VOLUNTEER walkers from a Mental Health charity have raised £600 after completing a 34-mile challenge from Wigan to Liverpool.
The ‘Miles for Mental Health’ event, created by Imagine Independence, lasted across three days from 24th to 26th April, along the scenic Leeds to Liverpool Canal.
Twelve walkers collected hundreds of pounds that will go towards the charity’s services in Wigan.
The ramblers started at Wigan Investment Centre, stopped at Burscough Bridge and Maghull, before crossing the finish line in Liverpool 72 hours later.
Faye Rudd, Wigan Vocational Adviser for Imagine Independence, said: “Everybody who took part felt really good and it was lovely to see their faces and the feeling of self-achievement was great.”
For forty years, Imagine Independence has worked with people with mental health issues and other challenges, to help them live a full and independent life.
Olga Snell, Marketing and Fundraising Manager for Imagine Independence, said: “We work with 2,000 people a year and our aims are to give people a decent independent life, which is not just constrained by mental health issues.”
The charity has services in Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, London and Merseyside, as it ensures people have a valued place in society.
Walk Organiser, Alan McCormick said he got involved to raise money and to promote the walk as a means of recovery for depression and anxiety.
He added: “It’s me giving something back to the charity and as I’m doing it, it helps me too.
“For me, walking is escapism and I would advise people to get out and do it – too much time alone in your head escalates from a small problem into a ‘fight the world’ problem and I’ve been through it, but I’m not the only one.”
Dave Aston, Peer Support Worker for Imagine Independence is hoping for more similar events in the future.
He said: “With us being a community-based charity, we want community-based ideas as well, so if somebody has got an idea where we can put a sponsored form behind it, we’re happy to have a look at it. It’s about us offering what the community wants.”
For more information on the charity visit the website or call 0151 7092366.
Former Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez said he was honoured to be part of a charity game between his former club and Manchester City that will raise awareness of a rare genetic disorder.
Joseph’s Goal is a Wigan charity in aid of Joseph, a brave boy who has Non-Ketotic Hyperglycinemia (NKH), very rare life-limiting genetic disorder that severely affects his development.
To help raise funds for research, Martinez was part of a start-studded line up as legends from both Wigan and City went head to head at Ashton Town AFC on Saturday afternoon.
Famous faces included the likes of Emmerson Boyce, Paul Scharner, Nathan Ellington and Georgi Kinkladze.
Speaking before the game, Martinez said: “Joseph’s Goal as a charity is a fantastic opportunity to sometimes take stock of life and almost look into the power of the figure of Joseph.
“He’s such a brave boy and everyone around him shares so much love and that opportunity to help people around the community has been a real strength of the charity and if we can be involved it’s a real honour.”
Almost five years to the day, then Wigan captain, Boyce carried out Joseph onto the Wembley pitch on the day Latics lifted the FA Cup trophy.
Before the charity legends match, Boyce said: “I keep calling Joseph my lucky mascot! He’s been a big part of Wigan history let alone personally for me and I’m just happy to play my part today and hopefully it can encourage more people to take part in raising awareness and supporting the charity.”
The match was hosted by Ashton Town AFC at Edge Green Street and both teams were all led out by hero Joseph Kendrick.
Wigan opened the scoring through Ellington. Famously known as the ‘Duke’, Ellington lobbed the keeper from the edge of the box to give Latics a 1-0 lead.
It was 2-0 before the break as Scharner got in on the act. Gary Teale caused trouble on the left side and his cross found the head of the Austrian who powered home.
City got on the score sheet after half time as Ashton Town Manager, David Dempsey put a bullet header into the back of the net from close range.
Dempsey levelled the scoring soon after as he capitalised on a loose pass in the Wigan defence and he found the bottom left corner with a cool finish.
Jason Jarrett put Wigan back in front at 3-2 after he slotted the ball past the keeper in a one on one inside the area.
The game then turned on its head when City equalised through Chris Shucker before Dempsey got a hat trick to make it 4-3 with a just a few minutes remaining.
However, it was not over there as Ellington forced a draw with a free kick masterclass, as he found the top left corner to make it 4-4.
The game went to penalties and after City missed three and scored two and Wigan scored three and missed one, it was down to Boyce, a Joseph’s Goal Ambassador to give Latics a victory.
