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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Distington and Kells A celebrate play-offs success

Kells were denied a play-off double at the weekend as Distington took on the role of party-poopers.

Rugby play off final photo
Kells A captain Ryan McGuinness lifts the cup

After Kells A had beaten Flimby 36-10 to take the Second Division play-off title, the first team lost a thrilling First Division play-off final 18-16.

As League winners Kells had gone into the showdown as favourites but Distington, who had finished runners-up were persistent and determined.

Two tries in the last four minutes from Stephen Newall and Tyrone Dalton ensured that Distington snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, and finished the season with silverware.

It was a grand fight back by Distington as they had trailed 10-0 at the break although Kells felt they were on the wrong end of some harsh refereeing decisions later in the game.

Kells had started best and it took them only nine minutes to get on the score-sheet when Scott Lofthouse crossed for an unconverted try.

It was a hard-fought affair but Kells got in for a second touchdown on 24 minutes when Ross Gainford got over, and also added the conversion.

Distington badly needed to score first after the interval and within two minutes they had closed the gap to four points. Gavin Martin got over for the try which Scott George converted.

It was game-on after 62 minutes when Newall got over to put the two sides level entering the final quarter.

Kells responded, though, and on 69 minutes Stephen McCourt reclaimed the lead for the Whitehaven side as he crossed for a try which Gainford converted.

The last few minutes were frantic and it was Distington who came with a late burst to win the trophy.

Newall got over for an unconverted try on 76 minutes to pull his side to within two points. But surely they had left it too late?

No they hadn’t, because with just two minutes left on the watch Dalton grabbed the winning try – and the missed conversion paled into insignificance.

In the Second Division game Kells A were always in control, 24-6 up at half-time and which they had increased by the end.

Kells A had come from fifth position in the table to beat the league winners Flimby in a good, hard-fought game.

The Kells’ pack dominated from the start and they were aided by a man of the match performance from Callum Rowlandson, the Whitehaven rugby union forward who had a day-off from 15-a-side commitments.

Flimby struggled to cope with the sheer size of the Kells forwards and soon conceded a try when Dave Dickinson crossed.

Then five minutes later Rowlandson crossed himself, swatting off some four or five would-be tacklers.

Flimby tried to get going, putting together some promising attacks but Kells were quick to close them down. Then when Kells applied pressure of their own 17-year-old Jordan Fisher bumped his way over the line and Ben Milburn added the extras.

Flimby then replied with a good move down the right hand side and speedster Carl Grima went in for their first try which Andrew Pearce converted.

But Kells had the final word in the first-half as they scored two more tries from Nathan Mann and Dickinson. Milburn converted one.

Both teams pushed hard to get the first score in the second-half but it was Kells who again made the breakthrough. Dickinson went over to complete his hat-trick and Milburn converted.

Flimby emerged from the game with credit as they fought hard to the end and they were rewarded with a second try, this one from Dave Torley.

There was no addition to the score in the final 20 minutes apart from an unconverted try by 16-year-old Milburn.

Both teams meet next week-end in the re-arranged Dale Campbell-Savours Cup final.

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