Head coach Steve Dorrington praised teenage duo Steve Butler and Will Titherington after the pair inspired Ellesmere Port to a 52-15 win at St Edward’s Old Boys.
Having kicked off the new season with a drubbing at home to Merseyside West title favourites Southport, the Oilers rung the changes and were rewarded with a dominant victory.
Dorrington said afterwards: "Although we still have a lot of work to do, this was a much improved performance on the previous week and I’m proud of the way everyone bounced back.
"This was a real test for us and we did a great job in controlling the game. We had two players on the pitch, Steve Butler and Will Titherington, who showed maturity beyond their years and were awarded man of the match for running the game
"Butler was dominant in the forwards and Titherington’s exquisite timing of the pass was phenomenal. Both of these guys are 17 years of age and what a future they both have."
Port made a strong stand and following neat play from Butler and Titherington, the lightning quick Robert Finlay galloped over the line for the first score of the day. Titherington added the extras for a 7-0 lead.
Finlay crossed for his second of the afternoon when he finished off a smart move, forwards creating quick ball for Lee Rennox to send Titherington into space and he fed centres Billy Rennox and Anthony Jones who put Finlay away in the corner to extend the lead to 12-0.
James Callaghan dragged a posse of defenders over the line from 15 yards to touch down and Titherington again added the extras to make the score 19-0 inside 20 minutes.
Callaghan then turned provider for Niall Grant to crash through the defence and Titherington’s conversion increased the lead before the hosts staged a late rally with a penalty and converted try making the half-time score 26-10.
Port continued to dictate matters in the second-half with captain Callaghan driving over from close range and Titherington slotting the conversion for a 33-10 lead.
St Edward’s came back and dominated the next 15 minutes but dogged defence from Lee and Billy Rennox, Steve Jefferies, Anthony Jones, Joe Partington and Ricky Evans limited them to an uncoverted score in a rough spell for the Oilers.
Having come through that, Dorrington’s men finished with a flourish as the ever improving Ollie Brown crossed twice and Anthony Jones touched down with seconds remaining to complete the scoring.
Ellesmere Port will seek to build on the performance when Birchfield visit Dunkirk Lane on Saturday (3pm).