Leyland Warriors recorded their third draw in eight North West Men’s League Division Two games to start the season, this time at Halton.
After a shocking start, the visitors hauled themselves back into the match with Chris Rand’s late try, converted by Scott Low, helping them to a 28-28 scoreline.
Halton took control of the game early on and dominated possession.
The home side scored 22 points with Warriors replying just once – when Tommy Gallagher offloaded to Simon Dempsey who crashed over.
Stew McLean sparked the Leyland revival, seizing a loose pass, he showed great speed to evade the Halton defenders in an 80-metre race to score.
They reduced the deficit further still when a great left-to-right shift saw Andy Robinson feed Adam Bee, who crossed over in the corner.
With Warriors now in full flow, Low chipped over the defence, McLean hacked the ball past the Hornets’ full-back and debutant Sam Dimmick won the race to score.
McLean’s third conversion of the game made it 22-22 at half-time.
The second half was a tough, physical battle for the first 15 minutes, with neither side able to add to their score, before Halton broke the deadlock to lead 28-22.
Warriors worked hard to fight their way back into the game and on several occasions the hosts were denied what would have been a match-winning try by some superb scrambling defence.
With the clock running down, a superb Leyland kick held up in the Hornets in goal area, and as their full-back tried to return the ball, Rand led the chase for the Warriors and not only did he make the tackle, he recovered possession and dived over the line to score.
It was almost a complete reversal in fortunes for Warriors’ second string in their Division Five match at Salford City Roosters, which Leyland won by a single point, 25-24.
They raced into an 18-0 lead after just 25 minutes of the game, with the youngsters in the side leading the way.
Connor White scored two tries and there was a first open age try from Nathan Burns. Joe Ainscough converted all three tries.
The wheels then fell off for Warriors as two quick tries before half-time saw the Roosters back in the game at 18-12.
The second half continued with the hosts dominating, firstly tying the match up with a try straight after the restart, before they took the lead for the first time in the game.
Leyland rallied and Ainscough brought them back with a try that Josh Bond converted superbly from the touchline to level the scores at 24-24.
With a draw looking likely and seconds remaining, Ainscough attempted a long-range drop goal which he struck beautifully to make the final score 25-24 to Warriors in a thrilling encounter.
Warriors Under-15s were well worthy of a 36-10 victory over Thatto Heath Crusaders.
The Under-13s, in their new kit, generously sponsored by Bill Nickson Cycles of Leyland, remain top of the table after a 18-0 win over Clock Face Miners.
There was a great debut game for Matthew Farrell, who scored two tries.
The other tries came from Matthew Parkinson and Cameron Harris.
Leyland’s Under-9s played host to Warrington side Culcheth Eagles and won a thrilling encounter, 32-28.
Reuben Welsh-Schofield scored four tries, to add to a couple from Riley Dervan and one each for Owen van Boyd and top tackler Harry Jones.
Warriors Under-8s travelled to play Portico Vine and came away with a 44-40 victory. Pius Whatton scored five tries and Tom Cooper four.
The Under-7s ran out 36-16 winners over Leigh Miners Rangers.