Glasson Rangers 16 Walney Central 22

WALNEY Central maintained their 100 per cent Cumbria League record with victory at Glasson.

With holidays, shift work and injuries taking a heavy toll, it was a hard-fought win for Walney, with their superb defence contributing hugely.

Glasson’s big forwards tore into Walney’s defence and, after two early penalties, it was no surprise when they took a 6-0 lead with a well-taken converted try.

Cents got into their stride and, after a short hold up to get Chris Larkin’s dislocated finger back in place, levelled through a great individual try from Brad Nicholls, converted by Connor Pearce.

Midway through the first half, Walney took the lead with the try of the match.

Glasson lost control on Walney’s line and the quick-thinking Jordan Staffieri took advantage of the free-play, kicking ahead for his winger Jack Rushton.

After sprinting 40 metres downfield, and with the defence closing in, Rushton – who had his best game in a Walney shirt – kicked inside and Jamie Morrow took the bouncing ball for a superb converted touchdown under the posts.

Glasson came back and on the half-hour and brought the scores back to 12-10 with a try out wide.

In the last five minutes of the half, Cents missed a couple of chances to take control of the game – a spilled opportunity by Morrow and a forward pass on the final break ruling out a Warne touchdown.

Three minutes into the second half, strong drives from impressive Walney forwards Mike Backhouse and Jamie Ralph paved the way for Nicholls to switch play and send man-of-the-match Morrow over for his second try. Pearce converted and Cents held an 18-10 lead.

Glasson never did not give up and, after a strong break by ex-BARLA international Johnny Goulding, they fed the ball out wide for a fine try to bring them to within two points.

This score spurred Glasson on and, time and time again, they threatened Walney’s try line. With a combination of Cents gifting them the ball and penalties, Rangers had a glut of possession.

Walney’s defence held out, with second-rowers Backhouse and Larkin especially prominent.

With five minutes left, a relieving Ralph break was carried on by half-backs Morrow and Nicholls to combine and send James Finch crashing over for the match-winner.