The Cumbria League season may be in its early throes, but Workington are now stating their case as credible promotion candidates.

After an opening defeat at Upper Eden, they registered their third successive victory, a 48-18 humbling of Egremont in their rearranged clash at The Ellis.

Although the rain managed to cease in time for kick-off, both sides had to contend with testing, windy conditions.

It proved to be a classic contrast in styles between the two sides.

Workington made good use of the strong wind in the first half by adopting a successful "pick and drive" approach from their forwards which went on to serve them well throughout the game.

Egremont, however, were acutely aware of their own strengths and tried to move the ball to their pacey backs at every opportunity.

The match was only three minutes old when Rob Scott capitalised on a stray pass to gallop clear for Workington’s opening try, which John McCrickerd easily converted.

It then got better for Zebras in the ninth minute when a driving scrum ended with David Wordsworth thrusting himself over the whitewash for an unconverted try.

With Egremont well and truly on the back foot, this lead was further increased on 18 minutes when McCrickerd was on hand to finish off an excellent pass and move routine, though he was unable to add the conversion.

From the visitors’ point of view, the old adage that you can’t play the game without the ball was never more apparent, as Workington sensibly starved Egremont of possession for lengthy periods of the match.

Other than a few surges into their host’s territory, Egremont had hitherto little else to offer, but that changed swiftly after 21 minutes when a quick through ball caught the Zebras squarely off guard.

A powerful burst down the left wing from Adam Barton ended with a try which was well converted from wide out by full-back Brad Jackson.

This merely woke up the Zebras and their foot was soon back on the pedal on 25 minutes when they registered their third bonus point of the season.

Shaun Murphy snaffled a loose ball and sprinted clear to go over, with McCrickerd adding the conversion.

Eight minutes from the break, the lead was increased when another well-constructed passing sequence concluded with Jonny Howarth ghosting in from the blindside to stun Egremont as he became the fifth different Zebras player to score.

Once again, McCrickerd was on hand to effortlessly deliver the conversion.

With the score at 31-7, it looked as if a resounding landslide was on the cards, but to their credit, Egremont regrouped and refocused, managing to see out the remainder of the first half.

They actually caught Workington cold four minutes into the second half with their second converted try of the game.

In a very promising period of play, lively scrum-half Jack Thompson appeared in a perfect supporting position to dot down under the posts following an incisive midfield break by centre Callum Huck. Jackson converted.

However, any hopes of a Zebras wobble were ruthlessly dissolved on 48 minutes when another driving scrum resulted in captain Andrew Bowe producing his now legendary crashdown try.

Egremont were not prepared to go quietly and they conjured up their third try six minutes later.

Right winger Lee Cruden powered over in the corner to bring the visitors’ tally to 19 points and it looked as though Egremont would at least gain a losing bonus point for their efforts.

With the score now 36-19, there were still concerns that Workington could have thrown it away. But, on 62 minutes, maximum points were firmly banked as another well driven scrum was finished off with Sam Davidson becoming the seventh different Zebras try scorer and McCrickerd provided his fourth conversion.

The Zebras were content to protect their lead, but were equally determined to prevent Egremont from collecting a bonus point of their own and, try as they could, the visitors were unable to make significant inroads towards the try-line.

Deep into stoppage time, Zebras had the final say as Scott gleefully sprinted clear for his second try of the match and his fourth in three league games since his return to The Ellis.

Workington move up to third in the Cumbria League and will hope to keep the momentum going when they host Cockermouth next Saturday.

For Egremont, it’s a question of kick-starting their season at home to Furness.

League leaders Upper Eden were far from convincing in their 21-17 win at bottom side Millom.