A MUCH changed Ramsey side lost at home against Ruskin Park in their maiden game in South Lancashire/Cheshire Division Two on Saturday.
League debuts were handed to flanker Chris King and hooker Craig Walmsley, and with skipper Davide Mazzone ruling himself out with injury, vice-captain Fintan Cummins led the side on the field for the first time.
Ramsey took the lead with a Cummins penalty after Ruskin Park’s midfield defence pushed up a fraction early. The visitors levelled with a penalty from stand-off Sean O’Hare when Ramsey’s man of the match Luke Robertson strayed offside at a ruck.
Twenty two minutes in, Ruskin Park took the lead. Centre Sam Hughes fielded a long drop out and ran it back. He danced through two tackles and got behind the Ramsey defence. Angling his run towards the corner he then off-loaded neatly out of a tackle to partner Chris Halsall, who dived in for the try and an 8-3 lead.
Before half-time, Ramsey hit back with a try of their own. Adam Yates was the creator when he broke clear on the left wing. He was stopped short of the line and managed to flip the ball clear. Ali Trace gathered and squeezed home in the corner. Captain Cummins slotted the conversion and Ramsey turned around with a 10-8 lead.
Ramsey prop Andy Wilson was sin-binned for a late tackle early in the second half and Ruskin Park took advantage of the extra man with Ben Mousely diving in for a try which gave them a 13-10 lead. That soon became 15-10 when O’Hare showed he could convert from the touchline too.
Needing a try to win, Ramsey started to chase the game and, unfortunately, the heavens opened and made handling conditions very tricky. Notwithstanding that, Ramsey hammered forward and set up camp in the Ruskin Park 22. With 10 minutes to go, Park obliged. Hooker Paul Ledbetter unleashed a flurry of punches on Ramsey replacement Matt Livesey and was sent off by referee Simon Murray. This gave Ramsey a penalty in front of goal and Cummins banged it over to reduce the lead to 15-13.
From the restart, however, Ramsey were caught offside and O’Hare kicked the penalty to restore the five-point lead and leave Ramsey with just a losing bonus point for their efforts.
South Lancashire/Cheshire Division Two
Ramsey 13 Ruskin Park 18
Crewe & Nantwich 34 Vagabonds 29
Ellesmere Port 0 Douglas 24