Match Reports 2016 - 2017
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First team reports by John Horne
Aldwinians (47) v Hawcoat Park (24)
Saturday 11th March, 2017
It was a patched up maroon and white side that made the trip down the M6 to take on Manchester based Aldwinians. However, the commitment shown by the lads who made the trip could not be questioned and the score line did not reflect the spirit shown. With very limited replacement options players had to dig deep for 80 minutes of hard graft on a soft pitch and against an always big strong Aldwinians side who deserved their victory. With a good kicker the 7 points trys can soon start to tick round and we had to work very hard but were always in the game through the efforts shown.
With a few lads arriving just before kick off if was not surprising Aldwinians started the stronger and ‘before we had got off the bus’ they were 14 - 0 with two well worked converted trys in the first 10 minutes. The first from a good back row move from the base of scrum and the second when good hands out wide put the long striding second row through a gap to touch down near the posts. Their accurate kicking centre converted both.
Slowly but surely we got a foot hold in the game and stemmed the Aldwinians flow. As well as showing up well in loose play second rows Ashley Mowat and Callum Ramsay were as usual showing up well in the line out and after a good spell in the Aldwinians 22 a clean Ramsay take allowed the driving maul and prop John Donnan was the last to get his hands on the ball and force his way. Centre George Smith slotted over a good conversion 14 - 7. We continued our good spell and one well supported clean Chris Burns break almost resulted in a try for the all the action back row Jack Sutherland. The pressure allowed the position for our second try, the forwards set the platform before quick hands from fly half James Howden allowed centre George Smith to slop a great short pass to full back Lewis Sayle who ran a great line to touch down. Looking particularly delighted with his efforts it turned out this was Sayle’s first try in a first team shirt after creating quite a few with his running from deep. Smith added another impressive conversion to level the scores 14 - 14.
Aldwinians kicked back into action and Sayle and both wingers Glen Kaighan and Will Coles had to make timely covering tackles to prevent trys. However, all the pressure told when good hands got the ball out to the pacey Aldwinians winger to stretch his legs down the wing and score near the posts a converted try 21 - 14. George Smith booted over a 35 metre penalty to reduce the deficit 21 - 7. As half time approached disaster struck. An attempted clearance kick was charge down and the only way to prevent a try was a tug on an Aldwinians shirt picked up the impressive Manchester society ref Mike Ince who rightly awarded a penalty try. Half time 28 - 17.
Not long into the second half Aldwinians stretched their lead, their Man of the Match scrum half made a good break and good support play created a team try for their centre again converted 35 - 17. The back row of stand in captain Will Mallinson, Sutherland and Tim Clark were putting in a great shift to keep us in the game. With Mallinson leading his pack by example we collected the next try. We camped on the Aldwinians line and only good defence on their part kept us out. The try came when outstanding prop Paul Woodburn took the ball in hand before showing great soft hands for such a big man to slip a pass to the supporting Sutherland to crash over for a deserving try. Once again Smith slotted over a difficult conversion, 35 - 24.
In the middle section of the second half as our fatigue naturally started to kick in Aldwinians cranked up the pressure. The scrums were fairly even and the front row of Woodburn well supported by Andy Kent and Donnan were working hard for their team mates at the ‘coal face’ of the action. Two further Aldwinians trys followed with their scrum half always at the centre of the action, one of the trys came when they were quick to free up their winger after capitalising on our mistake in losing control of the ball near the halfway line, 47 - 24.
The last 10 minutes was all Hawcoat Park as we threw everything at the Aldwinians attempting to get the fourth bonus point try. Aldwinians were just as keen to prevent this happening. Ramsay, Mowat and Donnan all went close but just could not force their way through the well organised stout Aldwinians defence.
In a team effort a special mention for scrum half Jack Shannon for quite some time he has played through the pain barrier and for his last game before having knee surgery this week as usual showed the same commitment he always does. Whilst now facing a lengthy lay off all at Hawcoat Park wish him all the best in his recovery and look forward to seeing him out on the park.
Also to Paul Woodburn expecting to be playing in the second team at Bury, at short notice he once again put his hands up for his club and team mates and had his usual solid game never taking a backward step.
Hawcoat Park (17) v Trafford MV (19)
Saturday 4th March, 2017
The maroon and whites came off second best after a lack lustre performance against a Trafford side who were worthy winners. It looked to be a home side comfortable with what we have achieved so far this season against a Trafford side fighting for their lives down near the relegation zone who wanted the win more and this reflected in their all round workmanlike display as a team.
After an even testing each other out early exchanges the game started well for the maroon and whites scoring the first try after 10 minutes. Winger Matt Burrows playing his first game for a while collected a clearance kick in his own half and setting off on a great 50 metre run beating would be tacklers before linking up with skipper Danny White who passed to fellow centre Chris Burns to finish off the try, fly half James Howden booted over the conversion, 7 - 0.
Instead of kicking on our play deteriorated from this point, as taking wrong options, not following our structures, mistakes and poor kicking all featured in our level of performance.
Trafford on the other hand were playing smart rugby keeping it simple in the heavy conditions and their close support between forward and back alike was very effective. They had a really good spell camped in our half for about 15 minutes a levelling try looked certain but some good tackling and covering meant we just about managed to keep them from scoring. Second rows Ashley Mowat and Callum Ramsay were leading by example in this regard.
The first Trafford try came when we had managed to break the shackles and had a short spell in the Trafford 22. From another breakdown in our play, Trafford moved the ball quickly putting their winger into space he made good ground before chipping over our covering defence running onto his own kick before showing good determination to touch down, the conversion was missed 7 - 5.
As half time approached Trafford deservedly took the lead, it was a back row who crashed over but it was reward for a team effort who worked as a collective unit to set up the position. The conversion was good, 7 - 12. Before half time winger Will Coles did well to drift over and link up the play on the opposite wing but Trafford covered well to prevent the try. Half time 7 - 12.
The early part of the second half followed a similar pattern much to the frustration of the home players, coaches and supporters alike. Trafford were the better side and controlling play, they did an ‘Italy’ and decided not to compete in the line out one area we were dominating and we struggled to get our driving maul going to great effect. However from one good spell hard working vice captain Will Mallinson did well to force his way over to level up the score at 12 - 12. In difficult kicking conditions the conversion just missed.
Instead of using this as the stepping stone to take the game away from the opposition as we have had at other times this season we went back into our shells and not encouraging each other when things went wrong. On the other hand Trafford continued to graft for each other and play as one united team and their play merited once again taking the lead. Their hard working captain the back row made good ground before slipping a neat pass to his supporting No 8 to touch down under the posts. The try was converted 12 - 19.
As the clock was running down we had another short pocket of decent play. The forward set up the platform before Captain Danny White operating in the centre joining the driving maul and add his strength to force his way over.
This had the home supporters asking what difference to the result there would have been if he had played in his most effective position in the pack throughout, despite the shortage of available three quarters.
Trafford hung on for a deserving victory and help towards easing their relegation concerns. Anything else would have been an injustice. We will have to show more commitment and hard work at training this week before the difficult away trip to Manchester based Aldwinians, otherwise a hitherto good season will just drift away.
A special mention to referee Peter Connor who had travelled on exchange from Loughborough and controlled the play very well.
Hawcoat Park (12) v Aspatria (46)
Saturday 18th February, 2017
Missing ten key players from the normal squad mainly through a wedding stag do in Prague, there was an intrepidation in the maroon and white camp leading up to this game with a powerful high flying Aspatria side determined to feature in the promotion play off places.
Those fears were dispelled with the performance by each and every one of the lads who stepped in. There is a massive difference in standards between second and first team rugby but every player could not have shown any more commitment in their efforts and can be proud of their performance as a team something that was well appreciated by all home supporters.
There is no doubt Aspatria were the better side with their massive pack looking to be a physical mismatch from the start but the scoreline in no ways reflected the play.
As to be anticipated Aspatria hit the ground running with their ‘man mountain’ No 8 Atkinson and his back row colleagues proving difficult to defend against. At regular intervals in the first 20 minutes they sucked in our defence and when the ball was moved out wide four trys followed scored by their outside three-quarter. All were scored too far out even for Aspatria fly half Jack Clegg to miss the conversions - he normally rarely misses a kick to the sticks, 0 - 20.
Again the trys resulted not from poor defence on our part but through the power of the Aspatria playing proving difficult to counter. The make shift back row of Jack Sutherland, Tim Clark and Will Mallinson were working very hard but this was a collective team effort with each of the lads working for each other to counter the black red tidal wave.
Fears the score board would continue to click round were dispelled and we managed to get a foot hold in the game towards the end of the first half. It was possibly a surprise but the scrums were fairly even and Aspatria never dominated in this area, considering all the main line out options were missing as was hooker Adam Grainger who throws in the line out generally went reasonable well.
Vice captain Will Mallinson captaining the team in the absence of Danny White was leading by example in all aspects and deservedly scored a try showing good strength to force his way over after good work by full back Lewis Sayle who beat varying would be tacklers on a 50 metre run.
We started the second half well with Callum Ramsay stepping up and was everywhere in attack and defence and with Ryan Milner and John Donnan running strongly applied some good pressure. The Aspatria defence was strong and we were held up over the line on a couple of occasions. It was a little against the run of play that the Aspatria back row forced his way over for a converted try 5 - 27.
Our second try came to the delight of all home supporters. A Team stalwart Paul Woodburn was having a powerful game bolstering the scrum and his powerful runs always caused the Aspatria defence problems. From close range he managed to force his way over with George Smith adding a good conversion, 12 - 27.
If the game had finished at this point from our viewpoint the scoreline would have been possibly a time reflection of the game. However, as to be anticipated Aspatria finished very strongly and added a further 3 trys as our lads understandably showed the fatigue from their previous efforts. Final score 12 - 46.
This was a performance in defeat that all the maroon and white players can feel proud and possibly wrong to single out players. However, former first team captains Dave Gallagher and Tim Clark are worthy of special mention, neither have played any form of rugby for some time but put their hands up at the time of need for their club. Also Rodney Odondi making his first team debut in difficult circumstances, not seeing much ball but certainly not looking out of place.
Also thanks to Liverpool society referee Matthew Wallace who despite being young controlled the game very well and was consistent and clear with his decision making throughout. He looks to have a good future with the whistle - we would certainly have him every week!
Workington (7) v Hawcoat Park (7)
Saturday 11th February, 2017
The game reflected the wet, windy and cold conditions throughout and certainly if you had taped this match you would not be rushing to replay to find the highlights.
Workington may be down at the bottom end of the league but particularly up front are a side that are better than this position in the league reflects.
They set their stall out straight from the kick off making good use of the strong wind advantage they had in the first half. Their big powerful pack were well drilled and efficiently made use of a short hard close quarters driving game to get them into our 22. Our first up defence was strong but these short drives are difficult to counter when the attacking team make no mistakes.
They worked their way to our line and despite a couple of big hit tackles from back rows Mike Lightfoot and Jonny Burrows they eventually forced their way over under the posts for a collective unit pack try. The try was converted, 7 - 0.
After Workington hit us hard for the opening exchanges slowly but surely we got back into the game with our pack adopting a similar forward game but against the strong wind. Full back Lewis Sayle was having a solid game fielding the ball as the last line of defence and one good run out of defence got us onto the front foot. Mid way through the half we levelled the score. Good work by scrum half Jack Shannon allowed the ball to be recycled quickly and out wide, skipper Danny White threw out a great long pass to free up winger Glenn Kaighan who finished his try well. Fly half George Smith booted over a great conversion against the wind, 7 - 7.
For the remainder of the half some good defence managed to keep Workington out as they attempted to build on having the wind advantage, although they appeared to be unfortunate when our clearance kick was charged down for the Workington centre to touch down. The referee spotted a knock on within the charge down and the try did not count.
From our attacking view point Lewis Sayle continued to impress with a few good runs and good cover defence from Workington prevented trys from Chris Burns and Will Coles.
Half time 7 - 7 and it was a contented maroon and whites camp thinking with the wind advantage we would go on and win the game.
This was not to be the case. The Workington pack controlled the ball and whilst they rarely looked like adding to their score they certainly frustrated our play and equally we rarely put regular phases of play together to get the score that would have earned the win.
As usual centre Jack Sutherland was having a solid game and regularly made some hard yards down the middle but all too often as desperation came into our play we tried to force things too much in the difficult playing conditions.
