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Friday, 01 August 2014

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Full steam ahead for joint nines side

WHITEHAVEN and Workington Town are to press ahead with a joint West Cumbria team in a new Nines competition involving Super League clubs.

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diving touchdown: Craig Calvert goes over for try in the draw with Swinton Lions on Sunday

It will run over four Tuesdays in June with the top eight teams progressing to a final at Headingley. The Recreation Ground and Derwent Park will both host matches.

“Whitehaven and Workington were both keen to move forward with a combined team, and we should get some attractive fixtures,” said Barry Richardson, Haven chief executive.

“Both clubs felt it impossible to go it alone. We’ll work together and try to make it a success for West Cumbria and a good event for the fans. The clubs will share all the costs and it will truly be a joint venture.”

The RFL sees the competition as a pilot venture this season and hopes to build on it over future years, with coverage on Sky Sports.

Haven’s first-team have only two matches next month, so potentially the Nines could be used to help keep players sharp, though firm details have yet to be worked out with Workington.

London Skolars make the long trip to the Recre on June 5 and Town visit three weeks later.

Coach David Seeds was left to rue missed chances in last weekend’s sparkling 22-all draw against league leaders Swinton Lions.

“Given the chances we had, if we’d shown a bit more composure and better decision making, we could have scored a few more tries,” he said.

“I was also disappointed with the tries we let in. We could have, and should have, won that game.”

Seeds, nonetheless proud of his team’s effort against the Lions, was delighted with the commitment shown by some of the club’s Under-23s who gave up Big Weekend tickets for the Carlisle music extravaganza to play at York on Sunday.

Haven still travelled with just 15 players and went down 40-16.

“Some of those players made a big sacrifice to play,” he added.

“It was probably the most positive thing to come out of the weekend. Some young lads came of age.”

Manager Dave Farrell said: “We were without Daniel Smith, who had concussion, while Stephen Fox was injured and Michael Lithgow has a long-term ankle problem.

“Kurt Wilton, Tyrone Dalton and Loz Hamzat were called in to the first-team and Richard Farrer was 18th man.

“We had 12 players available on the Thursday night and signed three amateurs which enabled us to travel with 15, which was not ideal.

“We were up against it, but with 58 minutes gone it was 16-each, which was a great effort from the lads. You can’t knock the way they went about the game. Lads came in cold and didn’t let themselves or the club down.

“Between the 59th and 67th minute York ran in three tries, which took the game away from us. Given our resources it wasn’t surprising.”

The Under-23s travel to Dewsbury on Sunday (2.30pm) and then faces big tests home and away against Widnes.

A limited number of tickets will be available on the door for a Ladies Night, in the Marchon Club, on Friday, in aid of skipper Spencer Miller’s testimonial.

The event will be an 80s music show.

This week’s Pride of Five £100 winners are: Nicola Bowes, of Springfield Grove, Whitehaven, with ticket number 524; T Whittingham, Whinlatter Road, Mirehouse, 3,318; WJ & J McGarry, Foxhouses Road, Whitehaven, 2,958; B Park, Hilltop Road, Kells, 2,335; Jonathan Shepherd, Parks Road, Arlecdon, 3,853.

200 Club winners: £500 - G Smitham, £200 - John Woods, £50 each - J Reed, Jimmy Swailes, George Burns, C Shaw, James Burns, Gareth Hewer.

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