Wakefield Wildcats and London Broncos Under 16′s served up a cracker of a match which was decided on the hooter, reports Connor Grace.
The Wildcats under 16's were outdone at the death by the Broncos. Picture courtesy of DeanWilliams.co.uk
Trinity had a good first half and were hard done by to be going in with a 4-0 deficit following Alfie Lawrence’s try that got the scoreboard ticking on eleven minutes.
After a tight first half with only four points, the second half greeted us with points galore. Fawaz Olabooye crossed twice for London and Roshane Johnson picked up a hat-trick to help the visitors to a 26-20 victory. Will Dagger, Liam Senior, Luke Harrison and Christian Ackroyd scored Wakefield’s tries to contribute to a nail-biting encounter.
The opening exchanges of the game were played in the middle 30 of the pitch as both sides were in the arm wrestle and neither presented with try scoring opportunities due to the lack of good ball.
It was in fact, the first time Wakefield had to defend their line when the deadlock was broken. Hard-working Mitchell Stone managed to get a quick play the ball and hooker Lawrence capitalised to put the visitors ahead.
The Wildcats seemed to be trying almost too hard and when Dagger made the initial break from full-back his rushed pass to the supporting Will Ingleby drifted forward to gift London good field position and deny the home side a possible score.
On 28 minutes Wakefield thought they had their first score through George Lord who was put through a hole by Ingleby but in the action of diving over the try line he was stopped by two determined Broncos defenders. That was as good as it got for Trinity in the first half and they went in to the dugouts trailing 4-0.
No sooner had the whistle blown for the start of the second half Wakefield found themselves 8-0 down after winger Olabooye superbly finished off a smooth string of passes and got London off to the perfect start.
But it didn’t take the hosts to reply. Ackroyd, who was impressive in defeat, fired out a delightful pass which was received by Dagger who made no mistake in finishing.
Three minutes later, the Broncos cancelled out Daggers try when Johnson crossed for the first of his treble.
The home side knew they had to cross next at this stage and that was the case through sheer determination. Back rower Senior had no right to ground the ball surrounded by numerous London defenders, but he did and that brought Wakefield back into the game with only four points the difference.
A spring in the Wildcats footsteps appeared well and truly and they edged in front for the first time. Ackroyd started to take control and was the architect of a lovely left-to-right sweep where Harrison found clear field ahead to cross. The first conversion of the day was kicked by Lord and Wakefield had a slender 14-12 advantage.
Six minutes later, Ackroyd turned from provider to scorer, showing neat footwork and an audacious dummy to score Wakefield’s fourth try in the second half and give them an eight point lead.
In a thrilling final period, that was as good as it got for the hosts and Johnson picked up his second in a scrappy end to a set in which the ball eventually found it’s way to the centres hands.
Wakefield failed to remain calm and crumbled under intense pressure from London. Olabooye turned the game on it’s head with just two minutes remaining by scoring in the corner to level the scores 20-20.
Trinity had the Broncos where they wanted them, deep in their own half. But that didn’t matter and Johnson raced 50 metres on the hooter to cap off a memorable hat-trick and give London a match-winning score.
WILDCATS: Dagger, Allatt, Lord, Ratchford, Kershaw, Ingleby, Ackroyd, Woofitt, Davies, Swaine, Chadwick, Senior, Harrison. INTERCHANGES: Wheelhouse, Fisher, Robinson, Wheeler, K. Woofitt, York, Blake.