There was little (if any) highlights to report on during the second half and the draw was likely the right result and in all honesty the final whistle appeared to come as a relief to all players and supporters alike who could retreat to the pleasant Workington facilities for a warm up and to watch the Wales v England game.
Hawcoat Park (10) V Carlisle (34)
Saturday 28th January, 2017
To have any chance against the high flying top of the league team you would need to turn in your best performance, as it turned out the maroon and whites probably played their worst performance of the season, when coming up second in every aspect of the game against a very impressive well organised Carlisle team.
There is no doubt Carlisle created a lot of pressure, however, we made many unforced errors throughout the first half allowing Carlisle to take the initiative and they are too good a side not to capitalise on an opportunity and from start to finish controlled play and were the better team.
Carlisle took the lead in the opening minutes, their forwards got a good drive on and set a good platform up front, the ball was then quickly moved out wide, we missed a one on one tackle in the centre allowing them to create an overlap and their winger to finish off out wide for a good team try, the difficult conversion was added as was a 30 metre penalty goal.
We never recovered from this disappointing start, players that have performed so consistently all season were making more mistakes in this one game than they have all season and there was only the one team in it and they were not wearing maroon and white.
A further penalty goal was added from close to the posts, 0 - 13.
The only real surprise of the first half was that Carlisle only added one more try and then another penalty kick. The try was scored via one of their very impressive back row but once again it was a team effort with forwards and backs alike getting them in the position where they could apply the pressure in our 22 area.
Our defence was working hard to keep Carlisle down to only this one more try in the half and both wingers, Elliot McDermott and Will Coles in particular pulled off important cover tackles. Half time 0 - 21.
The break gave the opportunity to stem the Carlisle momentum. We certainly started the second half better, Carlisle had clearly prepared well on how to prevent our line out driving maul having the momentum it did in the reverse fixture at Carlisle.
However, following a good spell of pressure, the hard grafting Will Mallinson did well to force his way over from close range. George Smith’s conversion just missed as did a penalty attempt soon after. A rare occasion we decided to go for a penalty kick at goal. As all good sides do Carlisle came straight back. Although not a particularly big side they clearly have good technique at scrum time and were making life hard for us in this aspect as demonstrated by a push over try 15 minutes into the second half.
Showing good commitment and some pride following good work by the hard working Ash Mowat and hard running Ryan Milner we collected our second try, this time it was Jason Priss showing good strength to force his way over, 10 - 26.
There was still the time for Carlisle to bag another penalty and 4th try to collect a bonus point. With Mallinson in the sin bin following a ‘high tackle’ under the new RFU regulations Carlisle made good use of the extra man when committing our defence up front before showing good hands to move the ball out wide for their speedy winger to touch down in the corner.
Well played Carlisle they are the best collective team in the league and already have so many points on top of the league look certain to be deservedly promoted back into the league above at the first attempt. Without seeing much ball on the front foot Carlisle lad Elliot McDermott playing against his old team mates had a very solid game for us in this defence and fielding the high ball.
A word also for referee Dr Tyrone Castle who controlled the game well in difficult soft playing conditions.
Our A Team game away at Clitheroe was cancelled due to a waterlogged pitch.
Silloth (0) v Hawcoat Park (29)
Saturday 14th January, 2017
Always a tough place to play, it is a sign of just how much we have developed as a team that coaches, players and supporters alike would end a game frustrated after an away win that the opposition did not score a point and 95% of the play took place in Silloths half. The game could not have started any better for us with a try in the first couple of minutes which was a team try with just about every player getting an early touch of the ball. After good support play up front the ball was eventually moved out wide and Will Coles making a welcome return after a broken hand made good ground beating a couple of defenders down the wing. Half backs Jonny Burrows and George Smith were quick to support the move before parting to centre Chris Burns to touch down near the posts; Smith added the conversion 0 - 7.
We continued to apply the pressure with stand in Captain Will Mallinson and Ryan Milner in particular running hard. A mix of our wrong options and really solid workmanlike defence from Silloth meant we were frustrated. Opportunities to extend the lead through penalty kicks were knocked back as we went for a second try but fair credit to Silloth they were working hard to keep us at bay particularly when at one point they were down to 13 men with two lads in the sin bin.
That was the other frustrating element of the game in all five players had ten minute rests four from Silloth and Jason Priss a couple of minutes after coming on as replacement prop. None were foul play related but were for ref Martin Denvir rightly applying the latest RFU directive on ‘high tackles’.
Of course players need protecting from head shots but players certainly at our level are going to get very frustrated with refs having to apply this latest directive but that discussion is for another day!
All the play was in the Silloth half and after 25 minutes we scored our next try. After quite a few attempts the try resulted from a clean Ash Mowat line out take and forward drive with unusually hard working prop Andy Kent the last to get his hands on the ball Smith’s conversion just missed 0 -12. Possibly Kent got this opportunity as club captain Danny White was under the weather and only played ten minutes or so off the bench in an attempt to get some momentum into our play. Also missed was ‘line out’ captain Mike Lightfoot who had tweaked a hamstring in training on Thursday night.
Disappointed at only holding a narrow advantage after having all the play just before half time Smith booted over a 30 metre penalty kick. Half time 0 - 15.
The second half followed a similar pattern with Silloth rarely in our half but we only managed two further trys despite knocking on the door many times.
The third try came mid way through the half and it was a good one. Once again Milner made a forceful run into the heart of the Silloth defence well supported by hard working hooker Adam Grainger. The ball was moved out wide and a great pass from replacement fly half James Howden and then good hands from Matt Sayle created the space for winger Glen Kaighan to show his speed and beat two would be defenders on the outside and touch down after a good 40 metre run. Smith booted over a good conversion 0 - 22.
The final important bonus point earning 4th try came in the last few minutes. It started with a brave tackle of a very high kick from Elliot McDermott when the ball was recycled out towards the other wing, Mowat made the important break and once again good hands by Smith and Sayle got the ball out wide to Kaighan. This time the cover defence got across to him but good support on the inside by Callum Ramsay and Burrows got the ball to solid centre Jack Sutherland who touched down under the posts. Smith added the conversion. Final score 0 - 29.
Not out best most flowing performance of the season, but with Silloth fighting for their league survival lives and working very hard, a win that had to be earned.
A week off next week before the eagerly awaiting home game against high flying league leaders Carlisle.
Hawcoat Park (25) v Wigton (15)
Saturday 7th January, 2017
Heavy fog made for difficult conditions both for playing and watching. However, the maroon and whites turned in a great second half performance to earn a victory in a very close hard game against a well organised and good Wigton team. We beat Wigton a couple of seasons ago in the Cumbria Cup but this is the first time any Vickers or Hawcoat Park side has ever beaten Wigton in a non cup game just to show the magnitude of this achievement.
Following Furness’s decision to play their charity game with Dong on New Year’s Day it was a three week gap since our last game and we were rather rusty and second best in the first half with Wigton the better team.
In the first 10 minutes both packs tested each other out and with the positions in the league and experiences from the reverse fixture at Wigton it was clear as to be expected this was going to be a close game.
Wigton took the lead when their impressive fly half booted over a 35 metre penalty goal. Fifteen minutes in George Smith levelled the scores when he kicked an impressive 50 metre penalty from just inside the Wigton half, 3 - 3.
There is plenty of debate currently going on in the bar with many ex players judging this current pack to be collectively the best ever to pull on a maroon and white shirt, that said Wigton big pack were a good test. As demonstrated in the reverse fixture Wigton have a pacey back division and our defence had to be strong to keep them out as they looked to move the ball away from the battle up front.
Twenty five minutes in Wigton scored the first try. From a line out in our 22 the ball appeared to be over thrown but reached their powerful No 8 good defence prevented the try but resulted in a sustained spell battering away at our try line. The back row trio of Will Mallinson, Mike Lightfoot and Callum Ramsay were as usual leading the defensive effort. Wigton changed tactic and with our defence sucked in moved the ball out wide with good hands before their impressive full back came into the line to score the try. The conversion just missed 3 - 8.
Wigton finished the half strongly and unusually missed a couple of penalty goal attempts one of which hit the post. Most of the home followers were in agreement that we were rather fortunate to go into the half time break only 3 - 8 down.
The second half was a different story. The impact of having such a strong replacement bench of the returning Jason Priss, Ryan Milner and of course Liam Harrison playing his first game back in maroon and white after a long and distinguished career with Barrow RL helped. Fresh players of this quality have an effect, however coaches Paul Burns and Martin Grainger’s words were obviously ringing in the players ears as there was a real stepped up urgency in our play from the second half kickoff. Matt Sayle in the centre ran hard all game and the first couple of runs made by ‘Rhino’ Milner made good ground into the Wigton defence.
Eventually following further forward drives outstanding second row Ashley Mowat made a good run before slipping a great pass to the supporting hooker Adam Grainger who jinked his way over under the posts, George Smith added the conversion 10 - 8.
With confidence lifted we had a good spell of pressure and it was Wigton’s turn to demonstrate strong defence. However, when spreading the ball out wide in the Wigton half the ball went to ground and the always alert Wigton three quarters snapped up the opportunity. Booting the loose ball on the pacey winger full back won the chase to ball and score near the posts the try was converted 10 - 15.
Soon after Smith who was having a good game controlling play at fly half booted over another fine 40 metre penalty to reduce the deficit to 13 - 15.
Jason Priss and Ryan Milner were running strongly from prop as had Andy Kent and John Donnan before them and making the real hard yards. However, the position for the second try came from a 50 metre burst down the blind side by Mowat. Close to the line Smith cleverly brought Harrison on to a short ball burst and whilst Wigton did well to stop him a neat slipped pass to the supporting Danny White allowed the captain to crash over. Smith’s conversion hit the post, 18 - 15.
Soon after the try was almost repeated however this time nothing was going to stop Harrison crashing over after demonstrating the running power of his ‘Bull’ nickname. This time Smith added the conversion 25 - 15.
The last 10 minutes were a mix of Wigton running everything to at least earn a losing bonus point and our possibly getting a little greedy to get a 4th try for a bonus point.
The try looked like it was coming when Sayle finished the game like he had started it, with a powerful run to the line. The Wigton fly half brave in his defence to stop him but suffered a nasty head/neck injury and was taken to hospital.
All at Hawcoat Park wish him all the best and hope the injury is not as bad as it looked
.A great team performance from all to earn a really good win against an impressive Wigton team.
Words of thanks also to Liverpool Society referee Kevin Toole who in his unfussy style controlled the game well.
John Horne - Hawcoat Park Rugby Union.
|The next 3
photos are from
Dave Watterson, many thanks
Upper Eden (3) v Hawcoat Park (17)
Saturday 17th December, 2016
A patched up maroon and whites side continued their good form of late with a hard earned victory away at Upper Eden. Wins are rare at the ‘graveyard’ the home ground of Upper Eden so to achieve the double this season when they are fighting hard in their own relegation battle reflects completing a great first part of the season under the inspired leadership of captain Danny White.
It was Upper Eden who hit the ground running and started the best. They put us under real pressure and it was only our strong defence which managed to stop them getting over our try line. They also narrowly missed a penalty goal attempt in the early exchanges which their efforts deserved.
Slowly but surely we managed to get a foot hold in the game and a good proportion of the game was being played in the Eden half. The Eden defence was as usual well organised and collectively we were having to work hard to get on the front foot. The game was frustrating and with lots of penalties a stop start affair, No 8 Mike Lightfoot spent 10 minutes in the sin bin for over excessive use of the boot trying to clear the ball from a ruck.
Midway through the half we scored our first try and it was a try made by the front row, props Andy Kent and John Donnan drove hard into the Eden defence before scrum half Jack Shannon moved the ball out quickly.
It was hooker Adam Grainger who showed a good turn of speed to slice through a gap drawing the full backs tackle he timed a good pass out to the supporting Lightfoot who ran round to touch down under the post. George Smith tagged over the conversion 0 - 7.
Despite most of the play we could not add to this score during the remaining part of the first half. Captain White went close as did winger Glenn Kaighan tackled just before the corner flag after good work by full back George Smith. Half time 0 - 7.
Eden were strong up front and applied pressure running hard round the fringes and the likes of Jonny Burrows and Callum Ramsay were having to work hard to counter their efforts. Fifteen minutes into the half Eden took the opportunity to boot over a 30 metre penalty goal. We finished the game strongly, second rows Will Mallinson and Ash Mowat were taking the ball up hard and fly half James Howden was bringing his runners into play particularly centre Grady Slater home from University and making good ground every time he got his hands on the ball.