Wigan won the match 4-2 on penalties!
After the game, Paul Kendrick, Latics reporter for Wigan Today, said: “It was brilliant – such a good game! It’s great that the lads can come and enjoy occasions like this and obviously the fans got a real treat of football as well.”
Paul, who is dad to Joseph Kendrick, said: “It was unbelievable! Ashton Town put this on for us every year and each year we think it can’t get any better and it’s just got even better. We’re grateful to everyone at Ashton Town, Mark Hayes especially and they never disappoint and we’re already thinking about next year and how we can do better.
“It’s been an amazing month and so hectic but we’ll probably have a sit down with the charity trustees over the next few weeks and we’ll certainly be having a legends game around the same time next year and it’s what events we can fit in now for the rest of the year.”
During interviews before the match, some of the Wigan Legends revealed that they had been keeping up to date with the club’s success, as Paul Cook’s men were crowned Champions of League One last weekend.
Former Latics goal machine Nathan Ellington, said: “I’ve been watching Wigan and seen a few games so it’s good to see the team going back up and hopefully they can continue it again next season.
“I’ll never forget about the Wigan fans as they were the best times of my career with them so it’s always good to see them again.”
Martinez, now Belgium boss, said: “It’s been a really good period for Wigan Athletic – getting promoted and winning the League One trophy, it’s been a remarkable campaign. What Paul Cook has done and the players and one the youngest Chairman’s in the league I think it’s a very good reason to celebrate for every Wigan Athletic fan.
“I follow every scoreline and I’ve had the opportunity to see a few games live and it’s just impressive how quickly Paul Cook has put a team together that really understands Wigan Athletic and they play for the Wigan Athletic heart and I just hope that success can be promoted into the Championship because it’s a really exciting year ahead!”
For more information on Joseph’s Goal or to donate to the charity, visit the website.
Manchester took control of the game early on as Will Holden darted over the line on the right side. They had a man over and Holden was able to charge through the Salford defence to score the try. Luke Farrow converted the kick to make it 6-0.
And UMRLFC’s Will Holden surges over the line with a glorious set move for the inaugural try of the match, making the score UMRLFC 4-0 Salford
Farrow then made it 10-0 shortly after as he touched down over the line. The full-back found a gap in the Salford line and eased over but he could not add the two points with the kick.
Manchester went further in front soon after as Farrow got his second try. This time he found space on the left side and dived over the whitewash from close range. Farrow missed the kick but his side went 14-0 in front.
Henry Davies extended Manchester’s lead as the second rower went through the Salford line to score. Farrow made it 20-0 with the accurate kick.
It then got worse for Salford as they conceded another two tries before the break.
Farrow got his hat-trick after a carbon copy of his first try. He caused danger in the Salford defence and went over the line on the right side.
Ollie Cottrell then eased over but Farrow missed both kicks. His side took an impressive 28-0 advantage into half time.
Manchester started the second half like they finished the first as Ben Steele scored their seventh try of the match. The stand-off showed a dummy 10 metres from the line which allowed him to go over. Manchester took a 34-0 lead after Farrow converted the kick.
Salford did get on the score sheet as Rob Downing powered over the line. The substitute made an impact and charged through the Manchester defence from close range. Downing converted his try in front of the sticks.
Seb Chromiak tarnished any hopes of a Salford revival after he touched down in the corner. The winger excellently caught the ball on the right side from a lopping kick and crashed over. Farrow missed the kick.
Manchester rounded the game off with another brilliant try, this time from Matty Rossiter. They shifted the ball out on the left side inside their own half and Rossiter found space and out-paced the chasing Salford pack to go over. Farrow finished the game off with the kick and Manchester won 44-6.
Manchester Coach, Matt Valentine post-match said: “It was outstanding. We spoke last week as I was 50/50 with the win because I was happy with the result but disappointed with the performance. Today, I can’t fault them. We executed our sets brilliantly, we defended like our lives dependant on it – all around it was 100% a great effort.
“I could tell we was going to play well from the changing rooms. The attitude and the intensity was there and we just came out and blew Salford off the park.”
Hat-trick hero Luke Farrow spoke about his tries, as he said: “We know their (Salford) big and tough in the centres and we’ve tried to beat them previously up the middle and it’s not going to work so all our work in training was to beat them around the edges and luckily I’m the beneficiary of that.
