Friday, 12 February 2016

Strong arm of Law seals Hawcoat win over Furness

HAWCOAT Park made it 11 wins out of 11 in the Cumbria League with victory over neighbours Furness.

A second half try from Craig Law sealed the triumph, and the double, having beaten Furness 7-5 in September.

Hawcoat’s strength in the line-out on Saturday proved to be the difference in this tough, physical derby.

Furness started the stronger forcing early errors from the Park defence. A resulting penalty was missed and then both sides locked horns in the midfield with neither side giving ground.

Eventually the deadlock was broken when Furness full-back Ethan Guy cleared into touch and the resulting lineout saw Ashley Mowat take a good catch and the maroon and white forwards drove on before Tim Clark got his hands on the ball to go over from close range. Adam Jackson slotted over a great conversion for 7-0.

A fired-up Furness came back quickly when a clever chip from Phil Brockbank forced Hawcoat to clear their line.

Will Mallinson took an excellent take in the line and powerful drives from George Kennedy and the rest of the pack saw Dries Venter cross the whitewash, but the conversion attempt agonisingly hit the upright.

Hawcoat lost the services of full-back Adam Jackson midway through the half and his touchline kicking, in particular, was missed.

The remainder of the half remained an even tussle with neither side adding to their tallies.

Defences were tested in all quarters soon after the break with Corne Els and Rhys Studt driving hard for Furness, while centres Mike Backhouse and Tom Brannon made good use of the limited supply of ball.

A short ball from Brannon to Jack Clements saw the wingman break the line and make 20 metres before slipping an inside ball to Backhouse. As the cover arrived the ball was scrambled into touch as the Furness support cheered on the Blues.

Hawcoat, playing their preferred way towards the clubhouse, came back strongly and on several occasions some stout Furness defending was required, with Andrew Brannon and Adam Pearce working hard.

Eventually the pressure told in the 65th minute when skipper Jason Priss and Mark O’Halloran had pounded away at the Furness line before back row Craig Law got his hands on the ball to forcefully power over, and James Howden slotted over the conversion.

Hawcoat searched to extend their lead and were rewarded with a penalty, converted by Howden, after Clements was yellow carded for an alleged technical offence.

To compound matters for the visitors Will Mallinson was sin-binned for retaliation and, down to 13 men, Furness faced a tough final 10 minutes but Hawcoat were unable to add to their score.

Furness were disappointed with their performance but took some positives away from the game.

Hawcoat winger Andy Graham always looked dangerous with the limited ball received, while centre Chris Burns had a strong game.

Back rower Mike Lightfoot took the Hawcoat man of the match closely followed by the all-action Brad Morrow.

Millom’s match at Carlisle Crusaders 2nd XV was postponed.

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