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Saturday, 30 August 2014

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Cumbria double up in RL County Championships

MAGNIFICENT Cumbria are double county champions after seeing off the challenge of Lancashire at Aspatria yesterday, writes PADDY McATEER.

The open-age team retained their BARLA County Tri-Series title with an emphatic 38-12 victory, while the under-19s triumphed 34-22.

Kells centre Scott Lofthouse ran in a hat-trick of tries for the open-age team, with Millom’s Ricky Donaghue crossing for a try and adding seven goals. Other tries came from Sam Forrester, and Millom’s Lee Edmondson in a game which Cumbria led 16-12 at half-time.

Walney Central second row forward Matt Holmes bagged a brace of tries as the under-19s took the title with a fine victory, after they had led 16-10 at the break.

Ryan Barnes also crossed twice, with other touchdowns coming from Ian Curnow, Karl Dixon, and Lewis Beckwith. Jack Clarke added three goals.

Barrow and District League secretary Terry Barker praised the backroom staff from the south of the county, for their efforts in helping to bring the title to Cumbria.

He said: “Not too long ago the county were struggling. Barrow officials got involved on a more serious note, Paul Crarey took over as open-age coach and was joined by John Flynn as manager, while Jeff Coward took over as under-19s manager. Darren Carter (Barrow Island) came on board assisting Crarey, plus the experienced Peter Smith of Kells.

“At under-19 level Coward brought in Alan Moses (Ulverston) and David High (Dalton) to work alongside Wath Brow’s Mark Robb and assistant team manager Tony McKnight of Millom.

“The under-19s side were hampered in the past clashing with the English Lions who took the cream of the county players, but this season there was no interruption. The lads have the utmost respect for the coaching and management team and were more than willing to represent the county. Those officials have busy lives, not only their own clubs to deal with, but they also have families.”

Askam recorded a pre-season double over Walney at Fallowfield Park on Saturday. The A-team won 56-0 while at open-age level it was 30-16.

Askam take on Barrow Island at the same venue this Saturday in readiness for the National Conference season, which gets under way on Saturday, March 2.

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