Hawcoat Park were unable to make it three wins on the trot in Cumbria Division One, as second-placed Aspatria proved too strong by running out 38-14 winners last Saturday.

On what was a perfect day for running rugby, the Maroon and Whites’ confidence was high following the good win against Cockermouth the previous week.

However, late cry-offs were to have a significant impact on their team, particularly by way of the front row where three players, including replacements for those originally named, called off late.

For the first ten minutes, Park’s defence right across the pack was really stretched and while a try may not have materialised, prolific Aspatria fly-half Jack Clegg slotted over a penalty goal on an afternoon where he never missed.

The hosts’ first score came when full back Grant Bethwaite burst into the line for centre Andrew Miller to touch down for a converted try.

The last ten minutes of the first half belonged to the Maroon and Whites and eventually their try came almost on the half-time whistle.

From a good scrum, strong-running No.8 Grady Slater picked up and ran hard for the line for hard working back row colleague Brad Morrow to be up in support to touch down skipper George Smith added the conversion.

With the score 10-7, Aspatria cranked up the pressure at the start of the second period and scored two tries in the first 15 minutes of it through Miller’s second and flanker Craig Foster.

Hawcoat dusted themselves down and managed to get back into the game when a driving run by Slater got them close to the line and Mike Lightfoot was prevented from touching down illegally, resulting in a penalty try.

However, any thoughts they had of something out of the game were put to bed by Aspatria, who finished the game strongly with Miller completing his hat-trick before prop Graham Andrews added a fifth for the hosts.