From one good spell of pressure in the Eden 22 we scored our second try. From a clean Mike Lightfoot line out take, White got his hands on the ball at the back of a strong driving maul and nothing was going to stop him touching down. The conversion was too wide out.
Before the end there was time for White to score his second try, this time from a clean Ramsay line out take, a training ground move worked perfectly when White peeled round to force his way through would be tacklers at the front of the line out. Again the touchline conversion was just missed. Full time 3 - 17.
A good win enjoyed just before the festive break, the team are clearly enjoying their rugby, fifth place in a very competitive North Lancs/Cumbria league reflects the confidence installed in them by the coaching team of Dean Marwood and Paul Burns, the efforts of whom the players really appreciate.
The only down side was a knee injury suffered by Mallinson, which all at the club hope is not a serious as it looked as his 100% consistency of performance every week would be a real miss to the team.
Fleetwood (18) v Hawcoat Park (21)
Saturday 10th December, 2016
The maroon and whites turned in a real resilient performance to earn a great win in a real close arm wrestle and thereby earn the double against Fleetwood this season. It is a sign of just how much we have developed under the guidance of coach Dean Marwood this season that we could win this game all too often in the past this was the try of game that we would have often fallen short and finished second.
Fleetwood started well, they went through the phases rarely making mistakes and moving the ball about to good effect. They clearly possessed some pace out wide and were keen to bring them into play. Our defence had to be strong throughout the team with props John Donnan and Andy Kent working hard in this department and as usual skipper Danny White was leading the way with some crunching man and ball tackles.
Ten minutes in the Fleetwood No 8 took a 50 metre penalty kick at goal and demonstrated with a successful attempt what a good kicker he was. Five minutes later following our own good spell of pressure we levelled the scores when full back George Smith slotted over a 30 metre penalty kick 3 - 3.
Both sides’ defences were strong and yards made were hard yards, the back row contest was a good one with Callum Ramsay, Matt Sayle and Mike Lightfoot working very hard against their opposite numbers. In what was clearly going to be a close contest Fleetwood sensibly with a good kicker took every opportunity from a penalty to go for goal. A 30 metre penalty goal followed mid way through the half to make the score 6 - 3.
Soon after we scored our first try, from a good driving run into the heard of the Fleetwood central defence by centre Jack Sutherland the ball was moved out wide and following good work by fellow centre Chris Burns we were awarded a scrum close to the Fleetwood try line. We were starting to have a little bit of success at scrum time and from a good nudge No 8 Lightfoot touched down for a push over try. As the only individual to score a try all game this was a good reflection of an outstanding workmanlike performance throughout. The conversion was too wide out for Smith 6 - 8.
In this final quarter of the first half we got on the wrong side of the refs penalty count and three further successful penalty kicks followed, 15 - 8. As a consequence all the momentum was with Fleetwood and we were struggling to get any foothold in the game.
The Fleetwood scrum half was having a good game and causing problems with his powerful running and all round play. From one good blind side break down the touchline he looked certain to score until full Smith got across with an excellent cover tackle to prevent a certain try and Fleetwood stretching their lead. However, as half time approached Fleetwood booted over another penalty, half time 18 - 8.
The break came at the right time for us to try and regroup, with Dean Marwood heard to be instilling the confidence in the lads that despite a difficult frustrating first half the game was not in fact lost.
As the light was getting darker and the pitch heavier despite our best efforts Fleetwood were making life very difficult to get into the game with their strong well organised defence. That said we did manage to change the momentum and more of the play was in the Fleetwood half.
Mid way through the half we scored our second try strong running from replacement Ryan Milner returning from injury and good work by hard working hooker Adam Grainger set the platform for a scrum near the Fleetwood line. We got another good nudge on and the referee awarded a penalty try for Fleetwood having to illegally disrupt the scrum to prevent the push over. Smith added the conversion, 18 - 15.
Conditions were getting difficult for both teams; Fleetwood could not get their pacey backs into play and had certainly prepared well to counter our dominant line out and on most occasions were not contesting our throw ins. John Burrows spent 10 minutes in the sin bin a team yellow yard for penalties totting up. When awarded a penalty kick just inside the Fleetwood half, Smith was heard to express confidence he could kick the penalty from out of the mid. Thankfully he proved most people wrong by booting over a brilliant 50 metre penalty kick to level the scores 18 - 18.
This kick stung Fleetwood back into action and as full time approached camped on our line for 5 minutes. The teams defence was absolutely outstanding to keep them out. One particular hard tackle from Ashley Mowat caused a knock on over our line when a try looked certain.
With heads held high after this defensive effort we managed to break out. A neat pass from solid replacement scrum half Jack Shannon created a little bit of space for winger Ryan Clegg, He made good ground before kicking ahead. Showing his pace he looked to be held back in his chase for the ball but nevertheless put in a good tackle on the Fleetwood full back behind his own line. From the resulting scrum and a couple of drives to such in the Fleetwood defence both fly half James Howden and full back Smith were sat back in the pocket for a drop goal attempt.
As it turned out Shannon found Howden who became the hero of the day by slotting over a drop goal in the difficult conditions to win the game 21 - 18.
This really was a victory that had to be earned, the defence was superb preventing Fleetwood from scoring any trys with the team spirit under Captain White and the coaching team of Marwood and Paul Burns spot on.
On cabaret night the big pre Christmas social night of the season the day got even better when news came through that the A Team had also won in the last minute away at Blackburn.
Hawcoat Park (47) v Workington (14)
Saturday 3rd December, 2016
The maroon and whites continued their fine home form with a solid performance to earn victory against a big hard working Workington side who struggled to counter the pace and mobility generated on the fringes by in particular our outstanding second row pairing of skipper Danny White and Ashley Mowat, but grafted and made us work hard all game.
After five minutes we scored our first try, full back Elliot McDermott who was to go on and have a solid game spotted some space behind the Workington Zebras defensive line and put in a clever kick. Winger Glenn Kaighan showed his pace to win the race to the ball. Although the Zebras defence got across Kaighain slipped a neat pass inside to the supporting White to force his way over. Fly half George Smith booted over a good conversion, 7 - 0.
Fifteen minutes in White repaid the compliment by making a strong run and passing out to the supporting Kaighan who finished well in the corner. Smith just missed with his conversion but this was to prove his only miss in a fine performance.
Workington had a big pack that looked to make the hard yards around the fringes and our back row of Matt Sayle, Mike Lightfoot and Callum Ramsay had to work hard defensively. Workington themselves had an effective back row who were making life difficult at the break down.
Twenty five minutes into the half we scored our third try this time after good work by centres Jack Sutherland and Chris Burns, Mowat ran strongly to make a clean break before parting to winger Kaighan to touch down, Smith converted 19 - 0.
Just before half time there was just time for Kaighan to finish well for his first half hat trick of trys following good work by scrum half Jonny Burrows and the ever dependable Adam Grainger. Smith tagged over the conversion, half time 26 - 0.
Ten minutes into the second half we further extended our lead. Fly half Smith was controlling the game well and he put in a great flat pass out to centre Burns running hard onto the ball into the space the pass created for Burns to finish under the posts, Smith converted 33 - 0.
As to be expected from any Workington side they were certainly not going to roll over and were making life physically difficult. We got on the wrong side of the referees penalty count and the play became scrappy for the home supporters to watch. As usual Ramsay was having an outstanding game at the ‘coal face’ of the forward effort and from one of his ball steals the ball was moved out wide with good work by Ryan Clegg the ball reached replacement Josh Haney who with his first touch of the ball went on a typical 40 metres run down the touchline to score. Smith converted 40 - 0.
For varying reasons the maroon and whites went into the game with only the one recognised prop the always dependable Andy Kent. Club stalwart and committee man Chris Thompson put his hands up for his mates to play prop and then starting scrum half Jonny Burrows moved to hooker during the game with Adam Grainger moving across to prop most certainly not his preferred position.
All four of these lads mentioned deserve real credit for their efforts on behalf of the club at our time of need with their commitment appreciated by their team mates.
Workington strength was up front and slowly but surely their scrum was getting on top into the last quarter they were awarded a penalty try with our scrum back pedalling towards our line 47 - 7.
Our final try deservedly went to the outstanding Mowat. After the rock solid Sutherland and Lightfoot had set the platform, Mowat went on a barn storming run from the half way line bursting through would be tacklers to score an individual try. Smith capped off a fine game adding a good conversion, 47 - 7.
There was just time for Workington to add their second try, once again coming from a scrum. This time their No 8 touched down from a push over for a converted try, 47 - 14.
Going into the game lacking our recognised props was a concern but the team worked hard to counter these difficulties but at the end of the day it was the lads who stepped in who allowed this win.
A difficult trip to Fleetwood awaits next week as it is clear they will be seeking revenge for the recent 34 - 10 defeat they suffered in Barrow.
Photos from Dave Watterson
Carlisle (46) v Hawcoat Park (13)
Saturday 26th November, 2016
As to be expected following the recent cold snap upon arrival at Carlisle the pitch was firm and whilst there was a certain amount of hesitation in the squad as to whether certain patches of the pitch were playable there was certainly some hesitation about our play as a strong well organised Carlisle side shot into a 15 - 0 lead in the first 10 minutes of play.
The first try in the opening minutes was a little bit against the run of play we were in possession on about half way and when looking to stretch the ball in what looked like an overlap situation however not for the first time this season a loose pass was snapped up by the pacey Carlisle winger who showed a clean pair of heals to score the conversion just missed the posts 5 - 0.
Not long after Carlisle scored their second well worked try. A training ground move worked very well, looking to move the ball out wide a good short inside pass saw the strong running centre slice through the core near the posts the try was converted by as was a 30 metre penalty goal soon after 15 - 0. The game was certainly looking to run away from us at this point however slowly but surely we got back into the game and had the best of the second quarter of the first half.
The Carlisle pack was well drilled and workmanlike yards we made were hard with the likes of skipper Danny White and vice captain Will Mallinson driving into a stout defence. Our strong line out work was helping get a good foot hold in the game and after a spell attacking close to the Carlisle line and a few penalties referee Tyrone Castles awarded a penalty try for pulling down a driving maul. George Smith added the conversion, 15 - 7. Having played full back recently Smith was having a good game controlling our play from fly half and went very close to scoring after making a clean break and just not managing to link up with the support rapidly trying to back up his run.
However this good spell of pressure whilst just not managing to force our way over for a second try Smith added both a drop goal and 35 metre penalty goal to reduce the deficit to 15 - 13. However right on the half time whistle Carlisle stretched the lead with a 30 metre penalty goal. Half time 18 - 13.
The second half started just as well for us and the majority of the play was in the Carlisle half as we applied good pressure and Carlisle were hanging on this stage. Both winger Chris Burns and Glenn Kaighan went close which might just have changed the game. As usual back row Callum Ramsay was having his all action game and went close with another good break and after his 40 metre run co not link up with his support the Carlisle defence covered back well.
We were certainly made to rue these missed opportunities as Carlisle regrouped and finished the game very strongly. They had a fast three quarter line and looked dangerous every time they moved the ball also a really effective scrummage and really did dominate this aspect of the game towards the end. This scrum pressure resulted in a push over try and three further Carlisle trys on the back of this dominance as they turned the screw. All four of these trys were converted to give a final score 46 -13.
Whilst no doubting Carlisle were deserving winners and the better team on the day for a spell of this game we were close to toppling the league leaders and we certainly felt the score line did not reflect the balance of play.
Certainly when Carlisle travel to Barrow in the reverse fixture in the New Year if we can get a full squad out on the pitch we will be confident of improving on this what looked from the score as a one sided heavy defeat.
A word also for referee Dr Tyrone Castles who controlled the game well.
Hawcoat Park (48) v Silloth (14)
Saturday 19th November, 2016
The maroon and whites came out on top in the first competitive rugby union league game to be played at Craven Park, the home of Barrow Rugby league club. However, the score line did not reflect the part Silloth had in the game as always they were competitive throughout the full 80 minutes and at times rattled us preventing our recent free flowing movement and certainly created handling errors on our part with their strong defensive and tackling efforts.
Despite all the recent rain the pitch whilst tacky was in good condition and clearly reflected all the hard work the Raiders team have put in on their pitch.
After ten minutes of both teams testing each other out we took the lead with a good try.
The pack set the ball up with good forward drives and when Jonny Burrows recycled quick ball, full back George Smith came into the line at pace and slipped a great pass out to winger Will Coles who showed all his silky running skills to score in the corner.
