North 2 West: Glossop 24-6 Winnington Park
Glossop made it four wins from four in North Two West, when they saw off a Winnington Park team that had, like Glossop, won their first three games of the season.
Glossop welcomed back Damien Chabas who put in an impressive shift in the back row. There was also a return for Greg Moran after a short injury lay off, and Matt Sonczak started his first game of the season on the wing.
The torrential rain held off for the majority of the match, but the slippery conditions made handling difficult. In the face of this, the Hillmen will be pleased with their efforts in attack, looking as dangerous in the wide channels as they did up front.
A strong defensive effort by Glossop paid dividends as Winnington Park only managing to get on the scoreboard through two first half converted penalties.
Despite the home team having the lions share of possession in the first half, they found themselves trailing 6-5 at the interval, with prop Ben Chadwick scoring an early try from close range. Glossop’s ill discipline gave the visitors a route back into the game, and they kicked their two penalties as well as seeing home prop Jack Bailey yellow carded.
In a scenario similar to last week away at Tarleton, Glossop went into the second half trailing narrowly but would go on to dominate play and secure a bonus point victory.
Glossop hammered away at the Winnington defence early in the second period, but their dominance initially was unrewarded. It looked as though Lewis Winterbottom would put Glossop ahead when he joined the line from his left wing, only to lose possession as he was tackled on the try line. However, the Hillmen finally made the breakthrough they deserved when a deft pass from Tom Dearnaley saw Josh Edwards score next to the posts, with Dearnaley’s conversion making it 12-6.
Despite only a narrow lead on the scoreboard, the Hillmen were firmly in control, with any Winnington Park attacks being quickly thwarted, and their defence being constantly made to work. The Glossop forwards were having an enjoyable day in the set piece, with the scrum particularly dominant.
The introduction of replacements Tamplin, Sam Gibson and Moran brought fresh impetus and meant that the home team could maintain the pressure on the visitors. Moran looked dangerous in attack, and he paved the way for Matt Sonczak to score the try of the day down the right flank, to give Glossop some breathing space at 17-6 after 65 minutes.
Five minutes later, Glossop secured the all important bonus point when Jake Gibson scored a fourth try for the Hillmen.
The try was orchestrated by Tom Dearnaley, who exploited a half gap in the Winnington defence, before finding Gibson in support, putting him in next to the posts. Dearnaley then converted to give Glossop a 24-6 lead.
For the remaining minutes, Winnington were kept pinned in their own half, with the relentless home defence pressurising until the clock ran down and the visitors kicked the ball out to give Glossop an important five point win.
This was an impressive Glossop performance, with some quality rugby on show despite the testing conditions.
A tough fixture awaits next week when Glossop travel to Cumbria to take on league newcomers Aspatria.
Glossop team: Sonczak R, Winterbottom, Round, Gibson J, Sonczak M, Dearnaley, Sonczak C, Stanley, Edwards, Chabas, Wilkinson, Lancaster, Chadwick, Moore, Bailey. Reps : Tamplin, Gibson S, Moran
Report by M Johnson
Picture by Elizabeth Baines (Captain Josh Edwards drives forward)