Fallen giants Wigton Rugby Club and Aspatria produced an epic contest in the Cumbria League, every bit as good as when they both ruled the roost.

Wigton showed great spirit, determination and skill to haul down the colours of their arch rivals to win 27-26 at Lowmoor Road.

In fairness, the first half was nothing to write home about as both sides struggled for continuity and Aspatria turned round 5-3 to the good.

A Kenneth Bowes try had only been answered by a Josh Leeson penalty.

There had been a fairly straight forward opportunity for Jack Clegg to extend the lead, but an incident of ill-discipline led to the referee reversing the penalty.

As part of a bigger picture, Wigton’s superior discipline on the day played a large part in their eventual win.

Wigton had edged the first half in terms of possession and territory but Aspatria had the narrow lead and were confident after playing against the elements. It didn’t work out like that.

The Wigton team as a whole showed greater composure and skill, retaining the ball well and setting up try scoring chances.

They took the lead with a try from Lewis Plackett who had an inspired second half, headlined by a hat-trick of tries.

For the first, he produced some mesmerising footwork to jink through the first line of defence towards the 22. He repeated the footwork treatment to beat the last defender and hurl himself over the line between the posts for Leeson to convert.

Aspatria were not long in hitting back with a try coming from some good footwork of their own.

Centre Ryan Scott made the break with a neat little jink and then got the ball to the unmarked Bowes who scored. Clegg converted.

It was not long before that lead was extended when Gary Hodgson was able to make appreciable ground from the base of a scrum. This resulted in a try for Andrew Miller which Clegg converted for a 19-10 lead.

A penalty gave Wigton a line-out in Aspatria’s 22 and the Greens executed a powerful catch and drive which made good ground, only being halted by illegal means.

The referee played advantage and Dan Reed punted the ball wide behind the defence for Plackett to claim his second try.

Aspatria lost Bowes to the bin for a high tackle and, during his absence, Wigton grabbed the lead again.

James Wilson made a powerful drive and then the ball was whipped along the line to Plackett, with space in front of him.

He opted to chip ahead and the ball landed between himself and full-back Miller but, crucially, bounced up away from the Aspatria defender into Plackett’s arms and he ran clear for his third try of the half. Leeson’s conversion gave Wigton a 22-19 lead.

With time running out, Clegg sent the ball up the touchline where it rolled tantalisingly and bounced its way into the home 22.

Wigton had four defenders back in pretty quick time but, inexplicably, one of them opted for a highly speculative offload.

This went to an Aspatria player and resulted in flanker Phil Dixon eagerly scoring under the sticks for Clegg to convert.

Aspatria probably thought they had got out of jail but indiscretions gave the ball to the hosts.

Wigton, sensing a last chance, launched a series of powerful drives edging further and further into the Aspatria half.

Under pressure, Aspatria infringed and Wigton successfully found touch deep in the 22.

The line-out was won and the forwards worked their way to the line where Wilson crashed over near the posts.

Just to add to the tension, Reed missed the conversion from straight in front, but it didn’t matter as Wigton had a one-point lead which they held.

Leaders Keswick won 24-7 at Cockermouth and they now lead Aspatria by 15 points.

In the first half, a pattern emerged of Keswick making progress upfield, only to be pegged back by Cockermouth using the wind by kicking.

This meant that they spent much of the time defending, but with the luxury of doing so in the Keswick half of the field.

One kick gave them excellent field position as the ball hit the corner post and bounced out for a five metre line-out, but they were unable to breach the Keswick defence.

The scrums were fairly evenly matched in the first half, tending to go with put in, but in the line-outs, Keswick managed to disrupt some of the Cockermouth throw ins.

With just three minutes of the half left, Keswick put in to a scrum five metres from the Cockermouth try line.

They moved the ball left for Andy Muir to crash over for a try which he was unable to convert.

The restart by Cockermouth did not go well as the wind carried the ball across the dead ball line, giving Keswick the put in to the scrum on the half way line.

Captain Aaron Thompson picked up at the back, passed to scrum-half Lewis Thompson who made a few yards, and passed to full-back Andy Wallace.

He created space and passed inside to Ryan Weir, coming in from the right wing who, from 40 metres out, evaded a number of tackles to touch down under the posts. Muir converted for a 12-0 half time lead.

The second half reversed tactics as Keswick used the wind to pin Cockermouth in their own half where they put pressure on the home side line-out.

During an attack on the Cockermouth line on 46 minutes a minor disagreement resulted in two yellow cards, one for each side.

Cockermouth’s clearance kicks did little to relieve the pressure as they found the ball run back at them or kicked to their goal line without getting out of their half.

From a scrum 15 metres out Keswick picked and ran, driving for the line but was held up. Recycling, the ball was given to Michael Tait who crossed for an unconverted try on the right after an hour.

Cockermouth attacked from the restart and good pressure on the Keswick line ensued until Adam Brough was able to power his way over for a try converted by Ed Gate .

In the last quarter of the game Keswick used the wind well and Thompson scored their fourth try, converted by Muir to round off the scoring.

Whitehaven scored 10 tries as they had a comfortable 66-7 home win over Hawcoat Park.

Upper Eden v St. Benedict’s was postponed.