“Most of it is down to the lads in the middle as I get the ball off the back and have lots of room to run into so it’s all credit to the lads. I just finish them off.”
Salford Coach, Alex Davidson was disappointed with his side’s performance and admitted the game was over at half time and was not a true reflection of how his team have played this season.
Despite the two trophy defeats to the same side in successive weeks, Davidson is proud of his team’s efforts from this season, as Salford finished second in the league and won promotion back to the BUCs Northern 1A League.
He said: “I’m immensely proud of the season. We never expected to be promoted at the start of the year so it’s excellent.
“You have to go that little extra further to win cups but it will come one day!”
Davidson also talked about the senior players that are in their final year at university.
For Hasan Sadrazam, Josh Hill, Conor Mulcahy, Brad Kay-Townsend, Rob Downing and George Lincoln, the Varsity match was the final time they will put the Salford jersey on and Davidson said: “I feel sorry for the lads that are leaving this year and I hope they come back to help us in the future. It doesn’t end here.
“Salford University rugby league doesn’t end when you leave – it’s a brotherhood that we take through with us but it is sad for the lads that are moving on.”
Wigan Athletic lost ground on the top of League One as they rescued a point in an epic 3-3 draw against Scunthorpe United at the DW Stadium on Saturday.
The Latics could only gain salvage a draw in what was their 400th league match at the DW Stadium, as substitute Gary Roberts made it all square four minutes before the end.
Wigan went ahead through Chey Dunkley’s header but the home side were pegged back soon after as Tom Hopper equalised.
Paul Cook’s side then took the lead again through Will Grigg but in a similar situation to the first, Hopper made it 2-2 with a quick reply.
Former Latics loanee Ivan Toney came back to haunt his ex-teammates, as he put United in front for the first time. However, Roberts, who came off the bench just minutes before, scored the goal that saw the game conclude 3-3.
A return for Toney
In terms of team news, David Perkins and Reece James came back into the Wigan side, as Gavin Massey was dropped to the bench whilst Callum Elder was rested.
Wigan started the game well with constant pressure inside Scunthorpe’s half.
The first chance fell to Will Grigg as Max Power’s deflected shot found the Irishman in the penalty area but his shot on the half volley just went wide.
Power then worked well with David Perkins to find Byrne on the right side. The right back’s cross met the head of Michael Jacobs but his effort went over.
The home side’s chances paid off in the 12th minute as Chey Dunkley headed past former Latics man Matt Gilks. Power’s corner was greeted by the centre back whose glancing header beat the keeper and found the back of the net to give Wigan the lead.
However, Scunthorpe replied three minutes later through Tom Hopper. The striker’s header looped over Christian Walton from close range, as he was denied by the post just seconds before.
Wigan responded well to United’s equaliser as Power’s deliveries into the box caused all sorts of problems in the Iron’s line. His corner was headed over the bar by Dunkley before a powerful cross fizzled past the goal line.
Two minutes before the break, Wigan fired back in front through Will Grigg. The striker’s shot from inside the box deflected off a Scunthorpe defender and ended up in the back of the net with Gilks watching on.
Jacobs almost gave his side a comfortable lead as his 30-yard strike forced a save from Gilks on his left post.
The visitors levelled things up again two minutes into added time at the end of the first half. Neal Bishop’s cross was headed by Hopper and his leaping effort went over Walton in what was an almost carbon copy of his first.
A dogged second half by both sides
Wigan came out in the second half on the front foot as they had two chances in quick succession.
Grigg knocked the ball down to Jacobs in the area but as the ball came off his knee, it was cleared off the line by Bishop.
Nick Powell then struck from the edge of the box but his shot just went wide of the post.
Wigan got their fourth corner, with just five minutes gone of the second half as Dan Burn rose the highest but he saw his effort go wide of the far post.
A skilful run down the left edge by Jacobs opened up space in the Iron defence. His ball into the box found Power at the back post but his header was parried away by Gilks.
Ironically, after all of Wigan’s dominance, it was Scunthorpe who went ahead. Ivan Toney put his side in the driving seat for the first time as he scored from close range. A Josh Morris cross was met by the head of Ryan Yates but his effort hit the bar before the ball came to Toney who volleyed past Walton into the right corner.
