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Wednesday, 03 September 2014

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Cumbria Cup joy for Hawcoat against Carlisle

HAWCOAT Park reached the last four of the Cumbria Cup with a hard-fought victory over Carlisle.

On a muddy Barrow pitch and in shocking weather conditions, the Maroons were on the attack from the outset.

The front row combination of Tom Wright, Henry Atwell and Joe Rea put the vastly more experienced Carlisle team under immense pressure and it paid off as Robert Salt produced a great pass from the ruck to release Declan Rodgers, who took the ball from 30 metres out to score a great try out wide.

Carlisle were not about to be steamrollered and from the resulting kick-off were camped in the home side’s 22.

Great work in the ruck from Hawcoat pair Jack Osten and Kyle Watterson kept attack after attack at bay, with the outstanding James Lashmar backing them up.

But it was not long before the pressure told and a great move by the Carlisle back line saw them score a converted try to go 7-5 in front.

The visitors kept on attacking, but tackling machines Jacques O’Neill and Rowan Smedley would not let them through.

After losing Salt to injury, Hawcoat were hit by another Carlisle try as they extended their lead and looked to establish control.

Wingmen Harvey Jeffery and Nathan Postlethwaite were trying everything to pierce the away side’s defence when a great ball from stand-off Will Coles released Eric Hill, who ran half the length of the pitch to score a trademark try.

That cut the deficit to 12-10, but once more Carlisle responded in kind and went in 17-10 up at the break.

The visitors maintained the ascendancy after half-time and soon added to their tally, but the score seemed to kickstart Hawcoat as they staged a great fightback.

Deciding they had to throw everything at their opponents, Joel Buchanan got the pack moving.

John McLaughlin drove at the heart of the defence out wide and replacement centre Johnny Hutton ran a great line to score a converted try.

Carlisle were starting to realise they were in a game as they lost two players with injuries and conceded another try as Rodgers went in for his second.

From the kick-off, a great Maroons move saw the pack take the ball to centre field, with Wright, Jake Roberts and Watterson in the thick off it.

O’Neill passed from the base of the ruck to Coles, who released Smedley and his pass to Benji Platt was sublime, setting up the full-back to beat defender after defender and score a converted try to put Hawcoat in front at 24-22. Hill was not to be outdone and the pacy second-rower went half the length of the pitch again for his second try.

By this time Carlisle were wondering what was happening, as every attack from the away team was met by a great defence.

From a hard tackle from Hutton and Rea, the visitors spilled the ball and Jake Roberts picked up from halfway and stepped around four defenders, driving for the line with two hanging from his shirt.

Roberts was not to be stopped and the hooker went in under the sticks to be jumped on by his team-mates in congratulation as they confirmed victory and set up a semi-final against Kirkby Lonsdale.

Coaches Roger Coles and Jason Meadows were elated, and Meadows said: “That was a superb game and we showed heart and belief in their own ability beyond belief.

“We couldn’t pick out any one player as man-of-the-match as the whole squad were unbelievable, but to see everyone jump on Jake after his try was a great moment.”

l Anyone wishing to join Hawcoat under-14s can join training on Wednesdays between 6pm and 7.30pm.

Hawcoat also run under-15s training at the same time, while under-nines, under-10s and under-12s train on Monday evenings between 6.15pm and 7.30pm.

For more information, call Jason Meadows on 01229 811856.

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