Rossendale Senior Colts 26-0 Broughton Park Senior Colts
Dale take their place in the final of the Lancashire U18s Trophy competition after a fantastic team performance against Broughton Park
Dale kept their dream of a league and cup double alive for another week with an excellent performance against a physical Broughton Park team, to secure their place in the finals next Sunday. A brace of unanswered tries in each half gave the home side the victory that was made up of aggression, structure, effort and team spirit. It was a great combination of the forwards winning and retaining the ball through the phases, then shipping the ball out for the backline to exploit their speed and running lines to cut into the visitors defence.
The first five minutes of the game was a bit scrappy for both sides, with handling errors meaning neither side was able to create any continuity, until Broughton Park conceded a penalty for bringing down a maul that Dale had driven about 20 metres. From the resulting lineout, Isaac Cornwall almost crashed over the line, but was stopped short. The ball recycled quickly and the next phase saw Ciaran Campbell almost go over, but was again stopper short. FInally, the ball recycled quickly again across the back line and allowed Will Peel to scamper over to score, with Joe Bedlow adding the extras. Broughton Park almost levelled the score with a break down the left until Jacob Taylor brought the player down inches from the line, and as the visitors had another go, Ciaran Campbell hit the tackle and drove the attackers back five metres, until impatience got the better of them and the Broughton Park centre kicked the ball through, eventually running over the dead ball line to relieve the pressure for Rossendale. It was patient, sensible play through the phases that gave Rossendale their second try, with each phase gaining ground until the defence became sucked in. The ball was quickly recycled out to Ciaran Campbell, who still had quite a lot of work to do to drive himself over the line to score under the posts, with Joe Bedlow slotting the conversion just on the stroke of half time.
The start of the second half saw Broughton Park with the majority of possession and much of the territory until the Dale lads settled back into the game plan and managed to get their hands on the ball. Again, patient build up play followed by a moment of brilliance from Oliver Molloy saw him cut a line from just inside the twenty-two and slice through the defence, ending with a difficult and well executed finish. Soon after, Dale scored again when Joe Bedloe smashed his way through two defenders to score under the posts, converting his own try. When the final whistle blew, the score was Rossendale 26-0 Broughton Park, and Dale had earned their place in the final. Rossendale's Man of the Match could have been awarded to any one of the twenty players who made an appearance, but went to Hadley Newell for a gutsy and committed performance throughout the game.
So Dale meet a tough opponent, Littleborough, in the finals to be held at Eccles Rugby Club next Sunday. Good luck lads.