CLASSY Rossendale made sure they long trip to West Hartlepool was rewarded in the best possible way as they claimed a fine 37-17 win in National League North Three at Brinkburn.
The Stags were ruthless as they punished the home side for every mistake they made with winger Sam Lowthian the star of the show in the north east as he ran in a brace of tries.
He was influential in the first score as he intercepted on halfway and broke up the left wing and then found support inside and eventually the ball worked it’s way to scrum-half Jamie Albinson who raced in for the try, converted by Steve Nutt.
West’s only real try scoring chance of the half came when Luke Watson broke into the 22 but his pass inside was deemed to be deliberately knocked on.
The hosts kicked the resulting penalty to the corner and despite a couple of lunges for the line, the ball went loose in midfield and Rossendale countered superbly with Nutt breaking away before feeding Anthony Bingham to finish off the score.
Nutt then added three penalties before the break for a 23-0 lead.
A brilliant individual try from Lowthian stretched that lead nine minutes into the second half. He received the ball 10 metres inside his own half from a scrum and evaded tackler after tackler before sprinting clear to score under the posts.
Scott Butcher pulled a try back on 52 minutes, the winger finishing well after taking a pass that was him, and three minutes later they should have gone in again only to see Lowthian profiting and scoring at the other end.
Michael Hogan crashed over with 10 minutes to play and Colin Cheslin scored Hartlepool’s third try – but that could barely take the gloss off Rossendale’s display with Nutt finishing with 17 points.
Hartlepool’s day got worse when it was confirmed that Stewart Grazia suffered a broken leg in the game.
He was hurt on the hour mark of the game and managed to hobble off the field – but it was revealed after a visit to hospital yesterday that he had broken his fibia.