PICTURE SPECIAL: Walney survive Broughton comeback to reach Shield final
WALNEY Central A will take on Kells A in the final of the Cumbria Shield at Craven Park.
Cents booked their passage with a narrow 34-30 win over Broughton Red Rose at a sun-baked Central Drive.
Kells earned the right to be their opponents with a 38-10 over Askam in West Cumbria.
Walney were off to a flier in their semi-final.
Red Rose were hit with two successive penalties for upending Brad Stafford and Jon Corkill close to their own line inside the first three minutes, which led to the wily old fox Harry Gee spotting a gap to evade the defender and touchdown.
George Nicholls added the goal and Cents were up and running.
Red Rose came back strongly, with loose forward Jonny Ostle making good ground before being halted in his stride by Corkill.
When the visitors were penalised for a high tackle, Gee took play up field, assisted by Fraser Livesey, who was held short. Gee knocked on from the play the ball.
Broughton found themselves down to 12 men after scrum half Jonny Ritson was sin-binned for an offence on home full-back Jacob Helyer, however, it was the West Cumbrians who piled on the pressure, only a forward pass denying Ostle a try.
A counter-attack saw Cents keep the ball alive across field, but with winger Tyler Smith on the outside Matt McMee failed to gather a pass and the opportunity for points went begging.
Both teams were guilty of poor handling at times, but good hands saw the ball find Dec Gavin, who darted in from close range. Nicholls landed a touchline goal for 12-0.
It was soon 18-0 when four defenders halted John McMullen following a scrum, but the defence failed to stop Jake Deveraux from going in from the play the ball. Again, a towering touchline kick from Nicholls sailed high between the posts.
A response was required from the visitors and on 32 minutes a huge gap opened up for David Campbell to race through and score. Ryan Frazer added the goal.
Broughton’s joy was short-lived, as Gee scrambled over from a scrum close to the line for an unconverted try and a 22-6 lead at the break.
Six minutes into the second period, Helyer joined the line to score, with Nicholls adding the extra two points.
Grant Law try and Frazer goal added six points to Red Rose’s total, only for Corkill to cross minutes later. Nicholls tagged on the goal for a commanding 34-12 advantage.
However, it was all Red Rose from that point as they had Cents on the back foot, with tries coming from Ritson (a brace) and Blue Robinson, with Frazer adding the goals. It was 34-30, but the home side held out to advance.
At first-team level, Cents lost out 29-22 to Distington in another highly entertaining Cumbria League game, after trailing 14-0 in the early stages.
Distington went ahead on four minutes when Matt Hewer prised open a gap to touchdown, with Scott George converting. George soon added a penalty 8-0.
Cents did put a fine attack together, resulting in Dec Gavin making a 40-yard break, only for his intended pass out wide to go to ground.
When Brad Nicholls put in a neat kick over the line, Liam Friel smothered the ball. Matty Elliott then raided with a fine run, but his pass out wide went into touch.
Distington extended their lead when a high pass from George sent Friel in at the corner.
It looked like the visitors were in full control, but the home side hit back to close the gap to 14-10 midway through the half and they almost went ahead on 36 minutes when Adam Nicholson crossed, but he was ruled to have lost control in touching down.
Well led by the hard-working Staffieri, they hit the straps as, along with Matty Elliott, Staffieri did the spade-work from Brad Pearce to crash over.
This spurred them on, with Matty Elliott crossing near the posts for Dave Nicholson to convert.
Then came the decision to rule out the Nicholson try, which could have seen Cents ahead.
Distington survived and went six points clear on 50 minutes with a George penalty after a high tackle.
The visitors were down to 12 men with hooker Hewer in the bin for talking out of turn, but it was they who put points on the board with a George drop-goal for 17-10.
Cents hit back, with Nicholls scurrying in from close range and Nicholson adding the goal to make it a one-point game.
But Distington regained their seven-point advantage, with Jamie Friel stretching over despite Staffieri hanging on. George kicked the goal.
Two minutes later the game swung away from the home side when George sent Gavin Martin into space and he touched down. George again added the goal for 29-16.
Nicholls did cross on 78 minutes, with Nicholson converting, but time was not on Walney’s side.
Wath Brow Hornets A completed the Cumbria League double over Ulverston at Dragley Beck, running out 42-24 winners after the home side led 16-10 at the break.
Tries for Ulverston came from Jonny Hutton, Howard Rowley, Joel Smith and Marc Storey, with Connor Saunders adding four goals.
There was better news for Hindpool, who reached the semi-finals of the North West Men’s Knockout Cup.
They defeated Premier Division side Shevington Sharks 26-24 at Brisbane Park, the visitors failing to bring the scores level with a last-minute penalty attempt.
Tries for the Tigers came from Nathan Sneesby, Bill Chelton, Stu Travis and Connor McDermott, who added two goals, with three coming from the boot of Grant Burns.