🕐 53’ WIGAN ATHLETIC 2-3 IRON: IT’S IVAN TONEY, WHO ELSE!? Morris’ cross from the left is met brilliantly by Yates, who sees his header hit the bar. Who was there? Ivan Toney to control and smash into the net. THE IRON LEAD! #UTI
The Latics looked for a instant reply and it nearly came through Grigg as the ball fell to him in the area but his shot went wide of the right post.
In the 86th minute, Wigan found their equaliser through substitute Gary Roberts. Centre back Dan Burn found Roberts on the left side and he executed the time and space he had to slot a deflected shot into the right corner of the net.
A dramatic finish rounded off a breathless game of League One action at the DW Stadium as the game finished 3-3.
A point earned or two points dropped?
The point for Wigan sees them consolidate 3rd place in the Sky Bet League One table.
However, Paul Cook’s men lose ground on first place, as Blackburn are now eight points clear of Wigan. The Latics do have four games in hand over Rovers and two over Shrewsbury who sit in 2nd place on 71 points.
As for Scunthorpe, it is a point which cements their place in the top six, as they now hold a five point gap between 7th place Peterborough, although they have played two games more.
Latics boss, Paul Cook told Wigan Athletic after the game: “It wasn’t a great day for us today in any shape or form but great credit to the players – you’ve got to give them that.
“We never looked like getting a point and we’ve dug a point out that come the end of the season…could prove to be crucial.”
Cook praised Scunthorpe as he said: “There’s no easy games in this division. We’ve played against a very good side today and we took a point.
“Am I pleased with the point? No, but at the end of the day do we have to take it from a losing position? Yes – there’s plenty of games to go.”
Iron chief, Graham Alexander told Scunthorpe United: “My thoughts are the same as the players, we’re disappointed we didn’t take the three points because we felt the performance warranted it, as we came to a fantastic club doing exceptional things and scored three goals.
“We could have had more, and I thought it was a fantastic game of football.”
Alexander added: “We’re still in a fantastic position and showed today that we have nothing to be scared of.”
Forward Gary Roberts, who saved his side a point with the sixth goal of the game, spoke to Wigan Athletic about the frustration of his team’s performance, Scunthorpe’s attacking intent and Tuesday’s game against Bradford City.
The University of Manchester men’s rugby league team won the BUCS Northern Conference Cup on Wednesday afternoon after beating the University of Salford at the Armitage Centre.
Manchester ran out 18-14 winners in what was a tense and heated local derby.
The hosts went 18-0 in front after 37 minutes as Matt Rossiter, Henry Davies and Ben Steele scored their three tries.
A Salford fightback was on the cards when Luke Greenwood scored either side of each half.
Despite Conor Mulcahy’s effort 14 minutes before the end, it was not enough and Manchester were crowned cup champions.
Manchester put the pressure on the Salford line early on, as the referee disallowed tries for two forward passes.
However, their constant attack paid off as Matt Rossiter went over the line after eight minutes. Luke Farrow found space on the left side and assisted the winger who darted over the line. Farrow converted the kick to make it 6-0.
They extended their advantage seven minutes later through Henry Davies’ try. Again, the attack came on the left edge and Davies found a gap to shrug off fullback Dan Munt and raced away to score. Farrow added the extras and Manchester took a 12-0 lead.
They made it 18-0 on the 37th minute as Ben Steele went over. A break through the middle by Ben Calverley allowed the loose forward to find Steele who eased over the whitewash. Farrow added the extras to give his team a convincing lead.
Salford fought back just before the break as Luke Greenwood darted over. A swift move on the right side resulted in Dan Norman to find Greenwood who charged past two Manchester men to score. Rob Downing missed the kick but the try set up an intriguing second half.
Greenwood scored his second try three minutes after half time to give Salford hope of victory. Munt found space on the right side and he was able to find the winger who touched down in the corner. Dan White’s kick just went wide of the post but the score was reduced to just 10 points.
After numerous injuries in what was a brutal battle on the field, Salford scored their third try throughout Conor Mulcahy on the 66th minute. Josh Hill found Mulcahy who went over from close range. White converted to make it 18-14.
