Hawcoat 1st XV v Whitehaven report

Hawcoat Park 8. Whitehaven 17

Saturday 15th January 2022

After a break of over a month for the festive period and covid that ravaged the squad the maroon and whites returned to action with a tough first game back against Whitehaven. They had comfortably won the reverse fixture at the Playground last October and after an early arrival and warm up had clearly travelled intent on claiming the double.
However we were to catch Whitehaven cold with a try in the opening few minutes. From a good forward drive down the left hand side the ball was quickly moved through hands across to right winger Alex Brown in space to touch down in the corner the conversion was too far out 5 – 0.
The game settled down at this point whilst the attacking play from both sides was a tad rusty there was no doubting the committed defence shown by both sides as some hard fair big hits went in. Midway through the half in what was clearly going to be a tight game Whitehaven took the opportunity to boot over a 30 metre penalty goal to make the score 5 – 3.We finished the half strongly but could not take opportunities to stretch the lead against some strong defence and also getting on the wrong side of the penalty count particularly for hanging on to the ball for too long at the breakdown.
Half time 5 -3.
The second half followed the same pattern with two fairly even sides having to work hard to get on the front foot against resolute defence. Midway through the half we took the opportunity for fly half Dan Lightfoot to boot over a 35 metre penalty goal.
Our lack of match fitness was starting to show and it was Whitehaven who finished the strongest. However just when it was beginning to look like we could hang on for the win it was Whitehaven who grabbed the decisive score. Facing a line of defence their impressive fly half put in an accurate short kick over our try line. Both sides felt they had won the chase to touch the ball first but of course not having the TMO option the ref has to make a snap decision and judged their centre got his hand on the ball first. The Whitehaven winger booted over a fine crucial conversion from quite a way out.8 – 10.
In the final minutes with us running everything to try and regain the lead the Whitehaven fly half cleverly went for the ball and pinched it in a one on one tackle leaving him a clear 40 metre run to the try line. Again the try was converted to make the final score 8 – 17.
The good relations between the two clubs continued in the bar. Our No 8  Alfie White won the man of the match drink off. As it was this was the only thing we won all day as Whitehaven scooped the raffle prizes for their long bus journey home up the coast.

John Horne
Hawcoat Park Rugby Union.

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