Thursday, 11 February 2016

Crisp Smith bags 15 points for Furness

GEORGE Smith was a Furness hero as his side came from behind to snatch victory against Silloth in a bruising Cumbria League encounter.

The Furness player scored a try, two conversions and two coolly-struck penalties, the last of which sealed the win, for a personal haul of 15 points.

Yet the travelling Blues support feared the worst as the Silloth juggernaut dominated the set piece and went ahead with just five minutes on the clock.

Furness were back on level terms 10 minutes later when, against the run of play, centre Jack Clements battered his way through to make vital yards.

Support from Andries Venter and his well-timed pass saw Rhys Studt go under the sticks with Smith converting, 7-7. Joint coach Corne Els was his usual self, picking up at eight and driving forward, forcing Silloth, second in the table before the game, to make numerous last ditch high hits which the referee began to penalise.

Silloth were using the wind well and kicked deep into Furness territory. With the Blues’ defence at full stretch the hosts scored out wide after dominating a rolling maul, 12- 7. They stretched their lead to 19-7 with the influential Silloth number nine scoring under the sticks.

But stern words from Els woke up the Blues and Silloth’s persistent high tackles allowed Furness to make ground upfield from the resulting penalties.

In the 38th minute a high shot from the Silloth number seven on Els resulted in a straight red and Smith stroked over the penalty for 19-10.

Furness began to dominate after the break with hard work from flankers Scott Hadwin and Rhys Studt seeing any loose ball snapped up. The front row of Venter, Piers Cleaver and impressive debutant Andy Shaw were beginning to get the measure of a tiring Silloth pack.

Will Mallinson coped well in the lineout with the tricky increasing wind and made some impressive breaks.

In the backs, Joel Williams was thriving off ball supplied by Andy Brannon, who, by this stage, had moved to scrum half.

Ethan Guy, at full-back, was faultless under the swirling high ball and ran hard at Silloth.

One of his runs set the ball up close to the Silloth line and strong driving by Venter and Studt saw Smith take a perfectly-timed short ball to crash over the whitewash. His conversion made it 19-17 with 10 minutes to go.

Williams then crashed over, only to have the try disallowed for a previous offence. Silloth were by now on the back foot and persistent high tackling proved to be their downfall when Smith to slotted over a second penalty for victory.

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