Written by Rugby Football League
Photo by RFL
The early Wembley crowd were treated to a real thriller as this Steven Mullaney Memorial Game went down to the last play of the match. It was a real contrast of styles with the big, powerful Standish team against a smaller but skillful, agile Great Sankey outfit.
In blistering heat the Wigan side got off to the perfect start when they scored on their very first attack, Louie Tate darting over from dummy half close to the line. They continued to test Great Sankey, with some strong running particularly from prop Tyler Davies, but excellent, defensive work kept them at bay.
The Warrington side gradually worked their way into the game and impressed with some smart handling. Left wing Lachlan Webster looked particularly dangerous when he had the ball in hand but the Standish defence stood up well when they were tested.
Webster proved he was equally adept at defence when he put in a crucial tackle on his opposite number but just before the interval it looked as though Standish would increase their lead. Davies set off a run from deep in his own half and was seemed unstoppable as he ploughed down the middle of the pitch towards the posts.
Great Sankey defenders eventually managed to haul him down but the ball was moved smartly to the left and what looked a certain try but the referee ruled out the touchdown and whistled for half time.
Standish began the second half much like the first and it took some tough defending to keep them at bay. Great Sankey were putting themselves under pressure with errors and eventually they were made to pay.
They coughed up possession in their own half and Standish took full advantage with Cassius Turner-Walsh powering over to make it 8-0.
Going into the final quarter Great Sankey faced an uphill battle but they continued to move the ball through the hands to test the Standish defence and finally got their reward when Josh Cowell, who had come off the bench, forced his way over the line.
Daniel Regan converted to make it 8-6 and going into the final minutes his side pushed hard for that crucial second score. They forced a goal line drop out but with seconds remaining it looked as if the Standish defence had thwarted them. Regan received the ball on the sixth tackle in the shadow of the posts and launched a kick out wide to the right hand corner.
Lucas Mulqueeny beat the defenders to the ball before touching down. The conversion was wide but it didn’t matter, the final whistle sounded and Great Sankey had secured a memorable victory.
Hard working second row Oliver Garmston was named Player of the Match to complete a memorable day for the Warrington school.
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