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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Cockermouth show their mettle

ONLY two games were played in the Cumbria League as the wet weather claimed three more fixtures.

At Workington visitors Cockermouth won 20-11 after a disappointing first half for them against the Steelers.

Although Andrew Skillen did open the scoring for them with a well-struck penalty after five minutes, this was the only bright spot for them in a disappointing first half.

The Steelers took the lead with two penalties from Johnny Howarth. Then shortly after the break Steelers’ No8 Jamie Dunn looked certain to score but a combined effort from Andrew Renney and Ben Swift prevented the touchdown.

However, there was no stopping Dunn from the ensuing scrum when he picked up to drive over to give the Steelers a deserved 11-3 lead.

It was always going to take something special to break the Steelers’ resilient defence and it was Matthew Woodcock who delivered with a break from the halfway line.

A penalty conversion by Skillen then brought Cockermouth to within a point. Another penalty by Skillen gave Cockermouth the lead and then Tom Lindsey extended that advantage.

A superb side-step on the 22m line helped him round the full back to score under the posts. Skillen added the conversion to give Cockermouth the winning margin from a score line which had looked almost impossible on the first half showing.

League leaders Whitehaven have been scoring for fun this season so it was something of a surprise when they only beat Gosforth Greengarth 19-0 at the Playground.

The wet conditions were a leveller but Whitehaven coach John Gaffney praised the opposition for making life difficult for his side and keeping it to 0-0 at half-time.

The breakthrough for Whitehaven came from an unlikely source, lock Calum Rowlandson, when he went 30 yards for the touchdown which finally eased Whitehaven ahead.

Stephen McConnell, who has been out all season recovering from injury, put over the conversion to mark his return.

Midway through the half replacement scrum-half Philip Henderson produced a great show-and-go to go over and again McConnell added the conversion.

Along with two other replacements John Rome and Mike Gaffney, Henderson added some bite to the Whitehaven attack.

It was Gaffney who created the last try with a well-timed pass for Matthew Giddings to go over from 20 yards.

Fixtures - Millom v Workington Steelers, Aspatria Eagles v Cockermouth, Egremont v Whitehaven, Creighton v Wigton Wanderers, Gosforth Greengarth v Moresby.

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