Possibly keen to impress at their new surroundings our play became a bit scrappy as we tried to force play which resulted in the handling errors. At the same time Silloth were working very hard collectively as one team making life difficult for us.
Mid way through the half we scored our second try, props John Donnan and young Ryan Milner were running hard and put us on the front foot. All the hard work put in on the scrum machine was starting to pay off and we got on top of the scrums. After a spell on the Silloth line referee Ciaran Trainor awarded a penalty try when a scrum collapsed preventing a push over try. James Howden added the conversion, 12 - 0.
The back row of Callum Ramsay, Will Mallinson and Mike Lightfoot were showing up well and having to work hard to break through the Silloth stout defence. From another scrum near the Silloth line strong running vice captain Mallinson took upon himself to score picking up and forcing his way over near to the posts, Howden added the conversion 19 - 0.
As half time approached Silloth got on the score sheet with a good individual try from their scrum half, from a scrum 30 metres from our line he showed a good dummy and the space opened up for him for a run to the posts, the conversion was added, half time 19 - 7.
The second half started well with outstanding skipper Danny White scoring the first of his second half hat trick of trys. A good run by winger Ryan Clegg and good handling involving Matt Sayle and fly half Howden set up the position for White to force his way over in typical fashion, 24 - 7.
Silloth came back and narrowed our advantage to 10 points with their own try. Again it was an individual effort from their strong running No 8 who went on a good run forcing his way through tackles to touch down near the posts for a converted try, 24 - 14.
The influential White touched down for the next two trys wide out. The first following excellent work by the hard grafting Ramsey and the second following good work by Smith and hooker Adam Grainger, both conversions just went wide, 34 - 14.
We had a strong replacement bench of Jason Priss and Sayle and Grady Slater back home from Uni and this allowed for a freshening of players, something the tiring Silloth team did not have. We finished the stronger with two late trys, firstly following good support play and passing, centre Chris Burns spotted a gap for a deserving try, Smith slotted over the conversion 41 - 14. Just as he did with the first try the last try just before the end went to the impressive former Colt Coles who again ran well to finish in the corner. Smith booted over a great conversion. A good result finally put to bed the disappointment of last seasons 0 - 9 defeat in the equivalent home game last season. While improvements will be needed for the tough away trip to league leaders Carlisle next weekend this was a good team win that clearly had to be earned against a resolute Silloth side who played better than a side currently down near the bottom of the league.
A few thank yous to finish, firstly to the support given by the directors of Barrow RL and their administrative team who made us most welcome and could not have been more helpful.
Also to our match sponsors Steve Johnson and Jeffersons Hotel and our weekly raffle prize sponsors Shepherds Butchers who every week provide a platter of their top notch quality meat, this week they most generously increased the size of their platter and added a gift voucher to use in their shop. All at Hawcoat Park would like to thank these local businesses for their generous support.
Pictures sent in by Dave Watterson.
Wigton (42) v Hawcoat Park (26)
Saturday 12th November, 2016
After two great home wins we came back down to earth with a defeat away at Wigton which has never been an easy place to play.
Whilst the score line and with Wigton scoring 5 trys to our 4 trys did not perhaps reflect the play there is no doubt Wigton played well and certainly with their greater intensity deserved their victory on the day.
After two minutes and making use of the slight wind advantage the Wigton full back who was to go on to have a great game demonstrated he was an accurate kicker by banging over a 45 metre penalty kick.
As the game settled down and the exchanges were fairly even we had some good chances, following a good break by Mike Lightfoot 30 year old birthday boy Glenn Kaighan went close and then good work by Ryan Clegg and Will Coles very nearly created a try for full back Coles who was unlucky to see the bounce of the ball just evade him over the try line.
Fifteen minutes into the half Wigton extended their lead with a further 35 metre penalty goal 6 - 0. Then after 25 minutes against the run of play Wigton scored their first try. We were moving the ball well and off loading good passes among the forwards however on about the half way line as we booked to move the ball out wide the pass went behind the lads making up the overlap. The Wigton centre booted on the loose ball and as the bounce evaded our cover defence regathered to touch down for a converted try , 13 - 0.
Soon after we bounced back with our own first try good work by tenacious scrum half and the long striding Ash Mowat created space for centre Chris Burns he ran well before using winger Glenn Kaighan with a dummy pass to cut inside the cover to score, the conversion must missed 13 - 5.
Just before half time we let in a disappointing try. The impressive Wigton full back and fly half combined for their fly half to break right down the touchline through some poor defence to touch down out wide 18 - 5.
Even worse just into the second half Wigton further extended their lead. Once again they snapped up a loose ball and quick handling allowed their back row to make a break before parting to his supporting centre to touch down for a converted try, 25 - 5.
The commitment shown by the maroon and whites could not be questioned as we cranked up the pressure led by captain Dan White and vice captain Will Mallinson we pounded away at the Wigton defensive line and whilst the hard yards were made Wigton defensive structure close to the ruck and maul remained strong. Most ground was made as we moved the ball about at pace and back row Callum Ramsay was making some good half breaks which did not quite create the much needed next score. Wigton were playing a ruthless game and snapping up every possible chance that came their way and next on the score sheet was their fly half captain who ‘ghosted’ in for a try under the posts which was converted, 35 - 5.
This was a disappointing score to take the way the game had gone, our heads did not drop and we showed real character to score the next two trys both finished off well by hard working centre Jack Sutherland following good team work led by Adam Grainger and the consistent Jonny Burrows for the first and Lightfoot for the second. Both trys were well converted by fly half James Howden, 35 - 19.
However, just as it looked like momentum to the finish was going our way Wigton showed their character with a final try finished off by full back to cap off a fine performance be converted his own try 42 - 19.
At this point the game was clearly lost but with ten minutes remaining the game plan became all out effort to get a fourth try which would at least earn a bonus point.
Following strong drives by props John Donnan and Andy Kent and good work by replacement scrum half Jack Shannon we won a penalty in the Wigton 22. The line out option was taken and strong work by the pack against a resolute Wigton defence set up the position for Man of the Match White to show real strength to force his way over from close range. Howden booted a good conversion. Final score 42 - 26.
This was a good team performance against a well organised and committed Wigton team who deserved their win. Following a few late cry offs up front props Donnan and Kent had to play the full 80 minutes without a break and both went that extra yard for their team mate with strong performances. It is good to have scrum half Sam Hilton back in the fold and he was another to play well.
Attention now is to next week’s home game against Silloth Tigers which the players and all involved at Hawcoat Park are looking forward to as it is to be played at Craven Park, kick off 2.15 p.m.
Hawcoat Park 48 v Upper Eden 0
Saturday 5th November 2016
With confidence high after the performance and victory against league leaders Fleetwood last week, the maroon and whites turned in a tremendous team display to earn a rare big victory against the Upper Eden lads. Over many years the two clubs have built a good relationship on the back of an always close game at whichever venue but this was a game our pack was on fire and very difficult to stop.
Skipper Danny White was outstanding in leading the way with his own hat trick of trys and was throughout at the heart beat of everything that was good about the performance both in attack and defence. However, this was a team performance from a very well coached team. Certainly Dean Marwood and Paul Burns will likely be pleased with the no points scored against and their improved defensive structures put in place were clear to all the home followers.
Straight from the kick off Will Mallinson went very close after and not for the only time in the game stealing an Upper Eden ball. This set up the position for the first try which came in the first 5 minutes. From a clean Mike Lightfoot line out take, White got his hands on the ball and went on a powerful charging 25 metre run at one point carrying two defenders on his back with him before stretching out his long arm to score. Fly half James Howden booted over a great conversion 7 - 0.
Not long after White collected his second try again from a line out in the Upper Eden 22. This time however he snapped up a misdirected Upper Eden throw into the line out and had an almost clear run to the line, again Howden slotted over the conversion 14 - 0.
As to be expected Upper Eden showed the commitment you always get from the Kirby Stephen based lads and with their strong forwards working hard to try and get them on the front foot and their backs demonstrating some pace our defence across the team had to be well organised to keep them at bay.
The back row of Callum Ramsay, Lightfoot and Mallinson was outstanding and with the midfield defence of centres Jack Sutherland and Chris Burns always solid we kept Upper Eden out during this crucial period.
Twenty five minutes in the third try came and it was a pleasing one straight off the training ground. Scrum half Jonny Burrows was having a solid game in all aspects recycling the ball quickly with a flat pass and as it looked as if the ball was being stretched out wide hooker Adam Grainger slipped a neat short inside pass to the charging ‘Rhino’ Milner who was delighted to score under the posts, Howden added his third conversion 21 - 0.
Upper Eden would have the wind advantage in the second half and again had a good spell hammering away at our line again our goal line defence had to be strong to keep them out with props John Donnan and Andy Kent in particular doing well to get low to help keep out the drives.
Just before half time we scored the crucial 4th bonus earning try. Again the ball was stretched out wide but this time good hands by Howden and full back George Smith created some space for centre Burns to show his speed to touch down out wide, the conversion was missed. Half time 26 - 0.
Playing against the wind the home forwards understood the importance of ball possession through short drives and good support play which proved very effective. This was important as Upper Eden continued to demonstrate they could be a dangerous side with pace out wide.
Fifteen minutes into the half we scored our next try, Mallinson drew in the defence by driving hard in the right corner before the ball was quickly moved out wide left. Full back Smith came into the line on the overlap to touch down for the try 31 - 0.
Upper Eden never gave up and kept working hard showing their normal commitment right to the end. Replacement stalwart Tim Clark playing his 390th first team game was working hard in defence and along with Ramsay and Grainger put in some noticeable big hits in defence during this period.
However, before the end there was still the time for the outstanding second row duo of Ashley Mowat and Man of the Match White to add further trys the last of which Howden converted. Final score 48 - 0.
An excellent team performance from a well coached team clearly enjoying their rugby and certainly enjoyed by all the home supporters. It is a long time since we have seen the team running the ball effectively from our own half.
A word for Upper Eden the score line did not reflect their efforts. They were unfortunate to catch up on a day when we were so buoyant, the return fixture is just before Christmas and there is nothing more certain they will be looking for revenge on their own fortress ground know as the ‘graveyard’.
A special mention also for exchange referee Jim Bennett from the Liverpool Society, who communicated with the players throughout and had an excellent game.
Hawcoat Park 34 v Fleetwood 10
Saturday 29th October, 2016
The maroon and whites turned on a tremendous team performance to topple top of the league and previously unbeaten Fleetwood. Having a reputation for over reliance on our line out related expertise this was the home game that all the hard work put in by coaches Dean Marwood and Paul Burns were seen to pay off. The structures and confidence they have instilled into the play were evident to all and the players have certainly bought into their experience enjoyment and guidance they bring to the coaching sessions. All the team understand their roles and to now see the wingers and full back having such an influence on the lay with ball in hand was certainly appreciated by all the home supporters.
The team in particular had trained well this week and this was certainly evident in the early exchanges with all the play in the Fleetwood half.
However, hard as the likes of props Ryan Milner and John Donan pounded away at the Fleetwood line they increased the intensity of their defensive efforts and worked very hard to keep us out.
After 15 minutes Fleetwood showed their attacking skills when breaking into half for the first time. Good handling and support play from forwards and backs alike provided the opportunity for their No 8 to boot over a 35 metre penalty goal, 0 - 3.
Following this set back we reverted back to the game plan and mid way through the half took the lead. Following good work by half backs Sam Hilton and James Howden the ball was moved out wide to impressive young Will Coles before getting tackled into touch he put in a neat kick right down the touch line with the Fleetwood full back having no other option but to run the ball out near the corner flag. From the resulting line out we again applied the pressure on the Fleetwood line before Captain Danny White took it upon himself to force his way over in typical fashion, 5 - 3.
Full back George Smith was having a really solid game and his kicks down the touch lines helped keep us on the front foot. Following some good work by centre Chris Burns and back row Mike Lightfoot we camped on the Fleetwood line and eventually when their back row came in from the side of a maul to prevent a try the referee lost his patience and awarded a penalty try, George Smith booted the conversion, 12 - 3.
Fleetwood came right back, they had a big powerful pack with their short drives. Our defence had to be strong right across the team to keep them out. Skipper White was leading by example in all aspects and his big hits and defence stood out the same applies for returning Jack Sutherland who had a solid game throughout with his tackling very effective and helping prevent Fleetwood reducing our lead in this important period just before half time.
Just before the half time whistle, winger Elliot McDermott went very close to scoring in the corner, half time 12 - 3.
