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Friday, 25 April 2014

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Aspatria relegated from North One West after defeat

With four games of the North One West campaign remaining Aspatria’s relegation was confirmed with a 32-0 defeat at Leigh.

For a third successive Saturday the Black Reds took to the M6 for a long journey south and once again came away pointless. Although Leigh proved worthy winners of the contest the final score line did not do justice to a battling Aspatria side who competed to the end.

Leigh opened the scoring on three minutes with a standard backline move. This type of early set back is becoming all too familiar to Aspatria supporters.

For the opening period of the game, Leigh held a distinct advantage in physicality and threatened further scores. Aspatria’s last ditch defence did well to contain the threat and all Leigh could add to their earlier score was a long range penalty on 17 minutes.

Aspatria gradually clawed their way back into the game and for the last 15 minutes of the half turned the tables on the hosts with a committed offensive effort. During this period of ascendency the only thing lacking was a score.

On at least two occasions Aspatria added to the drama by running kickable penalties. It is hard to criticise their ambition but a wiser course might have been to put points on the board.

As the half ended Aspatria had brought themselves back into contention. Excepting a line out that stuttered all game the Black Reds were now matching Leigh in most aspects of the game and the second half held some promise of reward.

Aspatria started the second period with an all out attack on the Leigh line and a score looked a likely outcome.

Unfortunately, poor discipline resulted in a rash of penalties that allowed the home side to diffuse the danger and move up field.

On 46 minutes enough progress had been made by Leigh to permit them another long range penalty that was well struck and upped the lead to 13-0. This heralded a turn in the game with Aspatria now having difficulty in moving out of their 22 and Leigh sensing that the game would be won with the next score.

It was no surprise when Leigh’s second and third scores came in quick succession to kill the game at 25-0 with the third quarter still to play.

A late fourth score followed to end the game and give Leigh a five-point win that surely guarantees their league status for next season.

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