Ovenden defeated after failing to build on healthy lead

Actions from the opening conference match of the season, Ovenden v Widnes West Bank RL at Four Fields
Actions from the opening conference match of the season, Ovenden v Widnes West Bank RL at Four Fields

Ovenden 28 Widnes West Bank 31

The visitors came from behind to take the points in a frenetic final few minutes of this opening Division Two encounter, leaving the home supporters bewildered after Ovenden had established a 14 point lead just after the restart.

Strong runs by Dean Robertshaw and Matt Short set up the first Ovenden attack, but they failed to capitalise on the early chances until a Matt Collins pass found Ash Taylor who touched down.

A crossfield move then saw Scott Hayden feed winger Jordan Barr who managed to squeeze in at the corner to level the scores despite the efforts of the home cover defence.

Ovenden regained the lead when Chris Geoghan powered on to a pass, Niall Brady adding the goal and also a penalty. The home side increased their lead when a long pass from coach Gareth English gave Dean McCallion the chance to score for Brady to add the extras.

Just on half time Ovenden gave away a try when their defence lost its shape and concentration to allow Oliver Faye to force his way through when he should have been kept out.

The home side, playing up the slope in the second half, opened the scoring when a break by Brady gave English the opportunity to reach our and score, Brady adding the extras.

West Bank’s Martin Murphy and half backs Middleton and McAdam were starting to take control and they scored when, after a long touch finder by Murphy, fullback Jack White went over from an inside pass from Richard Arnold.

White scored again a few minutes later when the ball was palmed down from a crossfield kick and the scores were tied when Faye went over in the corner.

With time running out Matt Collins broke through for the home side to give Robertshaw the chance to plunge over and give his side the lead. However, deep into injury time a chip over the defence by Murphy saw him retake the ball and score, his conversion giving West Bank the lead.

The same player then rubbed salt in the wound with a last gasp drop goal to claim the spoils.