The second half could not have started any better. Straight from James Howden’s kick off Lightfoot must have taken the ball on the full right on the minimum 10 metre line he made ground before parting to his mate the excellent second row Ashley Mowat. In full stride he is very difficult to stop; as the cover defence got across he attempted to slip the ball inside to supporting winger Coles. Fleetwood got their hands on the ball to knock it back; Mowat did well to regather the loose ball to touch down out wide. The conversion just missed 17 - 3.
The fourth bonus point earning try ha all the home fans on their feet showing appreciation for a tremendous team try. Consistent high level performer Will Mallinson again drove hard into the Fleetwood defence. The ball was recycled quickly by Johnny Burrows and Smith before centre Chris Burns parted to winger Coles. He made good ground down the wing before skipping a great inside pass to supporting skipper White to touch down for a great try. Smith’s difficult conversion was the ‘icing on the cake’ 24 - 3.
Mid way through the half Fleetwood scored their only try and it came from a mix up on our part. From a scrum we won, the ball went loose with the pass back to make a clearance kick. The Fleetwood back row was quick to react and dive on the loose ball over our line. The try was converted, 24 - 10.
Our nerves of another close finish were put to rest with another excellent try. Andy Kent who just gets on with his work was having an excellent game standing in at hooker for Adam Grainger set the ball up well. A good run by Sutherland set up White he ran hard before parting to pacey winger McDermott who ran well to touch down, 29 - 10.
Just before the end there was just time for one more try. The impressive Smith now operating at scrum half put in a neat kick behind the Fleetwood defence, Coles showed good pace to win the race to the ball to touch down. Final score 34 - 10.
This was a great team performance bouncing back from the heavy defeat at Aspatria last week. In his first season as Captain, White is showing real responsibility leading his team well both on and off the pitch. It was great to see the back three of McDermott, Coles and Smith seeing so much of the ball and running so well. A special mention to the always consistent Burrows who again demonstrated his utility importance to the squad. Starting at back row he also played at scrum half and hooker during this game and did well in every position.
The club would like to show their appreciation and thank Shepherds Butchers for very their very kind generosity sponsoring the raffle prize every week with a tray of their quality meat which one of the Fleetwood lads will no doubt be enjoying for his Sunday lunch!
Aspatria 73 v v Hawcoat Park 10
Saturday 22nd October, 2016
Missing influential skipper Danny White, Jason Priss and fly half James Howden and with the majority of the team almost climbing straight on the bus following a night starting in a hospitality box celebrating the tremendous achievements and career of former Barrow RL captain Liam Harrison this was a very difficult game against a very good Aspatria side. On a perfect October day for rugby and on a perfect pitch the pace right across the Aspatria back line was too much for the maroon and whites to handle as they were clinical in their finishing.
The exchanges up front were even, however, making use of the conditions, Aspatria ran the ball at every possible opportunity from everywhere on the pitch plus Aspatria fly half Jack Clegg booting conversion for fun from anywhere on the pitch and this made for a very difficult afternoon for the maroon and whites.
We started the game very well, controlling the ball well through phases to set up a good position in the Aspatria half during the first 5 minutes.
First fly half George Smith hit the post with a 35 metre penalty attempt before using this attempt to boot one over from a similar position, 0 - 3. Soon after Mike Lightfoot made a good 30 metre run from the base of the scrum.
As to be expected Aspatria cranked up their pressure running the ball out wide. As they did all game centres Matt Sayle and Chris Burns and full back Elliot McDermott were doing well in the defence department and after Burns managed to pull off one great cover tackle eventually the Aspatria back row and then strong running centre Dan Rooney breached our defence for converted trys, 14 - 3.
The third Aspatria try summed up their style of play, fielding the ball deep in his own half the speedy Aspatria full back ran the ball out wide combined well with his winger who after making ground and drawing over the cover defence slipped the ball inside to his supporting centre to run under the posts from 70 metres a great try to watch - if you were a neutral or home supporter! At this point hard working hooker Adam Grainger had to leave the play with a calf injury.
A fourth Aspatria try followed, before probably our only real plus point during the game. From a line out on the Aspatria 22, second row Ashley Mowat took a clean line out catch and confusing the Aspatria defence instead of turning to his support turned forward to run strongly and force his way over the line. Hard working fly half George Smith slotted over a good conversion 26 - 10. Unfortunately as half time approached there was still the time for Aspatria to add a further converted try, half time 33 - 10.
The second half was all Aspatria, props John Donnan and Andy Kent played the full 80 minutes and put in a real shift, however, with club stalwart Tim Clark off early for the injured Grainger coach Paul Burns had limited replacement resources. Aspatria on the other hand had a strong replacement bench and took the opportunity to regularly freshen up their players. Always under the cosh a further 6 Aspatria trys followed. We did have some spells near the Aspatria line both scrum half Jack Shannon and John Donnan went close but the Aspatria defence remained strong.
In difficult circumstances centres Burns and Sayle had solid games and it was good to see Sayle back in a maroon and white shirt. Club stalwarts Ray and Carmen Sayle could be justifiably proud to see all three sons Matt, Lewis and Rory on the pitch together.
Stand in skipper Will Mallinson took the Man of the Match award after yet another consistent hard working performance. A word also for referee Martin Maughan who as always controlled the game well and sensibly.
A game to put to the back of our minds as we prepare to welcome league leaders Fleetwood to Hawcoat Park with coming weekend.
Trafford MV 38 v Hawcoat Park 39
Saturday 8th October 2016
On a great day for rugby, played at Trafford’s tremendous new club house and facilities, the maroon and whites turned on a tremendous team performance for 60 minutes and with a score at one point 10 - 34 for once our followers could have been excused for thinking at least this will be one match that we will not be panicking as we approached the end of the game - not the case!
We made a great start and scored in the first minutes, in our own half when awarded a penalty on a ‘free ball’ the ball was quickly moved through hands by James Howden and Chris Burns, centre Grady Slater made some ground before parting to winger Glenn Kaighan. He showed good pace to beat his man on the outside drawing the cover he passed inside to the supporting George Smith who touching the ball for the first time on his Hawcoat Park debut went over for the try near to the posts. Howden converted 0 - 7.
This score set the tone for the first 30 minutes of the first half where the maroon and white pack were dominating most phases putting us on the front foot. The Trafford defence was strong but they had to work overtime to keep out the likes of the rampaging Jason Priss and inspirational captain Danny White. After White was held just short of the line all the pressure eventually told. Hardworking hooker Adam Grainger recycled the ball quickly and when quickly moved out wide centre Chris Burns ran well into space to touch down from 30 metres. Howden slotted over a great conversion and soon after added a 30 metre penalty kick 0 - 17.
At this point scrum half Sam Hilton had to leave the field, playing his first game for some time he was having a good game slotting straight back in before he got a knock to the head and suffered some concussion.
Hilton was followed soon after by the Trafford prop with a red card, I am sure out of frustration he threw a punch at Priss in front of the ref who indicated he had no option but to dismiss him. The game was evened up for 10 minutes when skipper White received a yellow for a mistimed high tackle.
In this spell Trafford finished the first half strongly. With almost their first attacking spell in our half their centre ran strongly to touch down for a try. This was converted and soon after Trafford added a penalty of their own. The half time score of 10 - 17 was not really a reflection of the game and how well we had performed, that said fair play to Trafford who defended and were working very hard to keep us out.
We started the second half as strongly as the first, the back row of Callum Ramsay, Will Mallinson and replacement Tim Clark were having outstanding games with their differing styles complementing each other. Jonny Burrows who started in the back row before slotting in at scrum half to cover for Hilton is another who has started the season really consistently. The handling and team support play was proving too hot for Trafford to handle at this stage and three top notch trys followed. Full back Smith was having an outstanding game causing problems every time he burst into the line and looking assured as the last line of defence. From one strong run he combined well with Slater and Burrows to free up Kaighan on the outside. As the cover got across to him he slipped a neat pass to the supporting Priss who most unusually for him had a ‘walk in’ try. The conversion was missed. However, soon after during another spell of pressure outstanding second row Ashley Mowat showed great strength to power over from 15 metres 10 - 27. The best try of the lot came straight from the restart White had to use all his height to take a high kick. After making some hard yards and the front row of Andy Kent, Grainger and Priss setting the platform, fly half Howden moved the ball out wide Smith burst through again on a strong run before passing to the supporting Will Coles to run under the posts from 30 metres out. Certainly one of the best maroon and whites trys for some time. Howden converted 10 -34.
Trafford came right back and created a good try of their own with their prop touching down under the posts for a converted try, 17 - 34.
Mallinson appeared to settle our nerves when touching down for our sixth try. Picking the ball up at the base of the scrum he went blind and combined well with name sake Coles who slipped a neat ball back inside to Mallinson who forced his way over in typical fashion. 17 - 39.
The rest of the game was all Trafford, they clearly decided upon an initial strategy of running everything to try and get a bonus point for four trys and then quickly realised a further bonus point for finishing within 7 points of our score was on.
With their lively scrum half and mobile back row running everything 3 trys all converted followed. Not sure if we took our foot off the peddle thinking the job was done but after the performance before we are going to have to learn to finish off games in this very competitive North Lancs/Cumbria league. This is taking nothing away from the way Trafford finished off the game scoring 3 cracking trys thankfully the last of which came with no time to restart. Final score 38 - 39 and yet another Hawcoat Park that was brilliant to watch certainly if you were a neutral.
Disappointed at the way we finished, the whole squad can feel really proud of their performance and the style of play to achieve an important great win on the road. A special mention for prop Andy Kent with regular John Donnan not available and Ryan Milner crying off late ill, Andy showed real commitment playing the full 80 minutes in the front row. It was great to see both wingers Will Coles and Glenn Kaighan seeing more ball and running well. Will Mallinson took the Trafford Man of the Match award but must have been pushed all the way by Callum Ramsay whose work rate was outstanding. To finish off a good day Mallinson won the Man of the Match drink off.
A special mention for Manchester Society referee John Pemberton who still playing a bit had a real feel for the game and controlled the game in an outstanding way.
Thanks to Roger Coles for the photos
Hawcoat Park (25) v Old Aldwinians (20)
Saturday 1st October, 2016
Going back many years the games between the two clubs have tended to follow a similar pattern with two evenly matched sides playing out close hard physical matches always within the spirit of the game. This game certainly followed that trend, for the neutral watching it was an enjoyable exciting game, for the more mature maroon and white followers yet another home game where your heart ages by ten years in the space of 80 minutes!
Right from the kick off it was clear it was two evenly matched sides with the always big solid well organised Aldwinians pack going to be a good match for our recognised strength up front. However, it was Aldwinians who took the lead after 5 minutes, from our loose carry on the half way they moved the ball out wide to their right winger and not for the last time in the game he showed good speed and balanced running to score a great individual try from 50 metres out albeit at times through some ordinary defence on our part. With this run he certainly put a marker down for what we could expect for the remainder of the game and he looked dangerous and made ground every time he got his hands on the ball. The full back booted over a good conversion from wide out, 0 - 7.
The Aldwinians defence was strong and even our go to men for the hard yards Messrs Priss, Donnan and Milner had to work hard to get us on the front foot. From a penalty fly half James Howden put a good kick to the corner, from the resulting line out the outstanding Mike Lightfoot won a good clean ball the ball was moved out wide an second row Ashley Mowat took a short ball from skipper Danny White and once into his stride is very difficult to stop from 20 metres out. Mowat’s try close to the posts was converted by Howden, 7 - 7.
Aldwinians came right back and from a good spell of pressure their full back booted over a 35 metre penalty goal 7 - 10 and then after 30 minutes further extended their lead. Camped on our line for a while, good defence from the likes of Will Mallinson, Adam Grainger and Jonny Burrows managed to keep the ‘big lads’ out however their smart scrum half made good use of the chunky post pads by diving in to touch the ball down at the base of the posts. The conversion was a formality 7 - 17. Soon after impressive former colt Will Coles tracked right across the pitch to put in a vital cover tackle. Just before half time we scored a try at the right time to get back into the game from a penalty on the Aldwinians 22, whilst the older players and supporters were considering the kick at the goal to be the best option two young lads who were both having very solid games took it upon themselves to work a try. Scrum half Jack Shannon took a quick tap and made ground before parting to ‘Rhino’ Milner who ran hard onto the ball to force his way over for an important try. The conversion just missed half time 12 - 17.
