Top Four Final

Askam 20 Ulverston 24

A LATE Mark Saunders try earned Ulverston victory in a dramatic final and denied Askam a quadruple trophy haul in the Barrow And District League, writes JEFF COWARD.

The game was played in great spirit with some hard tackling and fast open rugby, and it was Askam who opened the scoring early on when Brad Jackson gathered a kick through to go over under the posts and also converted.

Ulverston hit back when two quick penalties put them on attack, but with the line at his mercy centre Eric Hill knocked-on.

Ulverston had their tails up. Brad Williamson made good yards, Liam Whinfield was on hand to take his pass before James Porter took the ball at pace to crash over and Whinfield landed the conversion for 6-6.

Askam started to put pressure on the Ulverston line. They moved the ball swiftly across the line and it came as no surprise when centre Dale Lambton crossed out wide to put them back in front.

Jackson increased Askam's lead when Ulverston were penalised-for kneeing in the tackle with a penalty maing it 12-6.

Ulverston hit back with some good forward play. And when they got to within a yard of the Askam line Joe Ward at acting half-back dived over to score. Whinfield converted to make the half-time score 12-12.

Ulverston started the second half like a house on fire. Howard Rowley made a 15-yard break before parting to Rowan Smedley. He took play deep into the Askam half and full-back Whinfield linked up to go over and touch down and also converted to give Ulverston the lead for the first time in the game.

But from the restart Ulverston failed to gather and when the ball was moved out to Askam centre Lambton he went over for his second try and it was a two-point game.

The game was flowing from end to end. Man of the match Jake Spedding put in a 20-yard run. The ball was moved out wide only for the Askam cover to get across and stop the move just two yards from the line.

Back came Askam with forwards Brad Kavanagh and Grady Slater making good yards. Full-back Jackson joined the line, and went on a run to the try-line to score and put Askam back in front at 20-18.

Thenwith 10 minutes left on the clock once again Ulverston hit back with Saunders diving over from acting half-back with Spedding converting.

Askam were not finished. Gareth Richards made good yards. The ball was moved to Jordan Herdman but he was tackled three yards short of the line only for referee Terry Bewley to blow the whistle to end the game.