1XV 8th February 2020

Upper Eden 47 Hawcoat Park 0

Saturday 8th February 2020

Upper Eden big style avenged the narrow defeat they suffered in the reverse fixture in Barrow last October with a convincing dominant victory.Three late cry offs in key positions meant further reorganisation then with the returning Danny White and Mike Lightfoot both taking knocks and struggling through the first half before leaving the action at half time we were no match for a young well organised mobile Upper Eden side who play the game at pace and obviously train together as a collective unit.
Our best sustained spell of pressure came in the first 10 mins or so as we took advantage of the wind and a couple of consecutive penalties.Second row now and alot leaner Corey Doughty was taking the ball up well as was Danny White out in the centres but the Eden defence remained solid.As he did all game Rory Sayle did well in the loose and battled in the line outs with limited other options to turn too.After absorbing the pressure Eden slowly got their game together with the mobile pack all knowing their roles and then moving the ball quickly through hands to stretch play at every opportunity.Winger Rodney Odondi made a good covering tackle but slowly but surely Eden went through the phases and camped in our 22.15mins in livewire scrum half Matt Bass spotted a gap in our defence at a maul to dart over near the posts.The conversion was good as it was for six of the seven trys Eden collected during the game.Not long after the ball was moved out wide for pacey winger Sam Edgar a thorn in our side all game to score out wide this was to be the only conversion attempt to miss.
The momentum in the game looked as if the scoreboard was going to tick round however we really stuck to the task and solid defence just about prevented any further score during the first half.Skipper Andy Kent and fellow front rower Adam Grainger were putting in some solid tackles but it had to be a team effort because Eden certainly play their rugby in a fluid way.Half time 12 – 0.
With stretched resources and against the wind the second half was a very difficult task we were constantly on the back foot and not getting enough possession to prevent the Eden attacking flow.One plus point was a great barnstorming run from winger Luke Harrison just as it looked as he he was through for a try Eden centre Will Birbeck got back to make a last ditch tackle.Five further Eden trys came at regular intervals all converted making the final score 47- 0.
Well done to all the lads who travelled for this difficult task against a good Eden side who play the game in the right way and smell blood once they get on top of the opposition.A special mention for evergreen Col Niven who with all the disruptions had to start and play most the game in the front row and then for young Harry Higgins who worked hard all game and then put his hands up to go in at prop towards the end certainly not his preferred position.
A welcome home game against Silloth awaits this weekend.

John Horne
Hawcoat Park RU

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