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Home > News > Ruskin Park 10 - Didsbury Toc H 17
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Your News Ruskin Park 10 - Didsbury Toc H 17
02
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Lancashire Plate holders Didsbury Toc H began their serious competitive

2010/11 season by defending their title in a 1st round tie against St

Helens based Ruskin Park. The teams have met several times in this

competition offer the years, but it was Didsbury who came away with the

spoils coming from behind to win 10-17.

Toc H named a mixed side, partly due to unavailability during the bank

holiday weekend and giving an opportunity to other players to put down

an early marker for the coming season. Veteran prop Steve McDonough

started in an unaccustomed role of flanker, and Bahamian 7s

international Perkins Joseph made his first start for the club on the

wing.

The match was played in fine conditions apart from the very strong wind,

which was to prove to be a vital element of the game. Ruskin Park

started with the use of the wind in the first half and bombarded the

visitors with some early pressure. The home side used their runners to

good effect and Didsbury needed to defend manfully to keep out an early

score. Didsbury stuck to their plan of having to run the ball from all

areas of the park, due to clearance kicks not being an option. The home

side, buoyed by a healthy bank holiday crowd, continued to pressurise

the Didsbury defence and when a the ball was turned over by Park in Toc

H territory they scored the first try. The conversion was missed.

Didsbury started to get a foothold in the match and started to make

ground into the Ruskin Park half. Several Didsbury attacking lineouts

were thwarted by the home sides stubborn defence, and Ruskin Park

doubled their try tally with a break away from their own half. Again the

conversion was missed. The score remained 10-0 until the halftime

whistle.

Didsbury knew they now had use of the wind and started to up their game,

with clever tactical kicking from Gaz Oakley and fullback Joe Bradbury

stretching the home team's defence. The visiting pack was now taking the

ball on and sucking in the defence, recycling the ball for scrum half

Oakley to orchestrate play. Early in the second half a series of forward

drives sucked in defenders and when Didsbury moved the ball right pacey

second row Phil Cooper forced his way over to touch down. Bradbury

expertly slotted the conversion, and the comeback had started 10-7.

Perkins Joseph made his presence felt with some excellent breaks down

the touchline, and from one such break he scored his debut try racing in

to score. Bradbury missed the tricky kick, but Didsbury had taken the

lead 10-12. The home side mustered a limited number of attacks in the

second period, but resolute tackling from Hyde, McDonough, Williams and

Bradbury kept the line intact. Didsbury again drove up the middle of the

home side's defence, creating space out wide for Tom Rooney to score the

decisive winning try. Ruskin Park piled forward and were close to

scoring, but Didsbury's impressive defence held out for a deserved

three-tries-to-two victory.

Both teams will take a lot from the encounter and use the game as a

springboard into the start of the league campaign. Didsbury visit De La

Salle next Saturday, a tie which sees both promoted teams from the last

campaign face each other in the higher league of North Lancs & Cumbria.

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