Wirral 41, Rossendale 31 

HAVING built up a substantial lead of 38-3 by the hour mark, Wirral took their foot off the pedal and allowed a resurgent Rossendale (Ross) to score four tries in the final quarter, with matters not being helped by injuries to key players.

The first 15 minutes saw both sides testing each other out until the deadlock was broken when quick passing by Wirral in the Ross 20m area saw Dan Harvey cross over under the posts with James Annetts converting.

For the next 20 minutes, both teams endeavoured to break down the opposition but defences stood firm until the 37th minute when Joe Murray crashed over near the posts with Dan Harvey converting.

Lewis Allen had kicked a penalty for Ross until a break by Wirral was stopped with a high tackle, which resulted in a yellow card to Ross's Jack Ward.

With the last play of the half, Wirral took advantage with a long distance penalty from Ben Brookes leaving the score 17-3 at half-time.

The third quarter of the match saw Wirral in full control and after a number of penalties against Ross, Wirral had a line out 10m out, where they were first denied a try as being "held up" but from the resultant scrum the Wirral pack pushed back their opposite numbers back over the line and the referee had no option but to award Wirral a penalty try.

Six minutes later Wirral gained their try bonus point when again from play in the Ross half Ben Brooks powered over from 15 m and converted by Dan Harvey- 31-3.

This was at a stage when Ross were down to 14 players and could have been down to 12 if two clear cut red card incidents had been dealt with by the referee.

A fifth try was scored when Chris Speed crashed over under the posts but injured himself in the process, again converted to leave the score 38-3 in Wirral's favour.

At this stage, with injuries mounting and all replacements on (some injured), Wirral appeared to take the foot off the pedal which allowed Ross to run in four converted tries, with one being a great solo effort by Harrison Moulding from 75m out to leave the score with 5 minutes remaining 38-31 but Wirral eased their worries with a 20m penalty from Dan Harvey.

The long second half of over 53 minutes came to an end and it was a relieved Wirral who took the five points and move up to sixth in the league.