Beardsworth put the Panthers back in front with a superb solo try in a second half which saw the two teams exchanging tries at will.

A massive hit by Chris Burns gave Panthers ascendancy when Ashcroft went in again from the next play.

But Saddleworth hit back to level the scores and set up another tense finish.

Panthers hooker Adam Turner gave them some daylight following another try by Ashcroft.

And Beardsworth showed his class with the last try of the game for Panthers to take the honours 44-32

Chorley Panthers’ Under-12s side lost 22-6 at Folly Lane, while the Under-10s side lost 44-34 at home to Portico Vine.