The maroon and whites welcomed Upper Eden to Hawcoat Park for the start of the Cumbria shield. The mornings rain had cleared and didn’t do much to hamper the pitch, which is testament to the ground staff and all their hard work.
The early exchanges where hard fought with no team really budging, it wasn’t until 10 minutes that UE’s nippy full back drew a high tackle and the accurate number 10 slotted the 3 points. Hawcoat Park responded quickly and found themselves with a penalty of their own on halfway, veteran fly half Scott Kaighan hoofed the ball for a line out on the 22 and the HP pack drove over with an excellent maul, cross code maestro Daniel White the scorer. Captain Smith missed a difficult conversion 5-3.
UE marched back up the field with real intent. They cleared their lines will and went for the try but resilient HP defence stopped them. The pressure they built drew another penalty. It was from this penalty that referee Mr Shovelton yellow carded the skipper Smith for kicking the ball away, an incorrect decision as he actually threw the ball. The UE fly half again added the 3 points to make it 5-6.
Hawcoat Park played arguably their best rugby with the skipper gone and moved the ball around with ease. Ashley Mowat and John Donnan consistently made yards and the rucking work of boozey pair Robson and Higgins ensured quick ball. It was from a flowing moved that the second try was scored, White found himself in the corner to dot over and Will Coles added the extras 12-6.
Smith was allowed back in after his 10 minute rest and had an immediate hand in the next try. A barnstorming run from Will Coles saw a quick ball opportunity for meaty scrum half Shannon, he found the captain who shipped the ball onto the oncoming Grainger, a swift pass from him to White and the big man had completed his first half hat trick. Smith added the conversion but not without some help from UE. As the ball was dropping agonisingly short from the cross bar one of their players headed it and it went over, the conversion stood 19-6. Half time.
Upper Eden where not going to back and down and came out for the second half fast, they moved the ball from the right to left and put in their winger for a great score. The conversion was slotted 19-13. Hawcoat kicked off and some great rush defence from Callum Ramsay forced a knock on, it was from this scrum that HP moved the ball and centre Lewis Sayle slipped it into winger Platt who dotted in the corner. The conversion missed 24-13.
At this point HP had really a roll on Andrew Kent and Rory Sayle where everywhere and reaping the rewards by stealing the ball. Another scrum seen the ball given to the backs with open space, a ‘speccy ball’ from Smith to Platt seen the winger step in mid air and fool the oncoming defender, he raced in the final 30 yards for a fantastic try. The conversion was slotted and Hawcoat opened up a 31-13 lead.
More Hawcoat pressure seen them win a penalty around the 30 yard mark, Captain Smith decided it was sensible to slot the 3 points and make it 34-13. Upper Eden where not going to roll over and had the better off the next 10 minutes. A rolling maul sore them make a good 20 yards, and when they quickly switched to the blind side they powered over for a good try, well converted to make it 34-20.
From the kick off Upper Eden cleared well, and HP had the ball in their own half, evergreen prop Col Niven passed to Kaighan who found Grainger who cutely popped the ball to youngster Jack Lord. Lord then raced upfield some 60 yards and scored in the corner much to the delight of his mother and girlfriend on the touch line. The tricky conversion was missed 39-20.
There wasn’t to be any more action in the game as HP caught the kick off and cleared their lines, the referee blew the final whistle on what was a very entertaining and physical game by two strong teams. Hawcoat travel to Whitehaven next week where a repeat performance will hopefully result in another win.