Hawcoat Park 17 Cockermouth 48
Saturday 7th March 2020
Never questioning the effort put in a patched up maroon and whites were no match for a strong powerful Cockermouth squad who comfortably completed the double. If anything despite feeling depleted at the time we travelled as a stronger team for the reverse fixture to the picturesque Strawberry How ground above Cockermouth in November last year – difficult times for our Club.
The game could not have started any worse right from the kick off, (and not for the last time during the game), Cockermouth ran the ball back at us stretching the ball with good handling for their strong running centre to finish off under the posts for a converted try 0 – 7.
The hard core home supporters were looking at each other anticipating a “cricket score ” however our lads ” circled the wagons” and through a committed effort especially from the forwards had a good spell in the clubhouse corner of the perfect pitch considering all the rain we have had. First from a penalty stalwart Adam Grainger reacted smartly to take a quick tap and force his way over and then not long after hardworking skipper Andy Kent forced his way over. Both trys were too wide out to convert in the fresh windy conditions. A little to the surprise of the home followers we found ourselves 10 – 7 up midway through the first half.
As to be expected Cockermouth cranked up their game with big strong running mobile forwards creating the space to free up young pacey three-quarters. At times a tidal wave of yellow and black stripped shirts “the Cockermouth wasps” we’re running in open space towards the home try line. Full back Alex Brown did very well to pull off last ditch tackles and he was well supported by both Rodney Odondi and Keenan Cotton.However Cockermouth were to run in a further three first half trys two of which were converted Half time 10 – 26.
The second half followed a similar pattern to the end of the first half with the Wasps dominating the play but our lads sticking manfully to the task . Chris Burns moved to No 8 from the centre and Lewis Sayle normally a back had again showed his versatility by playing the full game in the back row and operating as a make shift line out jumper. It was Sayle who deservedly collected our only second half try showing his normal backs skills by throwing a good dummy and slicing through from 40metres out to touch down near the posts mid way through the half. George Smith added the conversion. Cockermouth had added four trys of their own either side of Sayles try playing an enjoyable to watch stylish rugby. No doubt through a frustration as to how the game was going we got on the wrong side of Millom based referee Paddy Loughlan penalty count. There is only going to be one winner talking back to any referee but as it turned out all around me were complimentary as to how Paddy was as usual sensibly controlling play and allowing the game to flow wherever possible.
We actually finished the game best as we camped in the Cockermouth 22 as hammered away at their line to try and get a fourth bonus point try. Cockermouth demonstrated they are a good all round team with determined defence to keep us at bay.
A difficult trip up the coast to Workington away awaits the maroon and whites next weekend.
Hawcoat Park RU