Chorley Panthers’ depleted U16 side lost 42-4 at Newton Storm.
The Panthers travelled to Newton with 12 players for this cup/league game, but were reduced to 10 after a brave but poorly Joe Turner was forced to retire 10 minutes into the game.
Newton started strongly, taking an early lead on their first attack with an overlap. Their next converted try came from a scrum on half way, putting the score at 10-0.
The Panthers were looking dangerous with ball in hand, but the speed of Newton’s ball play pulled at Chorley’s defence.
Two quick tries followed for Newton, who again created overlaps to break wide. With two extra players the gaps would always be there, but Chorley defended well and without error. A good run from Jake Pass and good handling from the half backs saw the Panthers finish the half 18-0 down.
Panthers were the better team at the start of the second half, forcing errors from Newton and winning the ruck area, causing a frustrated Storm to give away penalties.
From one penalty, Joe Sharrett stepped two players and took another three with him over the line for a try.
The tough kick was missed, but the Panthers were straight back onto the attack, and a great kick by Jacob Littler saw them almost go in again.
Newton were rattled, and after a high shot at Josh Rourke missed, Newton were reduced to 12 with a yellow card. Up to this point Panthers had dominated possession, but as soon as the classy Newton half backs got their hands on the ball, and the Chorley boys tired, the gaps started to appear.
A Newton try from a scrum with 18 minutes remaining dented Chorley’s spirits, and Newton went on to run in another three tries through a mix of strong running, good hands and tired defending.
Man of the match was Sharrett who was a constant threat in attack and outstanding in defence.
The U13 side trounced Bury Broncos 30-8. The Panthers went behind to an early try from the hosts, but from that point onward it was Chorley’s game.
Playing some great rugby, the young Panthers were fittingly rewarded following some superb tries. Thomas Hunter powered over for a hat-trick and Adam Lister crossed twice with fine individual efforts.
James Gregson finished off a great move, and Lister successfully converted three from his four kicks.
Man of the match was Daniel Kirby.
The U9 side lost 32-4 to Golborne Pirates at home. Ben Foster galloped down the Pirates’ left to outpace the cover and score but that woke Golborne’s defence.
Harry Townsend (magic moment) pulled off several try savers. Isaac Graham (man of the match) was relentless in attack and defence, as was Foster (top tackler).
Despite the scoreline, there were many positives for Chorley with Poppy Baldry back in the team.