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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

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Leaders Wigton score 12 tries against Egremont

EGREMONT, struggling in the wrong end of the table, were swamped by a 12-try performance by the unbeaten North Lancs Cumbria 2 league leaders Wigton.

The Greens finished 68-5 winners and showed little sign of rustiness in their performance after the seasonal break.

They took their try total to 109 with four for captain Atkinson whose 21 for the season put him joint top try scorer in all leagues nationally.

It was obvious from the start that Wigton’s strong running forwards were going to be a handful for the home defence after Mark Deans opened the account with a typical charge from 10 yards out.

Gregg Smith added the conversion, but the blustery wind was a challenge and restricted him in total to four successful conversions.

Slick handling from David Hanabury and Willie Miller released Atkinson in a wide channel where his pace and size can be so threatening and he surged to the line. The consistent John Story added the third as he carried two defenders over the line with him.

At this point, after half an hour, Egremont were still in the game at 17-0. Their scrum was steady and good field kicking from Liam Nicholls was giving them decent field position. Smart play by scrum half Andrew Branthwaite took play into the Wigton 22 and a pacy break by Graham Temple caught the defence napping and he crossed for a good try.

Egremont took great heart from this and shortly afterwards an interception on halfway looked odd on to reduce the gap again. However, Wigton’s winger Jordan Wood showed pace and great enthusiasm to pull off a try saving tackle three yards short of the line.

Just before half-time it was Wigton who extended their lead with Hanabury scoring after dummying his way through the defensive line from 20 yards out.

The second half saw a rampant Wigton score 46 points without reply, showing the form that has troubled all the sides in this league.

First Atkinson scored his second from a familiar driven maul. It was out to the backs again for the next as Scott Smith was released to score. Three minutes later he scored again from a smart move down the blind side in which Atkinson, Ledingham and Brown all played a part.

The next try was created by a line break from Miller. Hanabury was backing up and he passed on to Lee who outstripped the defence to score. The next try was a typical galloping run from Atkinson.

With a quarter of the match left, Egremont had some respite when a fumbled restart gifted them possession. They launched a series of determined powerful drives towards the Wigton line, but Brown came up with a key turnover from which a length of the field counter attack was launched. Skipper Atkinson was on hand in support to score his fourth of the day.

Egremont were now exhausted and could not react when Lee tapped a penalty 10 yards out and scored under the sticks.

Nicholls tried to inspire one last attack for his side, but a strong tackle by Moffatt knocked the ball loose and the eager Wood snapped it up and raced 50 yards to complete the scoring.

Workington followed-up their excellent 6-3 win at Aspatria before Christmas with another hard-earned success, this time 15-11 at home to Blackburn.

Both teams played best against the wind and Workington had to turn a 6-3 half-time deficit into a winning position.

Mike Fearon kicked the first-half penalty for the Zebras against two from the opposition.

In the second-half both defences did exceptionally well and the deadlock was not broken until the hour mark when Blackburn got away to score an unconverted try.

Workington responded well and got back into the game when Robert Score powered his way past three helpless defenders on a 40-yard run to the line.

Still trailing by three points Workington were camped on the Blackburn line but did not manage the breakthrough until the 77th minute when David Todhunter forced his way over and John Chisnall added the conversion.

Keswick went down 22-10 at home to Upper Eden and have now slipped to fifth bottom. The victory lifted Upper Eden out of the relegation zone.

Playing the right tactics, keeping the ball tight, Upper Eden cashed-in with two converted tries and a penalty.

Keswick started to play catch-up rugby too soon, although they did reduce the arrears before half-time with an unconverted try by Jamie McKenzie.

Number eight Arran Thompson and scrum-half Matty Roper worked tirelessly in the Keswick cause but on the hour Upper Eden scored an unconverted try to clinch the contest.

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