SAINTS, buoyed by recent results, made the short trip to Rochdale in good spirits.

Rochdale, who have only lost once this season, to Saints, had a full house for lunch with past players and junior teams in attendance so were guaranteed great vocal support.

The pitch was borderline playable and, with heavy rain, became very heavy with puddles forming after kick off.

With only three subs allowed at this level, things did not bode well from the start for Saints as both form player Ewan Nolan and Fred Clark both suffering injury in the warm up.

Wirral Globe:

Scrum time. Picture: Derek Salisbury Snr

Saints where forced into a real arm tussle with neither side giving an inch, stalwart defence from both teams was only broken by handling errors by both sides.

At this point in the game Saints had survived some pressure by Rochdale due to some poor handling and poor tactical kicking which had allowed Rochdale plenty of time on the ball, however a run by James Whitehouse powered Saints deep into the opposition 22.

Following a scrum, Will Grabe drove over only to be held up by stout Rochdale defence.

Wirral Globe:

Will Grebe comes off the back of the scrum. Picture: Derek Salisbury Snr

Just moments later Saints where awarded a penalty in front of the sticks ,but due to indiscipline the penalty was reversed throwing away the chance of a 0-3 lead.


In the second half the pitch was getting progressively worse and the Rochdale pack where working hard.

Saints gave away two penalties, which where both converted, giving Rochdale a six-point lead.

At this point a 5m out line-out gave Saints a good attacking platform only to be judged not straight.

Rochdale opted for another line out, only to overthrow which was seized upon by Degsy Salisbury who drove through three Dale players and score the only try of the game.

Wirral Globe:

Degsy Salisbury drives forward. PIcture: Derek Salisbury Snr

Morley failed to convert leaving the score 6-5 to the home side.Saints gave a penalty away due to poor discipline and Rochdale gleefully accepted another 3 points.

The final few minutes then reverted to the arm wrestle in the mud, and the referee handed out a couple of red cards ,one to each side when two players decided they didn’t like one another, then immediately blew up for full-time

Rochdale where deserved winners ,they made less mistakes than Saints and their players where well up for the task in hand and where able to adapt to the muddy conditions better.