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Golden point puts Hensingham into semis PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Walsh   
Friday, 17 March 2017

Hensingham v Distington 2.jpgHensingham reached the semi-final of the BARLA Cumbria Cup with a golden point decider.

All square 24-24 after extra-time the clash with holders Distington went to sudden death.

Steven Smith proved to be the Hensingham hero by landing the winning drop goal.

In a match that served up everything Hensingham earned a semi-final trip to Ulverston tomorrow.
As we have come to expect from games at the start of the "Summer League" the  match was played in torrid conditions.

That almost certainly didn't suit either of the two sides, both of whom will probably play their best rugby on a dry pitch.

Hensingham adapted to the conditions the quicker of the two and BARLA international Jordan Thomson scooted from a quick play-of-the-ball and managed to drive over the line for the first try which Mark Bainbridge converted.

After enjoying the majority of the possession for the opening twenty minutes it was Hensingham's turn on the back foot as Distington composed themselves. Regan Farr scored out wide to bring the holders to within two points at the mid-point of the half.

Then, with some dogged defence on display the subsequent 20 minutes produced no further scores and the sides went into the break at 6-4.
Distington started the second half the stronger and elected to take the points when awarded a penalty under the uprights after only two minutes. Clayton Sutton’s kick bought them level.

Distington, who then hit a purple patch, were next on the scoreboard when Carl Stephenson crashed over and Sutton converted.

Hensingham replied almost immediately when Ryan Corlett crashed over from close range on a trademark play-the-ball move. Bainbridge added the extras to level it at 12-12.

On 55 minutes Distington regained the lead with a Sutton try.Hensingham v Distington 1.jpg

The teams went back to trading defensive blows until the last ten minutes when a repeat set on the Distington line and a left to right shift enabled Daniel Smith to fight his way over on the right edge and level-up again.

With the clock ticking down and the sides trading sets at either end of the field Hensingham were the first to falter on 76 minutes . Distington were awarded a penalty under the sticks and Sutton obliged.

With the way the game had been played, however, it was inevitable that there would be one last twist in normal time – and there was!

Hensingham pushed the Distington line, forcing a goal line drop out with only around a minute of normal time left to play.

Distington failed to reach the ten metre line with their drop out and a penalty mid distance from the touch line and the sticks was awarded. A composed Bainbridge stepped forward and tied the match at 18-18 to take it into extra time.
Hensingham began the stronger and Ben Rogerson forced his way over to the right of the sticks half way through the first period. Bainbridge added the conversion.

Distington were not to be outdone though and with a minute of the half to go kicked direct from the scrum and Tom Glover chased the kick down, scoring at the base of the post.

Sutton’s conversion tied the scores at 24-24.

It remained tied for the rest of extra time and the teams headed  into golden point time.

The sides traded sets in the middle of the pitch, but it was Hensingham who would get the first opportunity.

A Distington knock-on led to a scrum 20 metres out from the line.

The ball was driven into position for the opportunity of a field goal and all eyes were on Bainbridge who was quickly delivered the ball.

Hensingham v Distington 3.jpgThe speed of the Distington defence, however, was too quick and he hurriedly scooped the ball back to Steven Smith who took his opportunity, under immense pressure, and with absolute precision slotted over the winning drop goal.
Hensingham’s semi-final hosts Ulvrston got there with a tight 26-22 home win over Wath Brow.

It was five tries to four with Andy Allan, Mark Storey, Sam Shepherd, James Porter and Tom Speding crossing for Ulverston. Connor Saunders landed three conversions.

The Wath Brow tries came from Clarke Riley, Rhys Pritchard, Connor Molyneux and Jack Casey. The three conversions were landed by Casey.

In the other second round tie Walney beat Seaton 28-6 with tries from Stuart Tippet,  Brad Nihols, Mike Whitehead, Dave Nicholson and Jamie Morrow. Matt Elliot converted three while Nicholson also put over one successful kick.

Duncan Moyles scored the Seaton try with Miguel Blanco Charters adding a goal.

The scheduled fourth tie was conceded by Roose, so Glasson were spared an unnecessary journey and go through to the semi-final where they will play Walney away.

Both semi-finals will be played tomorrow.

A converted try three minutes from time enabled Egremont A to start the new Iggesund Cumberland ARL season with a 20-18 win at Flimby.

On paper it had the look of a tasty fixture and it did not disappoint, with the result still in doubt up to the final whistle.

For the first 20 minutes neither team gave an inch to the other. However on 23 minutes Flimby stand off Darren Pape pounced on a loose ball in his own 20 yards and raced the length of the field unopposed for a fine solo try.  Callum Moffat converted for a 6-0 lead.

On 29 minutes, with Egremont camped on the Flimby line, the ball found winger Thomas Carruthers who managed to break the tackle to score out wide and cut the deficit to two points.