66” Josh Hill manages to produce a great pass from an uncomfortable floor position to put in Conor Mulcahy for his first try of the game. pic.twitter.com/Y1T3NOemaI
Manchester Coach Matt Valentine, said: “It was an outstanding effort. When we played them last time we didn’t do ourselves justice and we had a chat about that before the game and we had to come out and put that to bed and I thought the boys did that.”
Salford Coach Alex Davidson, stated: “It’s heartbreaking to lose a game of such nature – a final against your closest rivals – what can you say to that?
“At the end of the day, we started appallingly – our intensity wasn’t there and we just said it in the changing rooms then that the lads were complacent after the last time we were here and you can’t do that against any side let alone your local rivals.
“We beat ourselves up as well – giving too many errors and too many penalties away – you just can’t do that.”
Salford winger Luke Greenwood, said: “It’s disappointing. We didn’t set off in the first half and that was our major downfall. We have to pick ourselves up for the big game next week and that’s the main thing now to look forward to that.”
The fierce rivals will meet again next Friday in the Rugby League Varsity Two Cities Challenge. The match will take place at Manchester Regional Arena and both coaches and Greenwood are looking forward to the massive clash.
Valentine admitted: “To be honest I imagine Varsity to be even more brutal than this one was because we are 1-1 now, as Salford beat us in the league and we’ve beaten them in the cup and now its all to play for next week!”
Davidson previewed the Varsity Challenge and he talked about how his team will recover and work hard throughout the week. He spoke about improving from their cup defeat and showing what they’re made of when they get the chance to put things right against the same side in just nine days time.
Greenwood added: “Hopefully we can get revenge as after today all the boys are a lot more up for that match and it’s going to be big so I’d advise everyone to get down to see it if they can!”
Wigan made seven changes to the famous side that dumped Manchester City out of the FA Cup, as Jamie Walker, James Vaughan and Jay Fulton all made their first starts for the club.
Donervon Daniels returned to the Latics starting 11 after his loan at Rochdale ended in January.
Dale made one change to the side that drew with Spurs as Ollie Rathbone replaced Joseph Rafferty.
The first half
Wigan’s first real opportunity resulted in a goal as Michael Jacobs opened the scoring. The skipper latched onto a through ball put into the box by Jamie Walker and the skipper finished neatly passed keeper Josh Lillis and into the bottom right corner.
After that goal the game started to open up as the Latics went close to furthering their lead. James Vaughan’s header looped over the top of the crossbar before Jamie Walker cut inside onto his right and forced a stop from Lillis.
The pressure continued from Wigan with half an hour played as Ryan Colclough got away from his man and fired a 20-yard strike just over the bar.
Rochdale had chances themselves as Ian Henderson, who scored against Tottenham, was through on goal. The striker lashed a shot from the edge of the box and it just went wide of Christian Walton’s right post.
Wigan went straight up the other end and almost made it 2-0 as Jamie Walker was one on one with Lillis. The Scotsman took it around the keeper but his touch let him down as there was a Rochdale man in front of the goal to block his effort out.
The second half
The home side resumed their dominance in possession early on in the second half as Jacobs came close to getting a brace. The winger switched feet and came inside onto his left foot and he got a powerful shot away but Lillis palmed it away.
A chance for both sides then followed as Vaughan got on the end of Jay Fulton’s cross with a header but Lillis held comfortably.
The visitors quickly attacked and Henderson was able to get a free header at the far post but his attempt, to the relief of Walton, just went over the top.
Some good work down the right side by substitute Gavin Massey allowed him to find Max Power on the edge of the box but the midfielder blew his shot way over.
Power came a lot closer a few minutes later as he stepped up for a free kick on the right side, a couple of yards from the penalty area. His effort rattled the top of the crossbar and the Latics were unlucky not to extend their one goal advantage.
The away side responded and went on the counter attack. Right back Scott Wiseman got a free header away at the back post which just went wide of the goal.
Despite a nervy ending for the Latics, they held onto the win and resumed their hope of automatic promotion back to the Championship.