The second half followed the same pattern and with what was obviously going to be a close game early in the half fly half Howden sensibly booted over a 30 metre penalty goal to reduce the lead further 15 - 17. However, soon after Aldwinians matched this with a penalty goal of their own 15 - 20.
Both teams were moving the ball well keeping it alive at every opportunity in an attempt to get the next vital try. Chris Burns and Mowat both went close following good handling moves and in defence out wide Glenn Kaighan and full back Elliott McDermott made some very timely interventions to prevent Aldwinians progress.
Captain Danny White although helping out in the centre was proving influential to his team with his solid tackling and driving the team forward. From a good spell in the Aldwinians 22 hooker Adam Grainger, Callum Ramsey and then replacement prop Andy Kent went close before the hardworking Lightfoot deservedly forced his way over for a try which Howden converted 22 - 20.
With 15 minutes to go Ryan Milner went on another rampaging run before parting to the supporting Coles although the try was just prevented from the resulting penalty Howden booted over a good 35 metre penalty goal, 25 - 20.
The last 10 minutes were frantic as Aldwinians threw everything at us in an attempt to gt a try. Whilst they went close on a couple of occasions including just missing a penalty kick out last ditch defence just about managed to keep them out.
Missing the controlling influence of the most unfortunate Scott Kaighan who awaits a scan to learn the extent of his knee injury, skipper White can feel proud of the efforts of his team who had to work very hard and show great team spirit to overcome a good Aldwinians side.
Another tough road trip awaits next week with a visit to Trafford.
Oldham (29) v Hawcoat Park (29)
Saturday 24th September, 2016
to Roger Coles
for the photographs
The maroon and whites travelled down the M6 to take on unbeaten table toppers Oldham and put in a tremendous performance to earn a draw. Before the game if a draw had been offered we would likely have taken that as a result, however it shows the spirit shown that we would be so disappointed that a last kick off the match penalty goal from Oldham meant the game finished all squaare.
We started the game well and applied some good early pressure, as usual props Jason Priss and John Donnan were taking the ball up well and looked to have made a perfect start when captain Danny White forced his way over, however, the ref spotted close range crossing among the forwards. At this point the game was delayed for some time when it was realised the Oldham hooker was laying on the ground in back play. It was not at first known what had happened but it would appear to be some form of heart scare, an ambulance was called to take him to hospital and all involved at Hawcoat Park extend to him all our best for a speedy recovery.
Oldham picked up the play better after the delay; they are always a powerful well coached team who play as collective unit. For ten minutes they applied constant pressure going through many error free phases, it was only some good defence that kept them at bay. The back row of Will Mallinson, Mike Lightfoot and Jonny Burrows were working overtime but eventually a gap was created for their back row to touch down near the posts for a converted try, 7 - 0. We came right back and fly half James Howden booted over a good 35 metre penalty goal, 7 -3.
Oldham had the wind advantage in the first half were kicking well to pin us back in our own half and through their three quarters looked dangerous every time they looked to move the ball.
When our clearance kick missed touch on about the half way Oldham kept the ball live down the wing and following some good support play between forwards and backs their centre finished off an excellent try which was converted, 14 - 3.
It was all Oldham at this time, their very good half back play pairing at scrum half and fly half were controlling the play and whilst skipper White was having a yellow card 10 minute rest Oldham took advantage and scored another well worked try moving the ball out wide well for their winger to finish off again the try was converted 21 - 3.
As half time approached we scored a vital try which against the wind had to be earned by some strong play by all the pack. Hardworking hooker Adam Grainger did the ground work, props Priss and Donnan battered away at the line before the outstanding second row Ashley Mowat forced his way over. The conversion was just missed. Half time 21 - 8.
The early exchanges of the second half were even, Oldham knew they were going to have to work hard up front with us now having the wind advantage and Scott Kaighan and Howden making good use of the same. Our pack slowly but surely were getting on top with both the line out and scrum going very well never an easy task against the always powerful Oldham pack. Replacements Ryan Milner and Andy Kent came on and made an immediate impact with young Milner making good round every time he touched the ball.
After 15 minutes of the second half, outstanding skipper White took it upon himself to get us back into the game with an individual try. He ran hard onto a crash ball 30 metres out to burst through for the touch down, which Howden converted well, 21 - 15.
Although at this stage we were managing to successfully starve them of a regular supply of ball by controlling proceedings up front the Oldham backs always looked dangerous. A really good ‘training ground’ move involving fast hands and a run around created space for their full back to burst into the line to score out wide 26 - 15. Soon after Mowat showed his fitness levels to somehow cover over into the corner to support Glenn Kaighan and stop the Oldham winger scoring what appeared to be a certain try.
We got back into the game with an excellent try, young scrum half Jack Shannon was having a solid game against a very good opposite number he recycled the ball a great long pass by White got the ball to the long striding Mowat in space he drew the cover before passing inside to the supporting Scott Kaighan to score near the posts, Howden converted 26 - 22.
With 10 minutes remaining we took the lead for the first time with another very good try. Centres Chris Burns and Grady Slater combined well; Mallinson was the link before the excellent Scott Kaighan burst through to draw the over and slip a good pass to young winger Will Coles to finish off well for his first try in a first team shirt. With the promise he is showing as he starts his senior career it will not be his last! Howden booted over a great touchline conversion 26 - 29.
The last 10 minutes were frantic, Oldham stepped up their game as we attempted to control the ball up front and run the clock down. Unfortunately for us right at the end Oldham were awarded a penalty and with the last kick of the game booted over a 35 metre penalty goal.
Whilst disappointed not to win the game, this was a performance that everyone of the squad can feel very proud and will hopefully be a confidence booster for the important home game against Aldwinians next week.
A word also for Manchester Society referee Kieron Henry who controlled the game very well. Talking to him he had refereed a grammar school game in Lancaster on the morning of the game. With a shortage of referees in our area at times we do not appreciate the commitments they show and just how important a role they play.
Hawcoat Park (38) v Littleborough (32)
Saturday 17th September, 2016
For the second week in succession the hearts of the maroon and white followers were given a severe testing, this time however we managed to hang on for a narrow win. Hanging on was the last think on the players and coaches minds at the half time huddle with a score line of 31 - 0 and the team playing more like the All Blacks at times. Wow what a contrast in the second half when Littleborough dominated proceedings and with the score board momentum in their various almost pulled off the most unlikely of wins.
We started the game well with Littleborough still suffering from their long journey to Barrow the pack applied some sustained pressure on the line and whilst Littleborough defended well eventually powerful prop John Donnan got his hands on the ball and forced his way over from close range, James Howden slotted over the conversion, 7 - 0.
Littleborough came right back and had their own spell camped in our 22, it took some good defence from the likes of Ryan Milner with his customary big hits and the hardworking Callum Ramsay and Jonny Burrows to keep them out.
Half backs Anthony Munday and Scott Kaighan were taking control of the game and through their prompting and Kaighan’s kicking game we were getting on the front foot. As with last week the scrum was going well and following food work down the left wing by Glenn Kaighan the ball was moved quickly through hands and Howden supplied the final pass for centre Chris Burns to finish off well in the right corner the difficult conversion was just missed by Howden, 12 - 0.
Second row Ashley Mowat was having an outstanding game both in the loose and at the line out and from one of his clean catches the pack were quick to get the driving maul going for skipper Danny White to finish off, Howden converted, 19 - 0.
The fourth try was well appreciated by the home supporters, following initial forward drives by powerful prop Jason Priss and Andy Kent the ball was quickly moved out wide, highly promising former colt Will Coles beat his man on the outside before slipping a neat inside pass to supporting full back Elliott McDermott to finish off well in the corner, the conversion was missed, 24 - 0.
The final try of the half and No 8 White’s second was an exact copy of his first, a clean line take by Mowat well drilled forward drive over the line or White to score, Howden converted for a 31 - 0 half time lead.
A shell shocked LIttleborough certainly must have regrouped at half time. Always a proud and powerful side and usually difficult to break down the message must have been let’s give this a go and return home with a bit of pride, and certainly the second half was completely a different story. We appeared to think after the first half the job was completed and at times tried to be a bit ‘flashy’ and left ourselves isolated but this was to take nothing away from Littleborough who hit us with everything they had from all areas of the pitch.
Hawcoat Park (22) v De La Salle (26)
Saturday 10th September, 2016
This really was a difficult defeat for the maroon and whites to take as it was a game we all felt we deserved to get more than a losing bonus point from.
We were on top in the forward exchanges scored 3 trys to Della’s 2 trys and if pushed even the most diehard Della supporter would acknowledge we were unfortunate to concede a last minute try to give Della the victory.
Recent games between the two teams have resulted in close contests and the thing you know about De La Salle is they are a collective unit who will stick together and never give up to the final whistle. So whilst having our noses in front throughout most the game and controlling proceedings we never managed to get that two scores in front to have any breathing space, Della’s cause was also assisted by their second row who had certainly brought his kicking boots to Barrow slotting over 4 penalty goals from all areas of the pitch and one exception conversion from the touchline.
We started the game well and retained possession against the normal strong well organised Della defence. Slowly but surely Della got into the game and after 10 minutes their second row booted over the first of his penalty goals from 35 metres 0 - 3.
With Jason Priss and Will Mallinson in particular making the hard yards as they did throughout the game we had a good spell in the Della 22 and from a clean line out take by Mike Lightfoot the ball was moved out to Grady Slater who slipped a neat pass to barnstorming second row Ashley Mowat who at pace was not going to be stopped from 20 metres out and scored under the posts, James Howden added the conversion 7 - 3. The lead was reduced when the De La Salle second row slotted over another good penalty kick 7 - 6. This was cancelled out by James Howden who booted over a penalty goal for 10 - 6.
It was Della’s turn to have a spell of pressure as they camped on the right side of our 22m good defence from the likes of Jonny Burrows, Ryan Milner and Adam Grainger managed to keep them out until they quickly moved the ball for an excellent try. The ball was moved right through all the backs including a training ground miss move which resulted in their left winger touching down in the corner. The conversion was booted over from right on the touchline, 10 - 13.
As the first half was coming to an end we really started to get on top at the scrum, where all the hard work on the scrum machine with Ray Sayle was starting to pay off. This allowed for a position where this time Ashley Mowat took a clean line out ball, the ball was took up by Priss and Mallinson who got us on the front foot before prop John Donnan forced his way over for a deserved try. James Howden slotted over the conversion. Right on the half time whilst Della reduced the lead with another penalty goal. Half time 17 - 16.
The second half started off in a similar manner, half backs scrum half Anthony Munday and Howden were keeping us going forward with their differing styles, the scrum and line out was going well but as usual De La Salle were very workmanlike and proving difficult to breakdown.
Young winger, Will Coles and Rob Sheppard whilst not seeing much good ball to run with, looked accomplished.
Mid way through the half after good work among the forward skipper Danny White scored a typical try after a forceful run to the line he used to long reach to stretch over among a mass of bodies 22 - 16.
Soon after he looked to have repeated the try but this time was judged to have just gone into touch before getting over the line.
Once again De La Salle booted over a penalty goal 22 - 19 and then five minutes or so before the end just missed a long distance penalty his only failure of the game which would have levelled the scores.
With the clock ticking down to the final minute, disaster struck for the home side. Desperately keeping the ball alive in an attempt to get back into the game, Della showed their typical team spirit by supporting an initial forward drive for their back row to spot a gap and to the absolute delight of team mates cross for the winning try, which was converted, final score 22- 26.
Whilst a difficult one to take we will just need to dust ourselves down in training this week in preparation for next weeks home game against Littleborough another tough task in this very competitive North Lancs/Cumbria league.
Very popular experienced A Team skipper Martin Kennedy recently underwent surgery and will be laid low for a while recovering from this operation. All at Hawcoat Park wish ‘Mr Kennedy’ as he is respectfully and affectionately known by all his younger team mates a speedy recovery and hope to see him at the club soon.
Bolton (37) v Hawcoat Park (10)
Saturday 3rd September, 2016
A minutes silence was held before the game in memory of John Harrison.
Bolton away for the first game of the season is a tough ask. They are a big strong side and were up near the top of the North Lancs/Cumbria League last season losing out in the promoting playoff game. With six regulars attending a wedding the task was made even harder. The pitch was firm and in perfect condition, however, the constant heavy rain throughout made for unpleasant and difficult conditions. Whilst Bolton were deserving winners and controlling the game in the second period when their powerful pack got on top we put in a hard working performance and the score line did not reflect the commitment shown by the whole team.
The game started off evenly with both teams settling into a new league season and testing each other out.
