Hawcoat Park went into their Christmas break in Cumbria Division One off the back of a superb 10-7 victory at home to second-placed Wigton last Saturday, thanks to a late try from full back Lewis Sayle.

For the hosts’ last game of the decade, there was an icy cold strong wind blowing off the sea right across the pitch making playing conditions very difficult for both teams.

With both senior sides unusually at home on the same day and with the usual late disruptions, the first priority was to balance out playing resources to ensure the club’s immediate priority of retaining two teams.

High-flying Wigton arrived early to warm up for the game and they dominated the early stages, although flowing backs moves and accurate line-out throwing were extremely difficult in the strong wind.

As a result, the visitors Wigton adopted a sound game plan of short forward drives and going through the phases with their bigger pack.

However, it was during this important period that Hawcoat set the tone for the remainder of the game with a steely determined defensive effort to somehow keep Wigton at bay.

The Marron and Whites slowly gained territory for themselves, with Sayle running well and causing real problems every time he burst into the line.

With 25 minutes gone, Park scored their first try off their first real spell of pressure in the Wigton 22. Mike Lightfoot was enjoying a good tussle with his opposing back row.

Following good work by him and Sayle, plus both hard-working centres Jack Sutherland and skipper Chris Burns, a position was set up where Alfie White could defy his size and somehow force his way over from close range.

With the hosts going into the second half 5-0 ahead, the game remained a tight arm wrestle as Wigton cranked up the pressure to get back into the game and our determined defensive efforts continued.

Midway through the half, however, Wigton got their try after good handling got the ball out wide to put their winger in space to score wide out and, importantly, the very difficult conversion was added to put the visitors 7-5 in front.

Just as it looked Wigton were going to hang on, Hawcoat managed to get the winning try in the closing minutes after a period of sustained pressure.

That man Sayle was firstly held up over the line and then soon after had another go and this time showed good determination to force his way over to claim a memorable victory for the home side.