Wath Brow Hornets beat the conditions and Rochdale Mayfield

Match Report by Robert Haile

STORMS, rain and a power cuts could not stop Wath Brow Hornets sealing their place in a play-off match with Thatto Heath Crusaders.

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The rearranged match with Rochdale Mayfield took place on Tuesday October 17 after Saturday’s game was called off.

With storm Ophelia passing the weather was less than ideal with power being restored shortly before kick off while the drizzle made for difficult conditions.

In a hard fought game it seemed Rochdale were cracking under the pressure as Luke Fowden was sent to the sin bin however a weaving run from Jack Sampson left several Wath Brow players on the floor as Rochdale opened the scoring with Zac Baker making the conversion.

Things got worse as Baker slotted over a penalty to extend Rochdale’s lead to 0 – 8.

Wath Brow struck back immediately with Cole Walker-Taylor.

He crossed and converted before Karl Dixon crashed over minutes after Walker-Taylor had evened the score, with a penalty, to send the Wath Brow into half-time with the score 14-8.

The second half started the same as the first with Rochdale scoring through Luke Fowden to move within two points of Wath Brow.

Rochdale’s discipline then fell apart as they conceded several penalties with Walker-Taylor stretching their lead to 20 -12.

Paul Brearley produced a moment of magic with a chip and collect.

This released Rochdale down Wath Brow’s right as Matty Ashton crossed over in the corner with Zac Baker making the conversion to make the score 20 – 18.

Heading into the final ten minutes Wath Brow looked to put the match beyond Rochdale as they sent Gregory Howland over in the corner to open up a six point lead.

As the clock ran down, Rochdale were closing in on Wath Brow’s line.

With a floated kick towards the corner the attacker was wrapped up by the home team and that was the last roll of the dice as the referee blew-up to send Wath Brow through to the play-off.

The match against Thatto Heath Crusaders will take place on Saturday October 21.

The rugby league season will come to a close with the Grand Final, against Siddal, taking place a week later on Saturday October 28, for the victors.