On a day in which an old rivalry was renewed, it was Hawcoat Park who came out on top of the Barrow derby, as they defeated Furness 20-14 at the Strawberry Grounds last Saturday.

The first day of the new season in Cumbria Division One, which now includes 14 teams, threw up a fixture that hadn't been played since the 2014/15 campaign, making it one that was eagerly anticipated.

Hawcoat started well and had the best of the early exchanges, with good handling involving George Smith and impressive centres Will Coles and Jason Milby nearly freeing up winger Rodney Odondi on the outside but the last pass just went astray.

After 10 minutes, the visitors did go ahead, as good drives by the outstanding Grady Slater and Lee Van Haren allowed captain on the day Callum Ramsay to spot a gap and force his way over.

Coles neatly slotted over the conversion and not long after a penalty to put Park 10-0 in front.

Most of the game was played with both teams down to 14, and sometimes 13, men. It was not a dirty game (like some in the past), but both teams struggled to adapt to the new ‘high tackle’ laws with yellow cards issued aplenty.

Thirty minutes in, Hawcoat had their second try when good hands by hooker Brad Morrow, John Donnan and Alfie White down the left sucked in all the Furness cover.

When the ball was moved out wide, Ramsay found himself in the space to run in his second try, Will Coles just missing the conversion to make the half-time score 15-0.

As to be expected Furness really cranked up the pressure in the second half, with the penalty count heavily in their favour, meaning Hawcoat's defence had to hold firm.

The relentless pressure told after 55 minutes when Hawcoat prevented Furness from taking a quick tap penalty near the posts and a penalty try was awarded.

Having been on the back foot, the Maroon and Whites regrouped and after a period of being camped close to the Furness line, White forced his way over for an unconverted try,

With the referee calling last play, Furness scored a consolation try with Will Mallinson deservedly forcing his way over from close range.

Fly-half Dave Findlayson then booted over an important conversion as this earned Furness a losing bonus point.