Orrell Rugby Union Club made the perfect start to the new year with a six-try success on the road at Dukinfield.
The hosts opened the scoring after seven minutes when inside centre Robbie Wilcox kicked a penalty. The lead lasted three minutes before Craig Thomas equalised with three points from twenty-five metres after a high tackle.
Orrell then took a lead they were never to surrender midway through the first half when a sparkling passing move down the right was finished well by fullback Chris Owen. Thomas missed the conversion but did well to score his first try after 34 minutes as the visitors began to take a stranglehold on the game.
A 15-3 advantage was turned into a three-score lead on the stroke of half-time. The hosts conceded a penalty, Orrell attacked with numbers and moved the ball out to Thomas who somehow beat five players to the line and dotted the ball down at the side of the posts to then add his second conversion and secure a 22-3 advantage.
Any hopes Dukinfield had were extinguished in the first 12 minutes of the new half. Orrell pushed close thanks to the forceful running of Jack Johnson and Matty Johnson before South African Wilbur Harris showed good strength to bump through the defence to claim the try bonus point and five points. Thomas improved to move the score to 3-29.
Jordan Cannole had been amongst Dukinfield's best but when he was sin-binned a difficult task was made impossible, especially when Orrell made their numerical advantage count. Thomas chipped ahead, followed up with support and skipper Dan Juxley sailed over for a Thomas improved score to make it 3-36.
James Ratcliffe was influential at fly-half for Orrell, varying his kicking and putting the visitors around the field and one such kick came up trumps for Matty Johnson. He never gave up the chase and ran to the corner for Thomas to complete his 23-point haul.
With twenty minutes to play the score could have got embarrassing for the hosts but they battled away and frustrated Orrell with some rough tactics.
This disruption eventually paid off when Dukinfield fly-half Dave Whitham, who was solid in a beaten team, dropped a shoulder and surged over for their only try. Halfback partner Johnathan Scunthorpe tagged on the conversion, but it wasn't enough to prevent a solid away victory for Orrell who were particularly well served by Lloyd Davies, Jack Granby, skipper Max Huxley and outside centre Tom Hasall.
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The side are next in action at home on 26th January when they are set to take on Oswestry.