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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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Millom’s cup runneth over

MILLOM produced their best performance of the season to crush Eccles 40-12 at Wilson Park in the second qualifying round of the Challenge Cup.

Skipper Tom Sibley, back from injury, led his team from the front with hat-tricks from Anthony Green and Ross Brooks steering them to victory.

Other tries came from Rickie Donaghue and Josh Bannan, with Brooks adding four conversions.

Coach Anthony Murray said: “That was the best performance of the season so far.

“The lads from one to 17 were outstanding, with Wayne Ruddy (aged 37) unstoppable, while Josh Bannan came off the bench to go into the front row and shine and he is only 16 years old.

“Although we were convincing winners, Eccles pushed us hard, but from the 50th minute we were in full control.

“When I saw their team sheet, they had one or two top players missing, but we were without key players Ethan Kelly (on GB Lions Under-18s duty), Lee Edmondson and Craig Wilson.

“I knew they would give us a game and they did for those 50 minutes, but then we blew them apart.

“The big rugby union ground suited us – some of the tries were unbelievable, going from one end of the field to the other.

“I also told the lads to take advantage of the bigger than normal in-goal area and we got three tries from stabs over the line, while we defended our own line very well.

“That was the best performance since I took the job on more than 12 months ago – we were brilliant.”

However, the Woollybacks coach has big problems ahead of their first round proper match at home to Blackbrook this weekend.

The tie clashes with the County Championship and several of his team are likely to be involved – a problem Murray has had in the past and something he will be taking up with the club.

He added: “We have bit of a dilemma for the lads, they could possibly play for Millom on Saturday and then for the county on Sunday, but that is something the county don’t normally allow.

“If it is allowed, I don’t believe that is fair on the lads to play two games in two days.

“I don’t want that to happen, as it would be unfair to bring several lads from the A-team to play against Blackbrook – they are top of the North West Men’s Premier Division and have only lost once this season.”

Common sense will hopefully prevail as the second round of the competition does not take place until the new year.

In the North West Men’s League Division One, Roose Pioneers rounded off their season with a 42-22 victory at Folly Lane.

Joe Cargan, a late addition to the side, crossed for a hat-trick of tries, with others coming from Matt Burrows, Dan Vial, Glen Phillips and Liam Johns. Ross Walker kicked seven goals.

There no joy for Dalton in the North West Counties as they went down 12-8 at Widnes Moorfield.

The visitors led 8-6 at the break as Scott Worsley crossed for a brace of tries.

In the Barrow and District League, Barrow Island kept their 100 per cent record intact with a 46-0 win at Hindpool. Tries for the Island came from Gareth Shaw (2), Josh Spencley (2), Luke Creswell, Dan Johnson, Nial Miller, Aaron Palmer and Mike Pearce, with Pearce adding four goals and Shaw one.

A waterlogged pitch saw the postponement of the Dalton v Ulverston game.

The England Lions Under-18s team, featuring Kelly and Barrow Island’s Perry Singleton, lost 30-24 against the Welsh at Leigh Miners on Saturday.

A big Cumbrian clash takes place at the Recreation Ground tomorrow when newly-crowned Conference Division One champions Egremont take on Kells in the first qualifying round of the Challenge Cup.

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