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Friday, 21 November 2014

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Barrow Island beat the path to victory against Golborne Parkside

Barrow Island 28 Golborne Parkside 6

ISLAND moved into the North West Counties Premier Division top four with victory over Parkside.

The final 22-point margin was a boon for the home side, but did not reflect the efforts of a visiting outfit, better than the losing margin suggests.

That Island won by such a distance was down to the defensive work of the Rating Lane side as, no matter how hard Golborne pressed, they could only muster one try late in the game.

Heavy conditions did not deter the sides from giving the ball plenty of air.

Island took the game to the visitors and piled on the pressure, with Matt Parkinson and Jack Sutherland both going close, before a stab over the line from Ian Irvine was gathered by full-back Phil Ducker.

Another raid ended when, after good work from Spencer Hoyland and Mike Darby, the latter’s pass to Perry Singleton went into touch.

Two further attacks came to nothing, as first John Walsh and then Singleton lost possession close to the line.

With Island unable to score, Parkside came more into the game, going close through inspirational stand-off Stuart Arkwright, who lost the ball five yards out.

Workhorse hooker James Muir then broke through and chipped ahead to regather, but Matt Jefferson was on hand with a timely tackle.

The home defence was being tested to the full as Arkwright sent Marc Whittaker to the line, only for him to lose possession as well.

Muir followed up by wrong-footing Jefferson, but as he headed for the line Mike Darby was there to make the crucial tackle.

Island survived and it was their turn to apply the pressure.

Andrew Cairns darted upfield, aided by Jefferson and Parkinson, who took the tackle.

From the play-the-ball, Cairns fed Jack Sutherland and he plunged in by the posts. Parkinson converted and it was finally 6-0.

A quick raid from the visitors saw Arkwright break clear before parting to winger Adam Morris, but he was well policed by Cairns and Tom Brannon.

At the other end, Singleton threatened with a good run to the line, but opposite number Lewis Hughes was there with a crunching tackle.

Both lines were coming under the cosh and Island were denied twice within three minutes as Irvine and Craig McKinnon were held short.

As half-time approached, Island increased their lead.

Following a scrum 30 yards out, Parkinson took the ball to the defence before slipping a neat ball to Jefferson who went in unopposed. Parkinson added the goal, 12-0.

Four minutes into the second half it was 18-0 as Cairns supplied McBain and he stretched over, Parkinson tagging on the extras.

This did not deter Parkside, who came back with enterprising rugby inspired by Arkwright. But again, breaching the Island line proved most difficult.

On the hour, the hosts went further ahead when a high ball from Walsh was gathered by Luke Cresswell, who crossed for his first senior try, 22-0.

Never-say-die Parkside still worked hard, Andrew Bennett breaking but being stopped by Darby’s perfect tackle.

It was Bennett who, minutes later, broke their duck as he crossed for the visitors’ only try, converted by Arkwright for 22-6.

The victors had the final say, however, as they rounded off a good afternoon’s work when Darby went over in the final minute for a try converted by Parkinson.

Barrow Island: M Jefferson, Garner, Singleton, Jones, Brannon, Hoyland, Irvine, McBain, Cairns, Sutherland, Darby, Walsh, Parkinson. Subs: Cresswell, McKinnon, Kerr, Wynne.

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