BARLA LIONS ROAR TO VICTORY IN OPENING TOUR GAME

It was men against boys as the Lions ran up nine tries and eight conversions to lead by 52-0 with BARLA officials questioning whether they might score a record victory in their proud history in the amateur game. But the Lions continued to rack up the tries in the second half falling short of creating a new record. It was a proud night for Wigan St Pats Richard Owen who was captain of the side for the first time and the night got better for him as he was announced as the BARLA Great Britain Lions Man of the Match and was presented with a watch by sponsor Ray Fleming. A delighted Richard Owen said,“It was a complete surprise and honour to captain the BARLA side tonight and my first game after being injured playing for the side in the Skanska Cup. It was a great team effort by everyone tonight and it puts us in good stead for the First Test on Saturday at the same stadium. “The Man of the Match could have gone to anyone and I couldn’t have won it without the help of my teamates. I would like to thank the sponsor Ray Fleming for the award and everything he done for us on the tour to date” The BARLA side got off to a great start taking the game to the Sables who found difficulty keeping hold of the ball and took the lead on four minutes. From the play the ball Eccles & Salford Juniors winger Dave Critchley drove for the line and as he was tackled spun and twisted to stretch over the line and Ryan Robb added the extras the first of his thirteen goals from seventeen attempts. The Sables came back into the game but knocked on in a good position after gaining back to back sets. On ten minutes BARLA doubled their lead when West Bowling centre Tim Sutcliffe scored the first of his first half quartet when half backs Ryan Robb (Kells) and Simon Kilby (Skirlaugh) combined for him to cross.Five minutes later hooker Joe Elliott from Barrow Island played the ball to Kilby for Sutcliffe’s second. The Sables had to defend desperately and Sutcliffe had two further half chances but couldn’t retain the ball in good positions. But the sustained pressure paid off as the Lions scored six tries in fourteen minutes. On 21 minutes Owen scooted from the play the ball and after busting through the defence passed inside to second row forward Matty Myers to go in by the posts. On the restart from the play the ball Kilby received the ball threw an audacious dummy to slice through the defence to score.  Following a penalty on 27 minutes Sutcliffe completed his hat-trick from a Kilby inside pass for the centre to score. Two minutes later following a further penalty Kilby and Sutcliffe combined for Critchley to score his second with Robbs extras coming from the touchline.  On 33 minutes Kilby was again the provider of a flat ball for Cutsyke prop Gary Lumb to score and the first half scoring was completed two minutes later when Sutcliffe reacted first to a Kilby grubber to the ingoal which bounced up kindly for him. Robb added the extras. The Sables held out for eight minutes before the Lions try festival continued started when forward Mike Caville (West Hull) crashed through for a converted try. From the restart BARLA went back downfield and this time Kilby slipped a ball through to Blackbrook centre Andy Dobson to crash through weak tackling on 50 minutes.  The Sables then went for a short kick off but BARLA were wise to it and superb handling by several players saw Wath Brow Hornets winger Mike Backhouse score in the corner but Robb missed his second of the night as the side led 68-0. The scoring continued at pace as Shaw Cross Sharks winger Danny Smith scored a quick fire brace on 58 and 61 minutes. A series of quick fire penalties against the Lions saw the Sables put sustained pressure on the line. The biggest cheer of the night came when their scrum half Deon Kramer scooted over from the play the ball and substitute Willem Keyser added the extras to make it 78-6 after 65 minutes. But the Lions continued to play wonderful rugby league and scored three tries in the final nine minutes. On 71 minutes Backhouse scored his second in the corner followed by Kilby second after unselfish pass from Thornhill Trojans Craig Holmes who could have scored himself. Saddleworth Rangers finished it off as he broke from the half way line to stride over with Robb having the final word.   SABLES X111: Wayne Bell, 2. Riaan Botha, 3. Derek Jvan Rensburg, 4. Francois Bester, 5. Bazil Jantgies, 6. Hennie Raetemeyer, 7. Deon Kramer, 8. John Van Der Westhurzeren, 9. Piet Dupreez, 10. Jannie Haasbraek, 11. Manie Bloem, 12. Ernest Van Staden, 13. Johan Smit, 14. Jacques Grobler, 15. Japie Fourie, 16. Willem Keyser, 17. Riaan Human, 18. Riaan Van Der Merwe, 19. Rudi Lewis, 20. Rudi De Kock. Tries: Kramer Goals: Keyser1/1      BARLA GREAT BRITAIN LIONS: 1. Lee Maskill (Sharlston Rovers)2. Danny Smith (Shaw Cross Sharks), 3. Andy Dobson (Blackbrook), 4. Tim Sutcliffe (West Bowling), 5. Dave Critchley (Eccles & Salford Juniors), 6. Simon Kilby (Skirlaugh), 7. Ryan Robb (Kells), 11. Gary Lumb (Cutsyke), 9. Joe Elliott (Barrow Island), 10. Trevor Penrose (Skirlaugh), 12. Mike Caville (West Hull), 8. Matty Myers (Shaw Cross Sharks), 13 Richard Owen (Capt) (Wigan St Pats). 14. Paul Brown (Castleford Panthers), 15. Jimmy Rogers (Saddleworth Rangers), 16. Scott Woodcock (Thornhill Trojans), 17. Mike Backhouse (Roose Pioneers), 18. Craig Holmes (Thornhill Trojans), 19. Kevin Brown (Eastmoor Dragons) 20. Kevin Thompson (Wath Brow Hornets).     Tries: Sutcliffe 4, Critchley 2, Kilby 2, Backhouse 2, Smith 2, Myers, Lumb, Caville, Dobson, Rogers Goals: Robb 13/17 BARLA Great Britain Lions Man of the Match Richard Owen

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