Six minutes into the second-half Flimby’s hard-working prop and man of the match Ryan Williams, burst onto a short ball and dived across the line for his side’s second try which Moffat converted.

Egremont then hit a purple patch with two tries in five minutes from their eventual man of the match Davie Caine. The second was converted by Lewis Beckwith, after the first had bounced off the upright, to give Egremont a slender 12-14 lead.

With ten minutes of the game remaining, Flimby’s Luke Grima put in a strong run to cross the whitewash  out wide. Moffat landed a brilliant conversion to put his side back in front.

End to end stuff followed with some excellent running from both teams, but silly mistakes also crept into the game. With just three minutes remaining Egremont centre Matty McEwan, managed to evade the tackles and cross the line. Beckwith’s cool conversion proved to be a match-winning kick.

The last few minutes saw some frantic rugby in both attack and defence from both teams, but Egremont held on to their slender lead for the victory.

Aspatria Hornets opened their campaign with a hard-fought 22-16 win over Lowca at a soggy Saint Mungo’s Park.

In a game littered with turnovers and penalties, both sides had their chances to win the game before a Luke Johnson try on 75 minutes sealed the two points for the home side.

The game began with a try on only 45 seconds as Lowca coughed up possession in a heavy challenge and Aspatria prop Brad Bouch powered his way over the line to give the Hornets an early lead. Captain Johnson added the extras.

Aspatria continued with their early dominance and their persistence was rewarded when Bouch got over for his second on eight minutes.

This seemed to spur Lowca into action and they roared back into the game. Led well by their half-back combination of Campbell and Sirkett, the visitors were starting to pose the Hornets’ defence some questions and were rewarded when rugged second rower, Steven Hodgson pulled a try back for the West Cumbrians.

Lowca continued to be the better side in the second quarter of the game and they were aided and abetted by Aspatria’s determination to concede needless penalties and cough up possession in promising positions.

The Hornets were punished for this when Lowca centre, Emmerson Allen exploited an overlap on the left edge to score in the corner.

Lowca sensed blood and their game plan seemed to be to try and exploit the space on the Aspatria edges and they scored their third try when a break from their own twenty metre zone was finished off by Paul McNally. This time Sirkett made no mistake with the goal and Lowca led 14-10 at the break.

The second half was a gritty, attritional affair with both sides hammering away hoping to wear the other down.

Bouch scored his third try on 45 minutes and Johnson added the goal to put Aspatria ahead.

The arm wrestle continued and Lowca almost scored a try when Sirkett made a superb break down the left flank and looked to be on his way to the whitewash but Aspatria winger, Patrick Noutch tracked back and made a vital tackle.

 Sirkett levelled things up on the hour mark when he kicked a penalty goal.

The game looked to be heading for a draw but Johnson showed his class with a superb solo try on 75 minutes that broke Lowca hearts. He made a break down the left flank around 20 metres out then beat the full-back to score under the posts. He converted it himself.

Wath Brow have the first west Cumbrian bragging rights of the season after beating Egremont 25-0 t Gillfoot in the National Conference Premier.

It means the Hornets have a share of the lead after just two matches, trailing Kells and Thatto Heath on points differential.

So that sets-up another local derby cracker on Saturday when Wath Brow and Kells square up at Red Beck.

In truth Wath Brow were comfortable winners against an Egremont side who have yet to register a win after promising efforts in the Challenge Cup.

Once the Hornets had grabbed the lead on seven minutes through full-back Cole Walker-Taylor it was always hard going for an Egremont side, still struggling with injuries.

By half-time Wath Brow had stretched their lead to 14-0 as there were also tries for prop Dan Fryer and winger Greg Howland, one of which was converted by Walker-Taylor.

If Egremont were going to get back into the contest they needed to core first on the resumption but the writing was on the all when Howland darted over for his second try two minutes after the restart. Walker-Taylor converted.

It stayed that way until the 68th minute when centre Peter Caddy went over for the Hornets’ fifth try and just to rub salt into the wound Dean Rooney put over a last minute drop goal.

Kells lead the table on points differential after their 18-6 home win over newly promoted Myton Warriors.

The visitors had comfortably beaten Egremont in their first fixture but this was a different test and they found it tough against a well-organised Kells side.

Two tries in a three-minute spell midway through the first-half put Kells in a strong position as Ross Gainford converted both. Full-back Lewis Smith and second-row Ryan Watson scored the Kells tries and before the interval Gainford added a penalty.

Myton, who look to have the know-how to stay in the top flight, came back in the second-half with a try on 59 minutes from Ash James, converted by Kris Walker.

But Kells weren’t going to concede again and on 75 minutes they made the game safe with a try by winger Reece O’Neill.

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