Youngsters impress in the mud

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Liverpool St Helens 18, Wilmslow 13

DESPITE not being at their best, Liverpool St Helens emerged as victors in a closely-fought contest against Wilmslow.

Under pressure for most of the second half, the Moss Laners produced a fine defensive display preventing the visitors from crossing their line, and restricting them to penalty attempts.

In contrast, they took advantage of their own opportunities, most notably scrum-half Alex McClurg, who produced a moment of magic in an otherwise lacklustre game when nipping through a gap from the base of a ruck and scoring a try just after half time.

Wilmslow went in front after 27 minutes with a try from winger Tom Rayner, converted by Bob McCallum.

LSH hit back eight minutes later, with a powerful score from Phil Kearns finishing off a strong drive.

Matt Cunliffe missed the conversion, but added a penalty on the stroke of half-time to give LSH an 8-7 lead, and McClurg scored four minutes into the second half, before the remainder of the game was played in the LSH half.

McCallum landed two penalties as Wilmslow piled on the pressure leading to a tense finale.

But Cunliffe extended LSH lead to five points just before the end.