TWELVE-MAN Roose Pioneers crashed to their heaviest Cumbria League defeat – going down 74-1 to leaders Distington at Redwaters.

Struggling for players, the home side battled away against the unbeaten leaders who ran in 13 tries.

The game only went ahead after Pioneers stalwart Shaun McPoland stepped in to officiate following the absence of appointed referee Mark Laing, and with the blessing of Distington.

All credit to the Pioneers 12 who worked hard throughout despite the scoreline and the visitors being able to throw on substitutes when required.

And credit also to veteran player-coach Steve Neale just days after celebrating his 48th birthday. “PG”– as he is known – played the full 80 minutes and had the last laugh when denying the visitors a clean sheet by cheekily dropping a goal 12 minutes from time.

The game flowed nicely as McPoland had a very fine game with the whistle, although the atmosphere was soured by laughter among the visiting players as they ripped through the depleted Pioneers cover time and time again.

The first points arrived when hooker Jamie Friel broke clear. He threw out a wild pass, only for full back Steve Conway to pick up and touch down, Scott George adding the goal. Further tries from Friel, a Gavin Martin hat-trick, Liam Nicholson and George, who added four more conversions, saw a half-time score of 38-0.

Pioneers had fought hard and came close to scoring on a few occasions during the opening 40 minutes. Good work from Dan White, Neale and Craig Deakin put them in a good position but Deakin’s pass went to ground, while Dan Sharp also went close before Chris Dalton was held up over the line.

The free-scoring from the West Cumbrians continued after the break with tries from Phil Lister, 3, Jamie Friel, Ryan Addeson, Bryan Ritchie and six more goals from George.

Pioneers had their moments and got on the board after a Neale chip to the line saw Ritchie knock on. From the scrum Sam Doyle was held a foot from the line, and from the play the ball Neale broke his team’s duck with a neat drop-goal.

In a high scoring game in the west of the county Ulverston went down 54-30 to Wath Brow A after being level 24-24 at half time.

Tries for the Dragley Beck side came from Mark Wilkinson, 2, Marc Storey, Joe Hambley and Connor Saunders who added five goals from five attempts.

Barrow Island remain second in the table following their 36-12 victory at Glasson Rangers after leading 24-0 at the break.

Tries came from Sam Jones, 2, Liam Hundsdale, Dan Wright, Blain Marwood, Scott Hadwin and Luke Cresswell who added three goals, with one from Matt Parkinson.

Hensingham lost 34-32 in a closely-fought contest with Ellenborough on home soil.

Hindpool went on the rampage at Brisbane Park where Lee Boyd ran in four tries in a 32-0 North West Mens League win over Bank Quay Bulls. Connor McDermott crossed for a brace with Grant Burns adding four goals.

Millom are out of the National Conference Challenge Trophy afrer failing to score at Devonshire Road as Feathestone Lions – their opponents in the league next week – won 14-0.

Askam lifted the Frank Reid Trophy with a 36-10 win over Walney at Craven Park.

This Saturday Barrow Island entertain Ulverston while Walney play hosts to Seaton in the semi-finals of the Cumbria Cup.