Hawcoat Park (26) v Wigton (42)
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.