Rugby League: Toll Bar close in on top spot while Marauders toil

Craig Lawton
Craig Lawton

There were contrasting fortunes for the two local sides in Pennine Amateur Rugby League action at the weekend.

Toll Bar took a massive step nearer finishing the season in top spot in Division One when beating top-four rivals Boothtown 32-18.

The visitors led 20-4 at the break courtesy of tries by Ben Mead, Tom Holt, former Dons skipper Craig Lawton and Phil Harrison, who also tagged on two conversions.

Mead bagged a second after the break with Wayne Rafferty also touching down. Harrison took his goal tally to four.

“It was a really tough match,” said coach Ian Tattersall.

“Our first-half performance was fantastic. We were dominant and really concentrated in all areas. “Boothtown gave it a good shot and really got stuck into us and made it difficult.

“We went away from the structure and game plan that was working in the second half.

“But sometimes you just have to stand up and be counted physically and mentally, and that can affect your technical and tactical performance.

“I was so proud of all the guys; it was a real team effort.

“We are getting to the business end of the season now and it’s time to step up everything we do.”

Moorends Thorne Marauders coach Neil Barron, who described his team’s performance as ‘shocking’ was a far from happy man as his side crashed to a 78-0 Championship defeat at second-placed Upton.

“I thought they were just an average side (on the day) but they wanted it more,” he said.

“They controlled the ruck and dominated in the tackle and were out of sight after just 25 minutes.”

Barron, however, still managed to glean a couple of positives from the bottom club’s third successive mauling,

“Mark Fletcher made a very impressive starting debut and 47 year old former Dons’ forward, Shane Lake who came in at the last minute to cover drop outs, also showed up well,” he said.