Warrington side Crosfields pushed Little Hulton Reds to the limit with a confident performance at Peel Park.
The visitors started with a bang, scoring 10 points against Little Hulton in just five minutes – and when the home side did get hands on, they suffered from poor ball retention and wayward passes.
It took Little Hulton 15 minutes to really gear up and get into the game, Mark Parson especially looking dangerous from full back.
The Reds opened their account when Foster sent the Crosfield defence to their left and shipped the ball inside for front rower Mike Bolton to power over on the blind side, the reliable Wes Winder adding the extras.
So started a purple patch with Foster fooling the Warrington side into expecting more of the same, then spinning the ball wide for big Danny Jones to score on opposite side of the park, putting the Reds into a 12-10 lead.
Crosfields showed how dangerous they can be with two breakaway scores before powerful Mike Bolton got another converted try on the board just before half-time. Little Hulton were down 18-22 but as they turned around to play down the hill at Peel Park, home advantage started to show.
Crosfields repelled wave upon wave of Reds attacks before Little Hulton scrum half Kyle Macdough round the fullback to score at the side of the posts. Wes Winder’s boot proved unmatchable once again, putting the Reds back in the lead.
From a quick play Crosfields were off again scoring with a 50-metre try, but Mike Bolton’s hat-trick came as the front rower came chiming into the line after the ball had passed through many Reds hands. At 28-28 Wes Winder had the chance to seal the match with the conversion but the referee and touch judge disagreed and the referee overruled his touch judge to disallow the conversion.
The game ended up abruptly after that, a frustrating time for Little Hulton but a fair result.
Man of the Match went to strong running fullback Mark Parsons with ball-playing hooker Foster a close second, ably supported by Hargreaves for his tenacious tackling.
Little Hulton Reds have no more league games for four weeks but a mouth-watering friendly on 25 July will see them take on Cadishead Rhinos.