Workington Zebras finally win again, plus another victory for Aspatria
Last updated at 21:18, Thursday, 20 January 2011
Workington Zebras finally ended their eight-game winless streak with an emphatic 38-3 home victory against a dogged but otherwise limited Upper Eden.
The wet and windy conditions at The Ellis produced an opening half hour of both sides bogged down in midfield. A Matt Allison penalty on 15 minutes for the visitors was the only difference.
However, on 31 minutes, Zebras began to advance deeper in the Upper Eden half and a period of scrummaging ended with Andrew Bowe getting the ball over the whitewash for a well-earned try that Kevin Harper wasted no time in converting.
Zebras were determined to make the most of the wind advantage and did so within two minutes of the restart when Rob Hodgson charged into the corner for an unconverted try.
Upper Eden tried to get back into the game but Zebras’ defence remained solid throughout and on 51 minutes pretty much clinched the four points when a four man move resulted in Philip Armstrong cruising over for a try that Harper managed to convert.
The crowd were baying for a fourth try and bonus point. Zebras got both on 58 minutes as Sam Carter broke free and charged over the line with Harper once more converting.
By now, Upper Eden were tiring and it was only a matter of time before Zebras would score and on 67 minutes David Bowe took advantage of slack marking and nipped in for another converted try.
The rout was finally completed seven minutes from time, when the ever improving Tom Lawson raced clear to the corner for a fine unconverted try.
Aspatria stayed in contention for promotion with a 15-3 home win over Blackburn.
A two-try performance from Black Reds captain, Graham Andrews, sealed a deserved victory for the Cumbrians at Bower Park.
Conditions on the pitch were horrendous with driving rain and a hypothermic wind.
It was an astute kick from Mike Scott that got the ball rolling for Aspatria. With four minutes gone he launched a high punt over the advancing Blackburn defence. It should have been fielded by one or more defenders but none could judge where it would land and the opportunity to diffuse was lost as Aspatria’s forwards swarmed all over the piece.
Ten metres from the Blackburn line the ball was recycled left to a waiting David Humes who had little opposition as he crashed over in the corner for an unconverted try.
Skipper Andrews got the next try - again unconvertable in the windy conditions - but then Blackburn slowly began to recover from a shocking start.
But on 29 minutes came a third score for the home side, a personal triumph for Andrews but in reality a victory for the whole pack as they rolled the Blackburn defence over their own line.
At 15-0 the game was effectively won though Blackburn showed great determination and resolute defence was needed to restrict them to a single penalty score.
Keswick are in the bottom three but their tally of seven bonus points is, in the main, bettered by only the League’s top five. They picked-up another in a narrow 13-12 home defeat by De La Salle.
St Benedict’s travelled to Furness missing key players and hoping for some sort of bonus point from the game, so were delighted to come back with a 14-10 victory.
Whitehaven travelled to leaders Heaton Moor and could have done with some of their neighbours’ resilience in defence. They conceded seven tries but continually shot themselves in the foot.
In the Cumbria League’s top-of-the-table clash Egremont failed to adapt and utilise the windy conditions and it was Millom who maintained their 100 per cent season with their ninth win, a 18-3 victory.
In equally horrible conditions Silloth battled for a 10-6 win over Cockermouth but it was a very tight game with a lot of mistakes from both teams.
Cockermouth went ahead with a Sean Ackerley penalty in the first half before Silloth hit back soon after the interval with a Phil Scott penalty. Then straight away Ackerley kicked another penalty for Cockermouth.
But with 10 minutes to go Greg Wrathall burst through from 20 metres out to score the winning try which was converted by Scott.
Gosforth Greengarth and Aspatria Eagles battled out an 8-8 draw at Gosforth with Adam Ross scoring the try for the visitors and Lee Holliday adding the penalty.
That had given the Eagles an 8-3 lead after Michael Ellwood’s first half penalty had put Gosforth ahead. Chris Brown levelled matters 10 minutes from time with his first try for the club, scored after a powerful drive for the line.
The other Cumbria League game was also closely fought in which Workington Steelers just edged out Wigton Wanderers 20-17.
Wigton had an important victory in North One West to move towards mid-table respectability.
Wigton edged out Wirral 8-3 at Lowmoor Road with a try Mark Deans and a Gregg Smith penalty.
Fixtures North One West: Altrincham Kersal v Wigton.
North Lancs Cumbria: Blackburn v Whitehaven, De La Salle v Workington, Didsbury Toc H v Oldham, Eccles v Furness, Fleetwood v Heaton Moor, St Benedict’s v Keswick, Upper Eden v Aspatria.
Cumbria: Aspatria Eagles v Creighton, Netherhall v Egremont, Silloth v Millom, Workington Steelers v Gosforth Greengarth.
First published at 19:39, Thursday, 20 January 2011
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk