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Saturday, 20 September 2014

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Ex-Salford kid pledges his long-term future to Haven

PROP Matthew Haggerty revealed it was not a tough decision to swap Super League Salford for Whitehaven.

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HERE I COME: Haven's Matthew Haggerty on the attack.

The 20-year-old prospect has left the City Reds after almost four years at the Willows to join Haven until the end of the season. And he has no regrets at making the bold move after completing a four-match loan spell at the Championship One club.

“I’ve really enjoyed my four games at Whitehaven and that made my decision to stay up here pretty easy,” Haggerty said. “They are a good group of lads.

“I decided I wanted to play first-team rugby. Hopefully I’ll spend a few years here and get better and better.

“There’s always room for improvement and I think we can now really kick on, and hopefully get promoted.

“We play Swinton twice before the end of the season, and they will both be six-pointers. If we can take points off them, and from another tough game at Keighley, we could finish second, at least.

“It’s turning in to a really good year, from where we started, and hopefully we can get through the play-offs and in to the Grand Final.”

Haggerty produced his best effort so far for Haven in Sunday’s 34-14 win over improving South Wales Scorpions.

“They were quite tough in defence and stubborn on their own line,” he added. “We threw everything at them in the first-half but couldn’t seem to breach them. Once we cracked them it was there for us to take in the second-half.”

Coach David Seeds has been impressed with Haggerty’s attitude at the Recre.

“He’s a very conscientious young man,” Seeds said. “The biggest thing about him is his willingness to learn.

“After each game he wants feedback on his performance and sometimes a DVD of it.”

The first-team have no match this weekend and return to action at Swinton on Sunday week. Haven’s Under-23s host Keighley on Saturday at 2.30pm. Carl Sice missed training on Tuesday night with a foot problem, though the injury is not too serious.

The clash with South Wales was the centrepiece of a special fund-raising day for Help for Heroes.

The final sum to be handed over to the injured servicemen’s charity has not yet been revealed, but the event was well-received.

“The day was a real success, everything about it was great,” Seeds said. “Help for Heroes is a great cause and we should all back it.

“And it was capped off by a cracking win against a really good South Wales team.”

Meanwhile, Cumbria are set to return to the international arena with an end-of-season match against star-studded Samoa.

The county has not hosted international opposition since the United States went down 70-0 at Barrow in 2007.

But Cumbria proved a stunning success in the inaugural RL Nines competition this summer, a combined Whitehaven and Workington Town team reaching the final at Headingley, last week, where they were beaten by Warrington Wolves.

And the RFL has now invited the county to stage the Samoa game in October.

An amicable initial meeting was held between officials from Town, Haven and Barrow Raiders on Tuesday night to discuss the plan.

Samoa are likely to boast a string of big names with the likes of St Helens colossus Tony Puletua and his flying club-mate Francis Meli, classy Wigan pair Harrison Hansen and George Carmont, Leeds Rhinos’ Ali Lauitiiti and David Solomona of Warrington all members of their squad last year.

This week’s Pride of Five £100 winners are: Christine Starkey, Overend Road, Richmond, 1,591; Geoff Barwise, Brayton Road, Bransty, 3,218; L Rimmer, Coleridge Drive, Egremont, 2,090; Thomas Fox, Bransty Road, Whitehaven, 404; Christine Crewdson, Westmorland Road, Hensingham, 2,830.

Last week’s winners were: S Munson, Coniston Avenue, Seascale, with ticket number 1,333; Caroline Gilhooley, Brayton Road Bransty, 1504; Henry Gilmour Ladypit Terrace ,Sunnyhill, 91; M Williams, Trumpet Road, Cleator Moor, 1,953; Mary Ruddy, Grisedale Close, Mirehouse, 3,702.

Haven’s Help for Heroes raffle winning numbers were: 1. 1861, 2. 0539, 3. 1690, 4. 0831, 5. 0877, 6. 0412, 7. 1730, 8. 1836, 9. 0864, 10. 0137.

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