Rugby League: Lancashire 22 – 4 Cumbria
Date published: 13 November 2017
Like their Under 19s counterparts, the Lancashire Open Age team produced the goods with a tough 22-4 victory over Cumbria at Thatto Heath. The win means that the Red Rose take the BARLA Tri series into its third weekend.
There were some heroic performances across the board, particularly defensively as Lancashire scrambled hard throughout to frustrate Cumbria.
Early on the Cumbrians lay siege to the Lancashire line yet it was the hosts that swept over for the first points when Haydock skipper Jordan Gibson cleverly kicked towards the posts and Zac Baker (Rochdale Mayfield) got there first. Baker added the first of three goals to put Lancashire 6-0 up.
Cumbria struck after 21 minutes when an enticing kick from halfback James McDonald (Egremont) was kept in play and within a blink of an eye Jack Clark (Cockermouth) had raced to the line. Surprisingly he couldn't goal, and the game returned to its cat and mouse nature with forwards knocking each other down and kicks turning the backline around. Russ Bolton (Askam) was well involved while Darrion Ball (Wigan St Judes) also did his fair share of runs.
Cumbria looked set to add points only for Lancashire to scramble well and then just before the break Gavin Rodden crashed through the defence and Baker goaled to ensure a 12-4 lead.
As temperatures dropped the game became a slog, although Lancashire did add a classy finish when Gibson chipped right and Pilkington Recs winger Jake Hodson took a spectacular catch to ground at the corner. At 16-4 things looked a little more comfortable for Lancashire but some great defence kept the visitors at bay.
To an extent the red rose attacked through their defence and it all became too much for the otherwise unflappable Bolton when he spilled a simple pass from a scrum in the face of some pressure. Rochdale Mayfield forward Aidy Gleeson collected the ball to run a short distance under the posts and Baker completed the scoring three minutes from the end with his third goal, confirming the 22-4 victory.
Lancashire: Darrion Ball, Jack Hodson, Gavin Rodden, Matthew Norton, Niall Allen, Jordan Gibson, Zac Baker (Rochdale Mayfield), Gary Morgan, Callum Ogden (Rochdale Mayfield), Aidy Gleeson (Rochdale Mayfield), Danny Brown, Adam Jeffrey, Liam Quinn.
Substitutes: Declan Sheridan (Rochdale Mayfield), Luke Belshaw, Ryan Braddock, Nathan Docherty.