Mancunians claimed another scalp from a club in a higher division than them with a 24:10 away win at Orrell St James on Saturday, writes Shaun Johnson.
Mancunians, who are playing teams from Division 5 on a regular basis due to a team withdrawing from that league and because of their strength this season, have only lost twice this year and are performing consistently well and beating teams placed above them in the leagues, thanks to some astute recruitment.
They travelled to Orrell light in personnel in key areas due to injury and availability but outshone the club from the heartlands and shot into a 18:0 lead before the midpoint of the first half and retained that lead until the break.
Tom Makin, Mike Burr and Fraser Child claimed tries in the first half, but once the home team received a few penalties in their favour, they started to gain confidence and pulled a try back after half time. But Tom Makin nudged Mancs further into an unassailable lead after 60 mins. Burr and Kingsley Child made some damage in the middle and Danny Child hit Makin with a great ball on the right edge inside the Orrell half on the back of a retreating defence. Makin created a two-on-one against a defending winger and centre combination and sold a classic dummy to the centre and Makin was through the gap to score his second try of the afternoon.
The win comes just two weeks after a stunning display against a team a full six divisions above them in the league when they lost narrowly to North West Premier League title contenders Hindley.
Mancunians Captain and prop, Mike Burr said: “Playing consistently gives great positivity for this team going forward that we can compete and in the future beat teams like these regularly” He said. “We have put some great structure in place recently and that is helping with our consistency this year. We’re learning to control the armwrestle more now which is helping us get on top early on. In previous years we’ve had to chase the game quite often in previous years and being in front enables us to play a game which is more suited to us” Said Burr.
“We’re getting some great results this year and we are playing with a lot of confidence. That confidence enables us to stick to our game plan when the wheels start to come off and continue with what we’ve planned to do which get’s us the result. He said.
The game was soured when Orrell imploded on themselves with 15 minutes to go, however. The referee was forced to award more than ten successive penalties to Mancunians because of foul play and back chat and the referee abandoned the game in the 70th minute after sending off and sin-binning two players from Orrell.