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Tuesday, 30 June 2015

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Ulverston storm to victory

A SUPERB second-half display from Ulverston saw them overcome Barrow Island and claim the GMB Union Under-16s KO Cup.

Trailing 6-4 at the break, Ulverston went up through the gears in the second period to run out convincing winners.

Early Island attacking was met by ferocious Ulverston tackling, with the latter using powerful centre Joe Hambley as an additional forward when clearing their own try line.

Ulverston took the lead against the run of play as a towering kick was put up by loose forward Jake Spedding.

Island full-back Jack Torkington made a valiant effort to take the ball, but it bounced clear and was collected by Tom Wilkinson, who fed stand-off Liam Whinfield.

His quick pass allowed second-rower Ryan John to power over and make it 4-0.

For the remainder of the half, Ulverston could not complete a set due to excellent defensive work from Barrow Island, with forwards Jordan Belcher, Ryan Clegg, Danny Johnson and Tez Nueto leading the way.

Island’s Danny Johnson crossed the line twice, only to have both scores disallowed by the officials, while Ulverston were also their own worst enemies, forcing passes and not being composed when needed.

Full-back Brad Joy and wingers Stu Smith and Nat Patthamasing worked overtime in defence for Ulverston along with props Will Mahar and Jordan Williamson. However, on 28 minutes, Island got their reward.

Great work from Morgan Knowles put Brad Russell through and he beat three defenders to score under the sticks, with Ryan Clegg adding the two points for a 6-4 advantage at the break.

Ulverston continued to squander possession in the second half, with great work from Island creating space out wide as they were unlucky not to score on a number of occasions.

Twice, they cleverly worked the blind-side, only for the ball to go to ground.

Finally, Ulverston started to find their feet, as forwards Howard Rowley and James Porter put in huge drives to set the platform for Maher to break the line 30 metres out.

In a flash he was over the whitewash and this time Connor Saunders made no mistake with the kick, giving them a 10-6 lead.

This seemed to settle the side, who now took control.

Two minutes later, Shane Toal crossed after a typically determined run, before the try of the match and the game breaker came.

Back rowers Danny Crabtree and Joe Ward did the dirty work and the link was provided by Liam Whinfield, who found Mahar on halfway.

The big prop brushed aside tacklers and set sail for the line. Torkington made a valiant effort, but it was a definite mismatch as Ulverston went 20-6 up.

Crabtree then crossed out wide after great work from centre Luke Bates and by now, Spedding was pulling the strings in the middle of the park.

Tom Wilkinson was finding freedom out of the ruck area and runners were eager to profit.

A minute later, James Porter benefited to clinically cross for a well-taken score, 30-6.

Barrow Island upped their defence to hold out until close to the end, when Spedding nipped over for a well-deserved score. Toal was good for the two points.

Island gave their all and the score did not reflect their efforts, with Tez Nueto taking a well-deserved man-of-the-match award and Jake Hellier, Morgan Knowles, Jordan Belcher and Danny Johnson also shining.

It was the size and power of the Ulverston side that saw them through in the last 30 minutes, with Mahar’s second-half performance turning the game in their favour.


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