Hawcoat Park 12 – Wigton 27
In their discussions over a post-match pint the majority of the maroon and white followers felt the score line possibly did not accurately reflect the game and level of commitment shown by the home lads however it was an impressive Wigton team who deservedly returned up to the north of the county with a bonus point win.
It was the green and white Wigton machine who got the long bus journey out of their legs quick to start the game the strongest. Our defence had to be good as the first part of the game was all played in our half. Second row Chris Thompson was leading by example and was to put in a full grafting 80 minutes, skipper Andy Kent was another rallying his troops in his usual unassuming way.
15 mins in with all their pressure it was no real surprise when Wigton took the lead when their strong running centre ran a good angle to cut through an attempted tackle and score wide out.0 – 5.
From the restart we slowly got into the game and had a spell where our scrum was dominant. Young prop Lewis Phillips was having a strong game but unfortunately had to leave with a damaged shoulder, Mike Gibson replaced him and had his usual solid game. Following a few scrums near the line it was outstanding Alfie White who picked up and forced his way over, fly half Will Coles booted over a good conversion to give us the lead for the only time in the game 7 – 5.
Before half time there was time for Wigton to regain the lead under the cosh in our own 22 we attempted to move the ball and when it went to ground Wigton snapped up for their impressive fly half to touch down near the posts the try was converted Half time 7 – 12.
We started the second half well and following good work by scrum half Jack Shannon and No 8 Matt Sayle camped in the Wigton 22.Following a couple of frustrated attempts for a push over Alfie White took matters into his own hands to forcefully crash over for his second try. Will Coles conversion attempt just missed.
At this point Wigton really cranked up their game and deservedly went onto win. The maroon and whites’ commitment could not be faulted but Wigton cleverly adapted their game to include avoiding scrums where possible or certainly get the ball out quickly. Normal centre Chris Burns rapidly approaching his 200th game was doing a great job jumping in the line out, but the accurate Wigton hooker was going over him to find his back row at the back of the line like clockwork. They also brought their young pacey back line into play more with good effect.
Mid way through the half when it looked like our strong defence was going to hold out the Wigton fly half showed a great dummy to slice through. The conversion was missed but a 30-metre penalty goal was slotted over soon after 12 – 20.
As the Wigton three quarters moved the ball out wide our centre Ryan Clegg was covering well to put in some telling tackles but it came as no surprise when their centre found the space for their fourth bonus point earning try. Full time 12 – 27.
The difficult games continue as a trip up the coast to Whitehaven awaits next week.