With new captain Danny White and his vice captain Will Mallinson leading from the front in the ‘big hits’ and tackling department the rest of the team followed their example and the first 30 minutes were relatively even. It was good to have half backs Anthony Munday and Scott Kaighan back after long term injuries and both played important roles in countering Bolton’s early efforts.
After 30 minutes Bolton took the lead, the young Bolton scrum half was having a good game and scored out wide, the try was well converted and a penalty goal was added soon after, 10 - 0.
The last five minutes brought two further trys one for each side. Firstly Bolton extended their lead a regathered kick through on the greasy surface allowed some good handling and the supporting Bolton scrum half to support the move on the inside and run in from 20 metres again the try was converted, 17 - 0.
We scored the last try of the half, following good work by Grady Slater and second row Rory Sayle who was having a solid game against bigger opponents eventually Jason Priss got his hands on the ball and in typical fashion forced his way over under a mass of bodies. Half time 17 - 5.
With little by way of forward replacements the likes of Jonny Burrows, Andy Kent and Ryan Milner were having to work overtime up front. Slowly but surely the bigger more powerful Bolton pack picked up we were under the cosh and applied some real pressure to the forward exchanges. Missing out three normal line out options Bolton got on top in the scrum and line out and three further trys were scored at regular intervals all by forwards through a push over and line out drives, 32 - 5.
The last Bolton try was unusual and thankfully did not affect the outcome of the game. After applying some pressure on the Bolton line hard running Ryan Milner looked like he had forced his way over for a try. Both teams felt the referee was signalling for a try but was in fact signalling a penalty for a double movement. A Bolton forward took a quick tap as all the other players had stopped he parted to the supporting scrum half who showed good pace to run the length of the field for his hat trick try.
Showing good team spirit there was just the time to score the final try of the match. Hard working prop John Donnan made a strong run down the narrow side before slipping a near short pass to winger Glenn Kaighan to finish off in the corner, final score 37 - 10.
Despite what on paper is a heavy defeat there was a lot of positives to come out of the game not least the commitment and team spirit shown. Bolton away is one of many hard games in this very competitive league but skipper Danny White can feel confident that fortunes can improve once a few troops return.
Former colt Will Coles had a good debut and looked very assured particularly when moving to full back. He looks an outstanding prospect with a big future and Jordan Glew, Sam Jones (both on debut) and Ryan Clegg were all solid with the conditions preventing them seeing much ball. The club appreciates them stepping in at short notice.
It was good also to see another Colt Jack Shannon return to action after his long layoff with knee problems. He continues to look another good prospect for the future.
John Horne - Hawcoat Park Rugby Union.
A TEAM REPORTS
Hawcoat Park A (13) v Tyldesley (12)
Saturday 4th March 2017
Hawcoat showed great character to reach
the Shield semi-final beating our league undefeated leaders. The first chance
of points went to Tyldesley in the 5th minute when a penalty went wide of the
posts. Tyldesley were having most of the ball until a well taken interception in
the centre by Grady Slater on the half way line took him to the 22 where the
supporting Dave Wynne took over to score, cv missed 5 - 0 in the 10th minute.
Hawcoat were beginning to get some possession, gaining ground taking it to the
opposition by both forwards and backs,the pressure resulted in a penalty for a
high tackle which Euan James slotted between the posts 8-0. Tyldesley then
showed why they are top of the league when their forwards got a try from a good
rolling maul, a good cv from the touch line 8 - 7 with 21 minutes played. James
was using his boot to good effect in keeping the play in the Tyldesley half. The
forwards scrummage was solid with good ball being served up for scrum half Scott
Garnett who had a good effective 80 minutes and
improves with playing. With 5 minutes to half time Wynne scored his second try being fed by Captain Kennedy he burst through two tackle to
score in the corner, James cv hit the upright and bounced out 13-7 which was the half time score.The second half started with some good pressure drives by Hawcoat putting the Tyldesley forwards under pressure, a few punches being thrown in one such drive resulted in a harsh red card being shown to Hawcoat for retaliation, down to 14 men with 33 minutes to play. Hawcoat players to a man stepped up to be counted and held out for 20 minutes when the Tyldesley 8 pushed our 7 over the line for a try cv missed 13 - 12 with 7 minutes to play. Hawcoat were still playing rugby when in
possession and looked to have scored a try for the ref to disallow for an adjudged forward pass. Hawcoat were putting in some good tackles to
keep their line in tact, one from Euan James stood out as a try saver just before the final whistle. Great victory and team performance, well
Hawcoat Park A (5) v Tyldesley (38)
Saturday 14th January 2017
Sunny, cool day with a slight north wind.
The top of the table side had come for a win and soon showed their intentions
with a penalty in the 9th minute following pressure in the Hawcoat half from the
ko whistle 0-3. Hawcoat were playing with very little ball hardly winning a ball
from the lineouts the entire game. In the 17th minute following some slack play
Tyldesley had a 5 metre scrum which they scored a converted try 0-10. Tyldesley
ran in another try in the 26th minute when the left wing outpaced our defence to
score under the posts,cv good 0-17. Hawcoat were living off scraps of ball which
all too often got overturned by the well drilled opposition forwards who scored
a converted try in the 32nd
minute 0 - 24.
Hawcoat had 2 yellow cards in the 10th and 11th minutes, a rare attack from Hawcoat in the 19th minute saw us reach the opponents 22 to see the ball turn over and Tyldesley run and score a converted try at the other end 0-31. Hawcoat were back to 15 men on the pitch, strung a few passages of play together and were rewarded by a try scored in the corner by Connor McDermott 5-31 in the 26th minute.
Hawcoat then gave away a replica try to the previous when we went down the middle reached the 22 to then have the ball turned over and Tyldesley run 80 metres to score another converted try 5-38 which was the final score at 80 minute.
The game which must have been 70/30 % possession to the opposition equates to a lot of tackling for our side. An even share of ball would have made this a competitive game which winning your own lineout ball and ball retention in contact needs to be addressed to achieve.
Joe Rea, Harrison O'Brian and Paul Woodburn
put in a good shift in the forwards, thanks to Furness players Mark Hall and
Gary Thompson who turned out for us.
Hawcoat Park A (51) v Bolton 3rds (5)
Saturday 7th January 2017
Foggy day, very wet under foot and not played for a
month which showed in the first 20 minutes where several unforced errors
occurred. In the 7th minute Bolton put 5 points on the board when three tackles
on the Bolton fly half were missed on his run from half way down the touch line
to score in the corner 0-5. In the 20th minute following some good forward
drives Charlie Butterworth was grounded inches short, a quickly recycled ball
found the returning captain Martin Kennedy to dive over
the whitewash untouched, welcome back Martin 5-5. Hawcoat were having plenty of possession in the Bolton half which lead to Dave Wynne scoring from a kick through 10-5. From the kick off Grady Slater collected the ball on the 22 making a penetrating run beating several players before the ball was recycled to Moses at fly half to make room and feed winger Rob Shepherd who rounded his opposite number and outpaced the cover to score 15-5. Soon after the half time whistle blew. One minute into the second half saw Hawcoat take a quick tap penalty which found McParland running at pace beating the Bolton defence for a fine try, cv Adam Williamson 22-5. In the 45th minute the sharp running McParland scored again 27-5. Hawcoat were retaining a lot of possession and using it better than the first half leading to trys from Slater
beating half the Bolton side to touch down, cv Williamson 34-5, then Joe Rea who was having a good all round game scored following some good ground gained by the backs 39-5. In the 61st minute a backs move saw Joe Ward split the Bolton defence to score 44-5. A minute later Josh Archer ran in a fine individual try which Dave Wynne converted 51-5. Ref Andy Murray who had a fine game then blew the full time whistle.A good team effort which saw John Moses showing some nice touches with ball in hand and from his boot, wing forward Grady Slater had a fine resolute game in defence and a determined running game with ball in hand. Tyldesley next week at home, lets all be up for the table toppers.
Hawcoat Park A (60 ) v Vale of Lune 4ths (12 )
Saturday 26th November 2016
Hawcoat raced into an early lead with three converted tries from Jay Crowe, Matt Burrows and Lewis Sayle, but unfortunately Burrows had to leave the field early after a recurrence of an ankle injury. Vale replied with a converted try to make the score 21-7.
Park’s 4th try came from an excellent break from Euan James following a scrum, passing inside to the supporting Dave Wynne. Vale’s strength lay in their large forwards and after a series of line-outs and penalties, they crashed over to make the score 26-12.
Hawcoat scored two tries in the last minute before half time, firstly through Andy Kent, pouncing on a loose tap from a Vale line-out on their own 5 m line. Then from the restart, after a good catch and drive by ex colt Kyle Waterson, making his senior debut, Connor McDermott burst through the Vale defence from half way, to sprint to the line. Must be noted that Dave Wynne hit the post with the conversion, from a position where even the front-row would have fancied their chances!
Half Time 36-12.
The first quarter of an hour of the second half was scrappy, with multiple Hawcoat substitutions to ensure that the full squad of 22 got game time. The next try was a fine solo effort by another debutant, Josh Archer, fielding a high kick from Vale on his own 10m line and outpacing the defence down the touchline to score, this time Mr Wynne didn’t miss! Big Paulie Woodburn then crashed over from close range, again converted, this time by Euan James, 50-12. This was followed by possibly the best try of the game, straight from the kick-off. Harrison O’Brien set off from the Park 22, on a mazy run deep into the Vale half, offloaded to Rory Sayle, who set up a ruck, from which Callum Lamont crashed over the line.
The final try came from a clean line-out take by Rory Sayle, another break from Euan James, feeding Dave Wynne to score. Another great home performance, only criticism being a bit more pace needed in the pack, to get to the breakdown. Better sides will take advantage! Now need to get similar numbers out for away games, guys – if we do, promotion is a realistic target!
Comment of the day, from Dave Wynne to grey-bearded Vale (prop?): Oi mate, don’t go getting yourself injured before the 25th!
Upper Eden Boars 20 - 16 Hawcoat Park A
Saturday 19th November, 2016
A lot of snow on the hills, mountains and side of the roads but none on the pitch. We travelled with 15 players with Dave Wynne doing a good job as captain. The game was only a minute old when a quick ball from the first scrum saw fly half Lewis Sayle slice through the home defence to feed bus driver Jay Crowe to score 0 -5. Eden were soon on the attack and hit the post with a penalty attempt, soon after Eden had a 5 metre lineout from which their forwards caught and drove over the Hawcoat line cv good 7 -5 with 11 minutes gone. Eden put a penalty between the post in the 13th minute 10-0. Eden were having a lot of possession mainly from line-outs where Hawcoat rarely won a ball all afternoon, only resolute defensive work countering the Eden attacks. In the 26th minute an Eden centre showed a clean pair of heels to score a good but soft try from my point of view 15- 5. The rest of the half saw some good ball retention from our forwards with the likes of the Woodburn brothers Mark and Paul driving in hard to gain ground. Young Charlie Butterworth was having a fine all round game in his first senior outing showing lots of potential for the future. We also had a couple of kickable penalties that we chose not to have a go at.
The second half began with Hawcoat not
clearing the ball down the line from in our 22 and the Eden side gaining
possession for their backs to take the opportunity to score 20-5. Elliot
McDermott was showing from the fullback birth what good vision he has for a
break backed up with his deceptive pace, from one of his runs a poor final pass
prevented us from scoring. In the 54th minute following good forward play by
Ryan Brown, Rob Harvey and Joe Rea a penalty was awarded which Ewan James
playing in the unfamiliar number 8 position stroked the ball nicely between the
posts 20-8. Eden were being penalised often for forward offences when we were
taking them on, from one of these James put another good kick between the posts
to bring the score closer 20- 11. Hawcoats forwards were putting Eden under a
lot of pressure pummelling their line, the ball should have gone out to the
backs a few times where overlaps were begging to be used. In the 76th minute
the ball was finally transferred along the back line for Dan Hayes to score in
the corner 20- 16 and 5 minutes to play. Two minutes to go when McDermott made a
break from our 22 gained ground and put a long kick in
which Eden under pressure kicked into touch on their 5 metre line. Our throw in and a chance to score against the creaking Eden defence and win
the game, not to be, Eden took our throw again kicked to touch and the ref blew for full time, a disappointing end after a grafting 80 minutes by all 15 players. Half backs Shannon and Sayle had solid games along with Rob Shepherd on the wing, Dave Wynne put some telling tackles in, Joe Garnet played well in the loose. After a nice scran and a jug from Eden we had a couple of more pints before setting off home with some good vibes on the bus from DJ Rob Harvey.
