Sandal suffer heavy defeat against top four Blackburn

Sandal’s second-ever visit to Lancashire club Blackburn was memorable for wrong reasons when they lost heavily to a side positioned fourth in the North Premier.

Thursday, 18th November 2021, 1:00 pm
Austen Thompson, who crossed for two tries in Sandal’s defeat at Blackburn. Picture: Simon Hall

The Milnthorpe Green men were subjected to a 12-try romp by a well-coached, lively and purposeful side as they suffered a punishing 76-14 defeat.

Sandal were on the back foot almost from the kick-off when Blackburn scored their first try after three minutes, albeit after a questionable knock-on in the build-up. The extras were added and the visitors were all too quickly trailing 7-0.

Three minutes later the hosts touched down again with the conversion finding its target once more.

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Blackburn were in the ascendancy such that in the 12th minute their winger easily ran in a third converted try under the posts to make it 21-0.

Sandal rallied and put their first points on the board in the 20th minute as Michael Knowles made a telling break resulting in a Sandal penalty and from the line-out that followed the forwards were rewarded for their hard work when Austen Thompson was the scorer of a pushover try. Luke Punton converted to cut Blackburn’s lead.

Sandal continued to attack and from another line-out close to the line Thompson was pushed over the whitewash for his second try.

With Punton converting it was now 21-14 and game on. However, that was Sandal’s last score and Blackburn were back in charge with three more tries making it 40-14 at half-time.

From the second half kick-off Blackburn gathered and mounted an attack from which their seventh try was posted.

Sandal stemmed the tide for a while, but the hosts were over again following a good passing move in the back division.

This was followed two minutes later by a ninth Blackburn try which was enabled by some poor Sandal defensive play.

As full-time approached the home side really turned the screw and scored three further tries in six minutes, leaving Sandal with a miserable 76-14 defeat and time to reflect on a poor and low key performance, albeit against a good attacking side.

With such a defeat the Sandal coaches certainly have much to work on if the side is to return to winning ways soon. They host Lymm this Saturday (kick-off 2.15pm).