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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Drop of Baines magic seals win for Dalton over league leaders Irlam

A RYAN Baines drop-goal two minutes from time sealed a 41-34 victory for Dalton over North West Counties League leaders Irlam Hornets at Kelland Park, writes Paddy McAteer.

0575990.JPG baines
DROP GOAL Ryan Baines slotted over for Dalton

The home side set off like a house on fire and were 22-0 ahead on 16 minutes, and led 34-10 at the break.

However, the Rochdale side shook Dalton by hitting back to trail by just six points at 34-28, with an 18-point burst in the opening eight minutes of the second half.

The rest of the half was nip and tuck with Irlam battering the home line in the final two minutes, but it was Dalton who held out to take the points.

Dalton started the game in the ascendancy. Adam Nicholson made a strong charge to the line before quick hands right to left saw Stu Tippett slice through to round full-back Chris Drench. The conversion came from the trusty boot of Dan Sayle.

On 12 minutes a high Chris Reid kick was fumbled by Drench, allowing Scott Worsley to race over for Sayle to convert, for 12-0.

And within two minutes it was 18-0 as swift hands across the park saw Tippett and Sayle combine to send Harri Brown diving in at the corner. Sayle obliged with a touchline goal.

Two minutes later and it was becoming embarrassing for the league leaders as Tippett prised open a gap to outstrip the cover in a 50-yard dash to the line. For once Sayle missed with the goal attempt.

Hornets eventually woke up while Ryan Birkby was in the sin-bin, putting their first points on the board with an unconverted try from Darren Evans.

Three minutes later they were into double figures when a gap appeared for Bryn Hamilton to cross, John Brooks converting and it was 22-10.

On the half hour, Nicholson powered in from close range despite the attentions of four defenders, Sayle tagging on the goal. Peoples then sent James Duerden over, but a forward pass was ruled.

Duerden later made a fine run upfield, which ended in Sayle crossing and converting for a 34-10 interval lead.

With Reid in the sin-bin Irlam came back fighting with Tom Connor touching down and Brooks converting.

Two minutes later a chip ahead was fumbled by Tippett allowing Ryan Ellis to touch down, with Brooks converting again.

Eight minutes into the half, the gap narrowed to six when Connor crossed for his second try, with Brooks converting.

Sayle eased matters with a 53rd-minute penalty goal before Nicholson brushed aside would-be tacklers to score out wide.

Hornets refused to give up the chase as prop Chris Sloan crashed over for Brooks to convert to make it 40-34.

Baines then sealed victory with his well taken drop-goal.

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