Was always about the result today! We know we can play better but it’s turned into a great week! Huge 3 points! Rest and recover now ready for another tough game Tuesday night! 🔵⚪️ pic.twitter.com/uzl6J0VzdB
Wigan: 1. Christian Walton, 6. Max Power, 7. Jamie Walker (11. Gavin Massey), 8. James Vaughan (9. Will Grigg), 12. Donervon Daniels, 17. Michael Jacobs (CAPT), 22. Chey Dunkley, 26. Reece James, 27. Ryan Colclough (4. David Perkins), 28. Jay Fulton, 33. Dan Burn
Non-used subs: 23. Jamie Jones, 10. Devante Cole, 14. Alex Bruce, 18. Gary Roberts
Rochdale: 1. Josh Lillis, 4. Jim McNulty (19. Steven Davies), 6. Harrison McGahey, 10. Callum Camps (30. Billy Knott), 12. Scott Wiseman, 14. Ollie Rathbone (31. Sam Hart), 16. Matty Done, 21. Ryan Delaney, 27. Andy Cannon, 32. Mark Kitching, 40. Ian Henderson
Non-used subs: 7. Stephan Humphrys, 15. Joe Thompson, 17. Bradden Inman, 22. Brendan Moore
For Warrington, Tyrone Roberts came back into the side after missing the last couple of weeks out through injury. Coach Steve Price gave Sitaleki Akauola his Wolves debut.
Shaun Wane named an experienced side after the Warriors returned from their New South Wales tour this week. John Bateman came in to replace Dan Sarginson at centre whilst Joe Burgess missed out.
The first half
Warrington opened the scoring as Bryson Goodwin kicked a penalty goal. Tony Clubb hit Tyrone Roberts in a late tackle and referee Ben Thaler gave the penalty. Goodwin comfortably converted the two points.
The Wire went 8-0 in front five minutes later through a Tom Lineham try. The home side shifted the ball out onto the right side and the winger was able to dart over in the corner. Goodwin added the extras and Warrington were ahead by eight points in eight minutes.
8' Wire 6-0 Wigan
A great twist round the defence by Atkins, a break down the right by Mitch Brown before play switches to the left to put Lineham over in the corner pic.twitter.com/kB1aqjWSC8
The Wolves piled on the pressure after their try, as they forced a number of drop-outs but the Warriors held firm.
Wigan had very little chances in the first half, as they could not conjur up a real try scoring opportunity on the Wolves line.
Warrington did have a golden moment on the stroke of half time to further their advantage. Ben Murdoch-Masila flung a surprising offload to the waiting Ryan Atkins on the right side but the centre knocked on in what would have been a certain try.
The second half
Warrington raced out of the blocks in the second half as Roberts ran down the right side. The scrum half stabbed a kick over the top for the chasing Murdoch-Masila but the prop knocked on and Wigan were back in possession.
Goodwin put his side 10-0 to the good after he converted a penalty that was conceded by a Sam Tomkins dangerous tackle on Stefan Ratchford.
It could have been a 12 point lead for Warrington if Goodwin had converted another penalty for the home side but his kick went wide.
However, the Wire got their second try just before the hour mark as Ryan Atkins touched down. With a try given on the field, the decision went to the video referee and it was awarded as the centre got to the ball first and over the line. Goodwin’s goal made it 16-0 with just over 20 minutes to play.
Wigan replied almost instantly to Atkins’ try as Liam Marshall went over in the corner. A series of passes on the left side allowed the winger to leap towards the line and get the ball down. Tomkins could not add the extras but the Warriors were on the score sheet.
In the final minute of the game, Tony Clubb powered his way over the line beating the Warrington defenders to score and despite Tomkins’ accurate kick, it was too late for the Warriors as they went home with a 16-10 defeat.
After returning from their tour of New South Wales on Monday, Shaun Wane believed the long-haul travelling had nothing to do with tonight’s defeat. He said: “It had nothing to do with that at all- we just weren’t good enough.
Wigan second rower Liam Farrell echoed Wane as he said: “We’ve had five days to try and get over it now and it’s not been mentioned once this week as we didn’t want it at the back of our minds and I think we did a good job of that.
“I just think tonight Warrington were the better team and we’ll take a lot out of that to improve on for next week.”
Thoughts on the game?
On reflection of the game, Wigan’s Wane said: “Warrington started with energy and finished their sets far better than us. They had a lot of energy which took some juice out of us.
“I think they might be disappointed with the score at half-time, given the possession they had.”
Warrington Wolves coach Steve Price reiterated Wane’s comments as he said: “The scoreline wasn’t a reflection of the game, especially in the first-half.
“Wigan are a quality team and it’s good to come away with the result.”