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Friday, 25 April 2014

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Egremont Rangers hammer Wigan St Judes to win league title

Egremont enjoyed more post-Bonfire Night fireworks at Bleach Green after the Rangers clinched the National Conference First Division title.

Egremont champions photo
Egremont players celebrate

Rangers produced some outstanding rugby to beat Wigan St. Jude’s 52-16, and celebrations were drowned by an impromptu fireworks display.

They had known that the only way they could win the league was by winning their last three games. Two were successfully ticked-off and they never looked like faltering over the final hurdle.

They couldn’t have asked for a better start, scoring after just two minutes. The ball was spun to the right hand side where some quite mesmerising handling ended with man of the match Peter Murphy putting Leon Crellin in at the corner. John Paul Brocklebank converted.

The home side crossed again after nine minutes with Peter Bewsher feeding Crellin for him to score his second try, again converted by Brocklebank.

It became a procession when, on 12 minutes, great footwork from Rhys Davies allowed him to score the third try.

The Wigan visitors then found their feet and began to play some good rugby so that Egremont had to show some steely defence. Particularly prominent in this department were Murphy, Matty Palmer, Lewis Beckwith and James McDonald. But on 29 minutes Egremont countered and crisp hands by the backs allowed Crellin to complete a first half hat trick.

The game was virtually won, and with it the title, when rangy second row Bewsher scored by the posts for Brocklebank to convert and survey a 26-0 half-time lead.

Wigan made some changes and this paid dividends as they crossed on 48 minutes for a converted try.

But any thoughts of a come-back were squashed on 52 minutes by a crucial try for the home side. Murphy sold an outrageous dummy to split the Wigan defence and went on to score wide out.

Credit to the visitors, however, as Wigan still wouldn’t go away and crossed again for a converted try.

On 63 minutes, Crellin strolled in for his fourth try and five minutes later scored his fifth when he followed a kick through to touch down before the Wigan full back could get there. Brocklebank converted.

After 71 minutes some weak Egremont defence allowed Wigan to chip through and score their third try which went unconverted.

Responding to the urgings of coach John Brocklebank Egremont then responded with some superb inter passing which ended with the coach’s son juggling the ball before diving over for the try which he converted.

To the delight of a very large Gillfoot Park crowd James McDonald dodged his way on 79 minutes for the tenth and final try, converted by Brocklebank, to spark joyous celebrations.

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