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Sunday, 05 July 2015

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Wigton romp to win away at St Benedict's

After last week’s tryless home win over Whitehaven, Wigton got back to free-scoring ways with a bonus point 31-3 victory at St. Benedict’s.

Wigton RU photo
Callum Studholme

The home side went into the match after three wins in a row and were unbeaten at home this season but it was the league leaders who made the best possible start with a try after just two minutes.

Strong mauling took the ball into the home 22 and Mark Deans was driven over the line for a try which was converted by Ali Ledingham.

Deans scored another after 24 minutes. David Hanabury’s raking kick set up play 10 metres from the Bennies line. Wigton took the ball at the lineout and mauled over with the Deans getting up with the ball.

Benny’s came back well and Jamie Doran narrowed the gap with a well-struck penalty from 40 metres out.

After 36 minutes Wigton got the scoreboard moving again. Play went through several phases before a clever chip by scrum half Fergus Ledingham was seized upon by winger Callum Studholme. He outstripped the defenders to celebrate his return with a try and a good touchline conversion by Ali Ledingham made the half-time score 19-3.

Possession was pretty even in the second half but Bennies struggled to break through the defensive line.

Wigton’s next try was a long-range effort. An impressive scrum drive provided a platform for Fergus Ledingham and number eight Matthew Atkinson to combine and release Will Miller on the wing.

He made 40 metres and then offloaded to Hanabury in support. Then it was Mark Lee who was on his flyhalf’s shoulder to score the try and round off a 70 metre move. Ali Ledingham converted.

St Benedict’s enjoyed a good share of possession and resisted Wigton’s attack for half an hour before the pace of the Wigton backs prevailed against a tiring defence in the last few minutes.

A weary clearance kick was caught by Ali Ledingham. He launched a sweeping attack with Miller and Gregg Smith playing their part before the ball was passed to Richard Moffatt who ran the ball in from 15 metres.

With Wigton assured of the title at some point in the very near future their neighbours Aspatria are still chasing the promotion play-off place.

They travelled to Keswick knowing that nothing less than a bonus point win would keep them on track for promotion and the Black Reds obliged with a 33-11 victory.

Aspatria suffered an early setback when Keswick forced a penalty to take an immediate lead through the boot of Brian Storey.

The Black Reds came back and Jack Clegg put his men on the attack with a penalty to the corner and from the resulting line-out the Aspatria forwards drove the home pack across the line. Mike Fagan got the ball down in the corner and Clegg added the extras from near the touchline.

Keswick responded with another penalty by Storey but the overall momentum was with the visitors and their pack. Keswick had no answer when the two sets of forwards locked horns on the Keswick five-metre line.

Number eight James Ravell registered the score as the Black Reds pack splintered the Keswick defence. Clegg added the conversion.

The final try of the half went to scrum half Tony Nicholson who linked into a text-book backline move to cross near the posts.

The second half was all about the bonus point and as these can be nervous situations there was huge relief when the fourth try was scored within four minutes of the restart. Again it was Ravell who benefited from a period of sustained pressure to cross the whitewash out wide.

A further score followed on 51 minutes courtesy of team captain Andrew Miller who used his bulk to barge a path through closing defenders for a converted score.

Keswick, who had lived off scraps for three quarters of the game, had a purple patch in the final quarter when winger Dean Robinson put in two splendid runs down the flank. Aaron Thompson, Matty Roper and Jamie McKenzie were always influential and eventually Keswick were rewarded with a consolation try.

Full-back Andy Wallace wasn’t picked-up when he came into the line and he finished-off a neat passing move.

Workington winger Robert Scott grabbed five tries as the Zebras virtually ensured Egremont would be back in Cumbria League rugby next season with a 55-3 win at Bleach Green.

Scott grabbed a hat-trick in the first 20 minutes. First he stepped inside from the wing before cutting in to score by the posts; then he followed up a chip ahead and then he raced clear from a shrewd pass by Matt Gorley.

The pick of his tries was the fourth on 48 minutes when he finished a fine passing move which had involved Chris Tweddle, Martin Armstrong and Simon Beare.

The Zebras had led 26-3 at the break as Bede O’Connor had also crossed the Egremont line and John Chisnall added three conversions.

After Scott’s fourth try Egremont enjoyed their best spell, although they couldn’t manage a try.

That’s when Workington pulled away, scoring four more tries through Tweddle, Armstrong, O’Connor and Scott, two of which were converted by Chisnall.


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