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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Aspatria at their best to see off Littleborough

Aspatria's pack produced their best performance of the season in a hard-fought 12-7 win at Littleborough in the North Lancs Cumbria league.

Attacking down the famous Littleborough slope and with the wind, Aspatria spent large periods of the first half in home territory.

The first score came on ten minutes after full-back, Lee Tinnion picked up the ball on the left wing and set off on one of his trademark arcs across the pitch. He beat several defenders, before crashing over in the right corner for an unconverted try.

Up until half-time Aspatria monopolised the ball but conspired to waste opportunities time and again through wrong options and the concession of unforced penalties at regular intervals.

On 38 minutes, Aspatria pack power seemed to have clinched a further score. From 10n metres out the Black Reds scrum pushed the Littleborough eight off their own ball. Number eight James Ravell pounced and looked appealingly at the referee for a score.

Regrettably, he had touched down on the five metre line and quickly realised why his team-mates were not quite as happy as he was.

However, the resulting scrum allowed them to drive the home side over the correct line and this time Ravell made no mistake to touch down. Jack Clegg nailed the conversion.

The half-time message was simple; playing up the slope and in to the breeze, keep it simple and maintain discipline. This message would be followed as Aspatria spent most of the half in attacking mode.

As the half progressed, Littleborough were restricted to break outs from their own defence and only occasionally looked dangerous.

The best of the home side was seen on the 50-minute mark when they attacked through the forwards with a series of ‘pick and go’s’ and the tactic paid off with a converted score.

Coach Mike Scott introduced himself to the game on 65 minutes and used his experience to pen Littleborough in their own half.

Leaders Wigton maintaimned their 100 per cent start to the season with a 36-8 win at Upper Eden.

However, the Kirkby Lonsdale side Upper Eden proved to be very resilient and their front five were generally thought to be the most capable Wigton have faced this season, especially at scrums.

Upper Eden opened the scoring after some lively initial work when Wigton were caught offside in midfield. Matt Allison landed a penalty.

It was not long before Wigton responded with a typical long range try. A quick line out in their own 22 gave Gregg Smith the chance to open up play. Ali Ledingham and Willie Miller were involved with Jordan Wood being released on a forty yard run.

A quick ruck ball saw Ledingham send skipper Matthew Atkinson galloping over for his 16th try of the season. Smith converted.

Then a long penalty touch finder by Ledingham set-up a line-out on the home five metre line. After several phases of play, David Hanabury was the provider for James Brough to crash over. Smityh converted.

A well-executed backs move again released Wood on a long run. Hanabury was in support to take the pass for an unimproved try.

Upper Eden showed plenty of character and before half time came up with a score of their own by David Dent from a maul.

Wigton scored three more tries in the second half as Upper Eden battled not just against the green attacks but also their own fatigue.

Miller, Wood and Ledingham all got in for tries with Smith adding one conversion.

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