Last-gasp disaster for Walney Cents in county shield
In the Cumbria Shield final at Craven Park, Walney let a 30-16 lead slip in the final 12 minutes as Kells lifted the trophy 34-32 with a penalty goal with less than 60 seconds remaining.
Two hundred and fifty yards up the road, Hindpool hosted the North West Men’s Premier Division leaders in the semi-final of the league cup and were hanging on to a 12-10 lead going into the final minute when St James crossed for a match-winning try in the corner.
At Craven Park Walney were off to a good start with hard-working scrum half Joe McMullen providing the pass for Stu Tippett to cross out wide for an unconverted try.
Kells came back strong when Danny Daughtey took play to the Cents line from where Barry Boyd was prevented from scoring due to a forward pass from stand-off Steve McCourt.
The pressure continued but a long ball from McCourt intended for Jake Corrie went to ground. And when Owen Martin headed for the corner four defenders hauled him down.
Fifteen minutes into the action, Kells took the lead when loose forward Jacob Parker fended off would-be tacklers to score with ease, Ryan Robb adding the goal.
Within four minutes Kells were touching down for a second try. McCourt put in a high kick to the corner which evaded defenders allowing Corrie to pounce and score.
Walney were soon to respond when Mike Whitehead put in a high kick which Daughtey fumbled, allowing Jack Rushton to gather, but he was hauled down a foot short. From the play the ball, skipper Jon Corkill darted over.
This spurred on the Cents who were to retake the lead on 26 minutes following a tap penalty.
Adam Nicholson was held up over the line. Neat play followed involving Danny Johnson and McMullen who sent Whitehead over for a fine try converted by Connor Pearce.
Five minutes from the break, Walney increased their lead when a Nicholson kick to the corner was fumbled by Lloyd O'Neill and in like a flash was McKee to score.
The second half was barely under way when McMullen shot through a gap to race in from 40 yards. Pearce added the goal for 24-10.
Kells, not to be outdone, came back with a Boyd try and McCourt goal. However, their joy was short-lived, with Johnson going in from close range for Pearce to convert and it was looking good for the Cents.
Then it all went wrong for Walney on 68 minutes when following a team warning Dale Warne was sin-binned for an offence in a tackle.
Kells took full advantage with O'Neill taking the flag with him as he crashed over in the corner, Ryan Doran adding a touchline goal.
Boyd soon followed O'Neill over the line touching down under the posts for Doran to convert for 30-28.
Kells were on a high-sniffing victory and they took the lead on 76 minutes when a long ball out wide from Jack Parker who had broken through the cover enabled Harry Watson to score in the corner, 30-32.
Cents calmed their nerves taking play into the Kells half and receiving a penalty 35 yards out with two minutes left on the clock. Pearce kept his cool to slot the ball between the sticks for 32-32.
With extra time and the golden point looming there was another twist. From the restart following the equalising goal Doran kicked high and regathered on the 10-yard mark taking play to the Cents 25, only to be tackled.
On the intervention of touch judge Curtley Etchells, referee Nathan Johnson awarded a penalty for ripping the ball out. Up stepped Doran to bang over the goal and the trophy was headed to the west of the county.
Hindpool 12 Orrell St James 14
Hindpool fell at the last hurdle in their bid to reach the NW Men’s League Cup final, a try in the final 60 seconds ending their hopes.
Premier Division side St James dominated the first 20 minutes and took the lead with a try from centre Dave Kennedy.
On 25 minutes the visitors went 10-0 up when Kennedy broke clear before drawing full back Connor McDermott to send Jake Williams over. Brad Roby tagged on the goal.
Hindpool came more into the action playing good rugby and getting their defence in order and taking play to the Orrell line, from where Paul Rickleton crossed only for him to be held up. However, they did open their account when Matty Archer spotted a gap to dart over for McDermott to convert.
Five minutes into the second period the Tigers were almost over the line only for Dale Sneesby to lose the ball provided by brother Nathan.
Hindpool were now in control despite the deficit with both McDermott and Tom Heighton held up over the line.
The home side were rewarded for their efforts on 74 minutes. They spread the ball wide and in at the corner was Nathan Sneesby, the kick from out wide from McDermott sailed between the posts - 12-10 and victory in sight.
However disaster struck going into the final minute. From a tap penalty full back Brad Leck broke through but when approached by McDermott kicked to the corner for Kennedy to swoop and score.
Coach Phil Cubiss said after the tense cup tie: “I felt gutted for the lads for the effort they put in. I thought we had nicked it I felt proud of all the players.”
Dewsbury Moor 38 Barrow Island 16
Island are still searching for their first away win losing out to Dewsbury after a close first half which saw the home side leading 12-10.
Island were hit with a first minute home try and conversion but stayed in the game until midway through the second half.
Tries came from Jamie Curtis, Luke Thompson and Blain Marwood who added two goals. Island had Joe Spencely sent off in the second period, first sin binned and then dismissed for disputing an incident in a tackle. Island claimed it was a case of mistaken identity.
Ulverston 18 Walney Cents 30
TWO late converted tries sealed victory for Walney over Ulverston at Dragley Beck.
It was all square going into the final minutes when Walney seized the opportunity to break the home line and add a further 12 points for a 30-18 win.
It was a hard-fought struggle throughout with neither team dominant with Cents taking the lead on four minutes when Adam Nicholson burst through to score. Dave Nicholson added the goal.
Ulverston were soon on level terms when after giving away needless penalties Walney’s defence was stretched when Paul Woodburn charged for the line before being held in the tackle.
From the play the ball, Che Smith touched down for Connor Saunders to convert.
Walney took the lead shortly after with a fine opportunist try from Harry Gee. From a scrum, 10 yards from his own line, Gee picked the ball up from the back of the scrum and shot through a gap to pull clear in a 90 yards dash to the line, Nicholson adding the goal.
Ulverston, not to be outdone, drew level when after Saunders chipped the ball over the line a rebound off a Walney player saw Matt Dean pounce to score, Saunders converting for 12-12.
Two minutes into the second half another opportunist try this time from the home side. A mix-up in defence saw Dean gather and with defenders in pursuit he raced in from 95 yards. Saunders tagged on the goal and the scores were level for a third time at 18-18.
It was nip and tuck until Walney struck with 15 minutes remaining after Ulverston were penalised for incorrect marking. Morrow was held up prior to Brad Nichols touching down, Nicholson converting.
Nichols then left the field with a dislocated elbow and with time almost up, Gee made a telling break for Matty Elliott to score, with George Nichols converting.