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Ironmen 10 – 32 Saints Select

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SOUTH WALES IRONMEN 10 ST HELENS SELECT 32

By Ian Golden at The Wern for Rugby Leaguer and League Express. www.totalrl.com.

St Helens came to South Wales with a strong side and a young Ironmen outfit put up a good fight before an unnecessary sending off killed the game as a contest.

It was always going to be tough for the Welshmen who rested many of their first choice players whilst the majority of the opposition are officially in the St Helens’ first team squad.

Ironmen held their own for the first past of the game before St Helens took the lead on 17 minutes when Jack Ashworth finally found a gap to burst through from short range. Jack Owens converted.

There could have been a further try just minutes later but Welsh international Regan Grace missed the chance to score against his old club when he fumbled, albeit a fairly poor pass.

They did finally get a second on 27 minutes when a good passing move saw Dave Eccleston score in the corner. Jordan Gibbons missed the conversion attempt.

And Grace, who came through the South Wales system before signing for Saints a few years ago, also eventually got over the line for the third as he easily beat his marker on a one on one to ground in the opposite corner. Owens regained the kicking duties and put his side 16-0 up.

But just before the interval, the home side got on the scoresheet when Zak Williams did well to break free from his markers to set up Ashley Bateman to slide over. Courtney Davies converted.

Both sides fought for the opening second half score. Grace’s cousin Calvin Wellington was close for Saints following a 40-20, whilst at the other end, Shaun Owens deserved to get on the scoresheet after a mazy run. Both were stopped centimetres from their respective lines.

It was the Welsh who were next over. Morgan Evans, who only re-signed for the club from Gloucestershire All Golds days earlier, fought past the defence like a knife through butter, but Ben Jones couldn’t land the extras.

Saints soon addressed the balance as Welsh international Ben Morris received a deft touch from Owens and stretched over. Owens converted.

With 17 minutes to go, what was turning into a good little contest was unfortunately ruined by the referee who sent Shaun Owens off for fighting when he reacted to what looked like an elbow in the face. St Helens remained on 13 men whilst Owens, with blood coming out of his nose, had to take an early shower when a sinbin would have sufficed.

Grace soon increased Saints’ lead, scoring his second in the corner which went unconverted, before Matty Fleming added another with five minutes remaining which Owens goaled.

 

SOUTH WALES IRONMEN

  1. Andy Gay
  2. Lewis Hughes
  3. Paul Edwards
  4. Morgan Jeffries
  5. Ben Jones
  6. Shaun Owens
  7. Courtney Davies
  8. Chris Davies
  9. Kristian Baller
  10. Morgan Evans
  11. Connor Parker
  12. Zak Williams
  13. Ashley Bateman

Subs:

  1. Lloyd Selby-Smith
  2. Chris Vitalini
  3. Michael Edwards
  4. Rhys Davies
  5. Ethan Coombes
  6. Shane Lee
  7. Huw Parks

 

Tries: Bateman (40), Evans (54)

Goals: Courtney Davies 1/1, Jones 0/1

Sent-off: Owens (63, fighting)

 

ST HELENS SELECT

  1. Ricky Bailey
  2. Dave Eccleston
  3. Jake Spedding
  4. Calvin Wellington
  5. Regan Grace
  6. Jack Owens
  7. Matty Fleming
  8. Greg Richards
  9. Aaron Smith
  10. Jack Ashworth
  11. Chris Follin
  12. Ben Morris
  13. Jonah Cunningham

Subs:

  1. Jordan Gibbons
  2. John Hutchings
  3. Jorge Lewtas
  4. Sam Royle
  5. Ben Sims

 

Tries: Ashworth (17), Eccleston (27), Grace (32, 68), Morris (58), Fleming (75)

Goals: Owens 4/5, Gibbons 0/1

 

Referee: Nick Woodward

Half-time: 6-16

Attendance: 293

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