Upper Eden 47 Hawcoat Park 0
In horrendous conditions the maroon and whites made the trip up to Kirkby Stephen to play unbeaten and already crowned league champions Upper Eden. The weather did not change for the game which was played out in cold strong winds and heavy rain/sleet throughout. Normally this can be a leveller but not for this Upper Eden side who are a young mobile and well drilled side who play the same brand of running and support play at pace -a team that clearly regularly train as a collective.
That said making use of the wind advantage we started well and had the best of the opening exchanges with short forward drives from the likes of second row Chris Thompson and Corey Doughty and back row Lee Van Haren hammering away at the Upper Eden line and going close on a couple of occasions Eden showed they are as strong in defence to keep us out.
Upper Eden then cranked up their team support handling and stretching play looking dangerous. Only good cover tackles out wide by Chris Burns, Keenan Cotton and Lewis Sayle kept them out. Midway through the half a good support handling move freed up their winger for the first of a few try’s for him. Our patched up resources were stretched even further during the first half losing three key players. First back row Mike Lightfoot had to leave with a back injury prop Scott Dobbie who had bravely showed good commitment to the club to put his hand up to play when not 100% fit had to depart and right on half time Lee Van Haren who had run strongly had to leave with a rib injury.
Half time 19 -0.
It did not seem possible but if anything conditions worsened for the second half. Forwards and backs player distinction went out the window with the likes of half backs Brad Morrow and Dan Lightfoot taking the ball into contact like forwards. Our weakened resources were struggling to contain the rampant Upper Eden side in the miserable conditions and four further trys followed and unbelievably the Upper Eden winger booted six out of seven conditions some achievement in that wind.
Our one real bright light was the outstanding performance of young second row Corey Doughty looking fitter he took the ball in hard and grafted all game. His best performance in maroon and white and hope for the future.
John Horne Hawcoat Park RU