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Home > News > Manchester 10 - Westoe 67
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Your News Manchester 10 - Westoe 67
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26
APR

There can be just one cause for rejoicing over this eleven-try demolition of the leagues underdogs (writes Clive Crickmer).

That is that Westoes fragile promotion hopes not only remain alive but are, indeed, marginally bolstered.

In the last lap of the race for the runners-up spot, rivals Leicester Lions and Loughborough Students both won, but the latter who are favourites failed to gain a bonus point as plucky visitors Luctonians gave them a 17-14 fright.

That meant that the Shieldsmen, with five points in the bag, had gained just a little ground.

Otherwise, there was little satisfaction to be gleaned from a predictable walkover victory against opponents who have lost their last 61 league games during a precipitous decline and in this campaign alone have conceded 1,755 points - or 65 a game.

Especially with a number of regulars unavailable for a variety of reasons, there was the opportunity for Westoe to give others players a good run out in the sunshine in Manchesters leafy Grove Park ground at Cheadle Hulme.

Amongst the good stuff, and there was plenty of that, there was, too, much sloppy play that would have been punished by sterner opponents.

Thus, overall, it had rather the look and feel of a one-sided pre-season practice game.

Dunes Adventure Island-sponsored Westoe went straight into the attack and took the lead in the second minute when the ball sped across the backs from a maul on the far right for centre David Haswell to go over near the left corner flag.

And opting for an open game on a wide, firm-surfaced pitch and with a dominant, albeit makeshift, pack providing plenty of good ball, the Manchester defence was under almost incessant pressure.

Mostly slick handling saw the score mount with tries from wingers Bradley Pears and Gareth Kerr while full back Scott Jordan ran in a brace, the hosts only response being an 11th minute penalty by fly half Scott Redfern. .

Then just before the break irrepressible flanker Haydn Richards wriggled, twisted and battled his way over from the 22 to make it 36-3 when the whistle sounded.

Things carried on much the same after the interval, Kerr quickly completing his hat-trick and fly half Mark Bedworth darting through a gap under the posts to make his fifth conversion the easiest.

Manchester never stopped fighting and were distinctly dangerous in patches. Then in the 56th minute came a golden moment when winger Miles Hall intercepted inside the Westoe half and there was no catching him, Redfern making it seven points.

Within a couple of minutes centre Graeme Haswell touched down to put his side back on track but their last try in the 65th minute was their best.

The nimble Jordan grabbed a loose ball deep in his own territory, outflanking several defenders before off-loading to Kerr who took the ball to the home team 22 before passing to scrum half Chris Judson who finished the job, replacement number 10 Chris Laycock converting.

Afterwards coach Andy Buist said: I am generally very happy with the way things went. With so many team changes we did well to stick to our game plan and score as many points.

Some of the boys will be a little disappointed with their game and feel they could have done better. That is something we can attend to in training.

He added: You must give credit to Manchester. They were a physical side in the breakdown and still battled on when other sides might have given up.

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