SADDLEWORTH School’s year seven rugby league team put up a brave and much improved display in a 22-16 defeat at Wade Deacon School, Widnes, in the Carnegie Champion Schools’ Cup.
Saddleworth took an early lead as stand-off Vinny Arthurs scored a sensational individual try in the corner which he duly converted from the touchline.
However, they were left to rue missed opportunities to extend their advantage when the hosts hit back with a brace of tries from their talented second row forward.
Wade Deacon put the game beyond doubt in the second half as they stretched their lead to 22-6 before a spirited late fightback from Saddleworth saw tries from Ruben Thompson and Joe Jackson reduce the arrears to six points.
Jacob Dibden was named player of the match for his tireless work in both attack and defence.
The team immediately returned to winning ways beating St Edmund Arrowsmith School, Wigan, 22-18 in their first game in the North West Counties Schools’ Cup. They are in an initial group of four teams.
In an enthralling encounter at Churchill Playing Fields, scrum half and captain Arthurs masterminded the triumph registering a hat-trick of tries, including one in the last minute when the score was 18-18.
Joe Jackson darted over to score Saddleworth’s other try, two conversions from Arthurs and another from stand-off Harry Orme capped off a solid team performance against resolute visitors who can count themselves unlucky not have at least secured a share of the spoils.
Harry Bates was named player of the match, reward for his sterling defensive efforts.
Arthurs was again in sensational form as he scored all Saddleworth’s points as the team progressed to the quarter finals of the year seven North West Counties Schools’ Cup with a hard-fought 16-4 victory over Cowley School from St Helens.
He scored a hat-trick of tries, opening up an unassailable 16-0 lead at half-time. The visitors worked their way back into the match in the second half but some resolute defending restricted the St Helen’s outfit to just one unconverted try.
Jacob Dibden was awarded the player of the match for his tireless efforts in attack and defence.
Saddleworth now travel to unbeaten Standish School in the last eight match.