1XV at Egremont report

Saturday 23rd November 2019

Egremont 44 v Hawcoat Park 19

After many seasons where our paths have not crossed due to playing in differing leagues the maroon and whites made the journey up the coast to take on Egremont at their impressive facilities,and after working on their drainage last summer on a firm pitch ideal for running rugby.It was a surface that certainly suited the Egremont style of play!

From the first scrum it was clear this was going to be an area we were going to dominate throughout the game as it turns out the only area. Egremont therefore avoided the set pieces wherever they could and had a strategy of running the ball at every opportunity and had the mobility and pace to cause us real problems. That said we were in the game up to early in the second half and held a slight lead at this stage of the game. It was only in the final quarter that Egremont scored some impressive trys to rack up a big score.

Egremont started the best and 10 mins in took the opportunity to boot over a 30 metre penalty goal. Soon after we scored our first try, Elliott McDermott and George Smith were kicking well for the corners to gain some territorial advantage and from a Callum Ramsay clean line out take and dominant forward drive Grady Slater got his hands on the ball last to touch down.3- 5.

Egremont then had a good spell and with their outstanding young fly half controlling play and stretching the play at every opportunity. Winger Jack Lord in particular was defending manfully and pulled off one great cover tackle to prevent a try.However from good handling moves their full back and centre had the pace to beat our defensive cover to score wide out on the right. Both conversions were missed 13 – 5.

Just before half time we were able to get back in the game. Our scrum continued to dominant through the efforts of the likes of the hard-working Paul Woodburn, Col Niven and John Donnan and if only it had been a “mudbath” pitch we may have been able to slow down the Egremont style of play and make it a forward battle! From one impressive scrum Grady Slater first went close,then from the reset scrum we looked to be pushing over before Egremont prevented the score illegally for the ref to award a penalty try. Half time 13-12.

Early into the half Egremont stretched their lead with a 30 metre penalty goal. Soon after we had our best moment of the game,good work by Harry Higgins who then had to go off with a shoulder injury put us on the front foot before scrum half Lewis Sayle timed a great pass to put impressive fly half Elliott McDermott through a gap and have the pace to finish under the posts from 40 metres out. George Smith converted 13- 19.

It was all downhill from there as Egremont turned on the style. Brad Morrow had to leave the field with a wrist injury followed soon after by Grady Slater with a recurrence of an ankle injury to be replaced by Dad Steve (what service he has given the club) much to the displeasure of watching wife/ mum Alison!

Wingers Rodney Odondi and Jack Lord were working overtime to prevent trys but Egremont scored four further converted trys all good handling and support moves at pace and enjoyed by the large home crowd. Two were individual efforts by the outstanding twinkle toed fly half but he was at the heartbeat of all that was good from the home side. Final score 44- 19.

This was an impressive Egremont side playing in a good style at a good tempo not possessing a particularly big pack they made up through their mobility and deserved their win. A home rearranged game against Carlisle awaits next week but with injuries and non availability it is going to be another patched up side who will take the park.

John Horne
Hawcoat Park RU

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