Well played boys now lets be up for the visit of Vale of Lune to Hawcoat next week and then let us get some of our Home only players on the bus to Rossendale the following week.
Hawcoat Park "A" 80-12 Bury 2nds
Saturday 12th November, 2016
The pitch looked great and stayed great considering the rain that had come down this week. The Hawcoat Park side gave a splendid team performance which was a pleasure to watch. In the second minute Hawcoat scored the first of 12 trys when Connor McDermott went under the posts
following an initial break by Lewis Sayle from full back, cv James 7-0. Hawcoat were putting some great play together when fly half James kicked
diagonally for wing Rodney Odondi to collect and score, cv James 14-0. Bury then scored from a poor clearance kick being charged down, converted 14-7 tut tut Lewis.
Hawcoat forwards were punching holes in the Bury defence when young Harrison O'Brian broke the line for Jake Vial to score after some slick handling, cv James 21-7. In the 17th minute following some good interplay Connor McDermott scored his second try, cv missed 26-7. In the 23rd minute Dave Wynne finished off a great team try started by big second row Cockcayne who had made several telling breaks, cv missed 31-7. Matthew Sayles who had been putting some good tackles in and supporting in possession popped up to cross the whitewash, he took over the goal kicking and put over the first of 7 out of 7 try conversions from touch line to under the posts, great kicking Matthew, 38-7. The final score of the half was a 60 metre effort from winger Dan Hayes cv good 45 - 7.
It took 5 minutes from the ko for Hawcoat
to score when a penalty try was awarded cv good 52-7. Hawcoat forwards and backs
were recycling the
ball swiftly when in contact which was creating chances to score, Hayes ran in a second try from one of these chances cv good 59-7. Bury had never given up but were a couple of yards slower in pace and thought but still managed to put pressure on the Hawcoat line by their forwards and were rewarded with a well taken try cv missed 59-12. Following the ball being transferred across and back again Connor McDermott crossed the line in the corner, great cv by Matthew Sayles 66-12. A great tackle on our 22 resulted in a loose ball which we snapped up for McDermott to gain ground kick ahead and win the foot race to score his 4th try cv good 73-12. Hawcoats final try by Rodney Odondi showing his pace and ability cv good 80-12 full time.
Great team performance from 1 to 15 enjoyed
by all the "old farts" on the touch line, Harrison O'Brian playing out of
position at Prop had a fine all round game, back row players Scott Houston and
Eric Hill performed well as did Rodney Odondi and Dave Wynne to mention just a
Lets all be available away at Upper Eden next week and carry on this weeks performance.
15th October 2016
Hawcoat Park A 45 v Didsbury 3rd 18
Weather lovely for this Raging Bull cup
game. Didsbury were looking to move the ball at any opportunity in the first
exchanges and went in the lead when a penalty was awarded, the kicker was
successful 0-3 after 11 minutes. From the restart deep in the Hawcoat half saw
young Connor McDermott show great ability at rounding players and pace to finish
a great individual try cv Howden 7-3. In the 20th minute Hawcoat scored another
good try for the spectators, Will Mallinson made a great ground gaining run into
the Didsbury half to set the platform for the backs to feed Rodney Odondi on the
wing in full flight to cut inside his opposite number and run the ball under the
posts, cv Howden 14-3.In the 25th minute another team try starting with the
forwards driving and recycling turning the opposition again and again,
committing opposition backs and then transferring to the slick Hawcoat backs
where Jay Crowe ran in the try with 2 supporting players to spare cv Howden
21-3. The remainder of the half was even with Didsburys forwards getting
some good passages of play together, half time 21 - 3.
The second half was only 5 minutes old when the impressive Mallinson scored cv missed 26-3.In the 16th minute Ryan Brown drove down the middle supported by Pat Samiento and Liam Burns, Shannon made the link from the rucked ball to Connor McDermott showing good balanced direct running to slice through the Didsbury centres to score cv good 33-3. Didsbury put some forward drives together and were awarded a try out wide cv missed 33-8.Hawcoat then scored a lovely try when Lewis Sayle broke the line fed Connor McDermott who put a delicate kick ahead for young Dan Armistead to gather off the wing to score cv missed 38-8. In the 30th minute Hawcoat scored their final try when following some forward inter passing Will Cole ran onto the ball to snap up a try for himself cv Howden 45-8. Hawcoat were making a few substitutions and Didsbury were performing better in the forwards, holding possession, creating better chances to score 2 trys in the last 10 minutes one converted 45-18 Full Time score.
Well played to both sides, Hawcoat to concentrate on tackling low, retaining possession in contact and keep doing plays that are getting you scores.
Let's have everyone available away at Orrell St James next week. Terry Williamson
8th October 2016
Hawcoat A 44 - 34 Clitheroe A
For all the OAP ex players watching "come back Eddie Northcott all is forgiven".
Nice day for rugby with the pitch looking wonderful, Hawcoat had the bare minimum 15 and Clitheroe travelling with 18. After 6 minutes of possession Clitheroe scored a try 0 - 5. Hawcoat got themselves into a good position in the Clitheroe 22 and were awarded a penalty that Adam Williamson put between the posts 3- 5 after 10 minutes. Hawcoat took the lead when Martin Heywood took the ball straightened up and crashed over the line, cv Williamson 10-5. Hawcoat then had 2 players yellow carded within 2 minutes for high tackles (seen much worse playing tig in the tennis courts} making it 13 against 15. During the yellow card period Clitheroe only managed to score a try and conversion with Hawcoat managing the same when Adam Williamson scored and converted 17-12.
Hawcoat were looking dangerous in the backs where Matthew Burrows at full back was turning defence into attack when the opportunity came his
way. The forwards were fairing well against a big Clitheroe pack with stand in forwards Dave Wynne (centre) and Ian McCallister (first team wing 15 years ago) putting in some solid tackling, well done boys. In the 30th minute Hawcoat had the supporters cheering when from in our 22 a good high kick into the Clitheroe half was fielded by the ever improving Rodney Odondi who evaded players before handing on to the supporting Dan Vial to finish off a race to the line cv good 24-12. In the 39th minute Hawcoat were awarded a rare penalty just inside the Clitheroe half, Matt Burrows stepped up and planted a great kick between the posts 27 -12 the half time whistle blew.
The second half started off with some great
tackling by the forwards under great pressure following a barrage of penalties,
Joe Rea stood out
showing what a good senior prospect he is with Pat Samiento also in the thick of it. Clitheroe did managed to breech the line and convert 27- 19. In the 56 minute following drives and recycling by Brown, Burns and Morgan the ball was transferred to the backs where Dan Vial threw a great ball missing his co centre and hitting winger Dan Armistead (another great prospect) in full stride to run in a lovely try cv wide 32-19. In the 64th minute Clitheroe scored a try following more penalties 32-24. Matt Burrows then ran in a good try following excellent forward drives, cv good 39 -24. Clitheroe looked to be scoring a try when Rodney Odondi put in a perfect tackle on a running forward 2 yards short of the line, drove him back and robbed the ball "a classic enjoyed by everyone" A couple of minutes later Clitheroe did score 39-29 and minutes to play. Dave Wynne now back in his centre position intercepted to score under the posts, can't believe Adam Williamson missed the cv 44- 29. Clitheroe who played the full 80 minutes with a never say die
attitude scored the final try in the last few seconds of the half 44 - 34.
A good team performance, well played, bring on next weeks cup game at home.
P.S. great result for 1st team away at Metro Vic
1st October 2016
Tyldesley A 80 - 26 Hawcoat A
Ten players and myself set off on a 1 hour 45 minute journey on a reasonable day with Jay Crowe in the minibus driving seat and then playing scrum half in the game, well done Jay. Tyldesley had 17/18 players but didn't want to even the sides up which meant playing 10 against 11 with them having plenty of subs. A great thankyou to the 10 that travelled, who all played out of there socks, the score line does not relate to the effort put in and I'm sure Tyldesley were glad we didn't have 15 players.
Tyldesley kicked off and the Hawcoat forwards drove in with brothers Paul and Mark Woodburn up front, reaching the Tyldesley 22 the ball was recycled to the backs where Lewis Sayle ghosted through the oppositions backs to score under the posts cv Wynne 0-7. In the 11th minute from a scrum on our 5 metre line Tyldesley scored with the extra man on the wing 5-7. In the 13th minute Mark Woodburn was harshly yellow carded. In the 20th minute against the odds Hawcoat again scored with liam Burns, Ryan Brown and Rory Sayle making yardage before Josh Vial went on a storming run to score leaving wouldbe tacklers in his wake, cv missed 5-12 to Hawcoat.
Tyldesley scored a try and cv to make the
score level 12-12 after 21 mins. Paul Woodburn was then yellow carded for
pushing an opponent who accidently stood on the ref's foot, it was a first for
me having two brothers off at the same time from different yellow card
incidents. The ref had his cards out again in the 30th minute but this time a
Red for Josh Vial who had been putting some crunching tackles in.
Now down to 9 men against 11 Tyldesley ran in a converted try just before the Half time whistle 19-12 to TyldesleyThe second half started with Tyldesley having a 2 man overlap every time they had possession, only great cover tackling by Rodney Odondi who was playing wing come fullback and Dave Wynne and Jay Crowe who were also covering 2 positions preventing several more trys being scored. Hawcoat with the little possession they had always looked dangerous and from a good ball won by the forwards deep in our half Lewis Sayle who was playing some awsome rugby broke the Tyldesley line again to feed Rodney Odondi who gained ground drew the full back and passed back inside to the supporting Lewis Sayle to run in under the posts for a great brace of trys, cv Wynne. Tyldesley had run in three trys through sheer weight of numbers but Hawcoat still hadn't given up when in the 53rd minute the Hawcoat pack again made ground into the home sides half where a scrum was awarded on the 22, from a scrumage free kick Lewis Sayle took a quick tap to dodge, dummy and spin his way through the waiting Tyldesley forwards to score a great third try to the delight of his team mates, cv Wynne 40-26.
The last 20 minutes of the half was
Tyldesleys who with our lads legs tiring and them having fresh legs from several
subs ran in a few more trys.In the changing room (sauna) the boys were
rightfully happy with their performance. We stopped till half six having a few
pints and a jug from them, big paul drew a 2 pint drink off which on reflection
he won considering the amount of beer on his opponents shirt, called in at the
Anglers for a pint and a few games of pool.
Well done to all the lads who played, a
good point for travelling and lets hope the young lads we've been promised
aren't "HOMERS" ? bring it
on Clitheroe this Saturday.
Saturday 10th Sept. 2016
Hawcoat Park "A" 29 - 3 Blackburn 3rds
First game of the season back in the Raging Bull Leagues welcomed us with a sunny day, slight breeze with both on the backs of Hawcoat in the
The first 10 minutes was an even contest with both sides moving the ball in the backs following forward confrontations of which Paul Woodburn was prominent. Blackburn had the first chance to score in the 12th minute when a penalty went wide on their first venture into the Hawcoat half. Hawcoat got the first points on the board when Euan James put a long range penalty between the posts in the 25th minute 3 - 0. Play was evening matched with Hawcoat forwards having the edge in the scrums with some good pushes. No more scores were added when the half time whistle blew.
The second half started with me thinking we
would have a game on our hands now that Blackburn had the advantage of the sun
and wind on their
backs but what do I know, two minutes into the half the ball came out along the backs on the Blackburn 22 for one of last years colts Connor McDermott to show great skill and ability in the centre to go under the posts, cv James 10 - 0. In the 49th minute Burn put points on the board with a penalty 10-3. In the 57th minute following some great interplay by both forwards and backs up popped young Mc Dermott to show a clean pair of heels to score his second try 15-3. Blackburn had not given up and were looking dangerous on our 22 when from nothing Mc Dermott intercepted to race 75 mtr under the Burn posts for his third try cv good 22-3.
Hawcoat had not finished yet when in the 80th minute the forwards recycled in loose play for the backs to xfer to Rodney Odandi on the wing who for once had the ball in attack showing his pace and ability on the left before turning the ball inside for the supporting Mc Dermott to finish off a 60 mtr movement and register his 4th try in 40 minutes on the field (great performance), cv good 29-3 which was the final score of game.
A fairly good first game of season with good showing from several of last years colts, Dan Armistead showing good potential. Lets have a good availability for next weeks journey to West Park St Helens in the cup.
Report by Terry Williamson