By Sebastian Sternik
Normanton Knights picked up their first win of the season following an emphatic 40-12 victory over local rivals Lock Lane.
A hat-trick from Aaron Butterfield helped the Knights to triumph in what was their first home game of the new campaign. Benjamin Tyres, Chris Woolford and Connor Wilson also got on the scoresheet as the home side continue to improve in Division 1 of the National Conference League.
Butterfield earned his first try after receiving the ball on the far side and slotting it away for the four points. Nathan Tuckerman then kicked the first of his five conversions to increase the lead.
Not long after that, the Knights scored through Tyres, whose converted try saw Normanton take a 12-0 advantage.
Lock Lane tried to respond, however their attack was overshadowed by yet another Normanton try. Thomas Carroll set up the move with a quick off-load to Wilson. He then found Butterfield on the left wing who grabbed his second try of the game.
Lock Lane finally got their breakthrough towards the end of the first half. A grubber kick in behind the Normanton defence saw Flowers go over for the visitors’ first try. The Castleford side then continued to press and almost scored again when Lewis Price released Joe Willock through the centre.
The second half began in the same way the first finished. Lock Lane went on the offensive and almost immediately reaped the rewards when a breakaway allowed Price to touch the ball down between the posts.
The visitors had closed the gap to six points and that was extended to eight when Tuckerman successfully kicked a penalty.
But nerves soon began to ease as Normanton ran in a fourth try. Steven Lewis found James Senkiw to his right who then sent Butterfield on his way to a hat-trick.
The tries kept on coming, with Chris Woolford getting in on the act. As the final whistle approached Connor Wilson crossed twice to make the final score 40-12.
Normanton’s head coach, Paul Seal, was pleased with the majority of his team’s performance but was especially happy with Wilson. He said: “One performance that stands out is Connor Wilson, the full back. He finished a lot of our tries off really well. Our captain Paddy [Patrick Waterton] also played well. He took us forward and steadied the ship a little bit when he came back on as well.”
The defeat for Lock Lane was their second in two weeks and head coach, Francis Maloney wasn’t thrilled with the display. He said: “We haven’t got a full squad as yet but our key players are performing. It’s just little bits here and there and a bit of tinkering with things.
“Also we’re not fit enough. I’ve just said to them if they don’t want to tough it out and train hard in the next three or four weeks, don’t bother coming.”
Next up for Lock Lane is their first home game of the season against Hull Dockers. Meanwhile Normanton Knights stay at Queen Elizabeth Road and are set to welcome other local rivals, the Featherstone Lions.