Cumbria U18s made it 2 wins from 2 with a 7 try to 1 win over a strong Durham side at Preston Grasshoppers ground.
Wins for Cumbria at this age group are rare, infact no one can remember a win! So we should be proud and celebrate the achievement of the boys so far as they won convincingly once again.
Cumbria started with great energy and physical intensity and build up a 26-0 half time lead from 4 tries and were unlucky that 2 tries were disallowed.
The work rate in defence and a dominant scrum forced Durham back and into errors, a turnover led to several strong carries, 2nd row Luke Broster leading the way before fly half Billy Thompsons’ long pass to wing Joe Connelly gave him a one on one, a chance he rarely wastes for try number one.
Connelly scored again soon after, another fine finish but as the conversion was being lined up the assistant referee called a knock on in the build up.
After a fine kick and chase forced a line out then a scrum opportunity No8 Will Addyman broke right to feed scrum half Paul Harrison who with the defence holding off ran strongly to score. Harrison converted well from the touchline for 12 -0 lead.
The 3rd try came from more good work at the breakdown, centre Nathan Simpson getting a turnover, fellow centre Max Pearce spotting Connelly to his left one on one and after beating his man on half way there was only one result.
Converted well by Harrison.
After 8 interchanges “Team 2” kept up the intensity, Vince Chan broke on half way showing fantastic pace for a hooker he was just stopped under the posts, a quick recycle and Thompson scored, he converted himself to make it 26-0.
Cumbria kept pouring forward and great continuity and many phases led to prop Joe Moore diving over but he was deemed held up.
Durham responded after half time but came up against a passionate defence. Another Chan break with the backs handling well led to a scrum 10 m out, Addyman ran hard as he did all game before scrum half Hugh Burne broke blind and beat 2 defenders to score.
Durham had some rare possession and No 8 Ivey made a fine break and beat the last man to score to make it 31-7.
Cumbria again played well with ball in hand, rarely turned over as the support was always on hand , from a scrum Addyman made ground, then hooker Archie Barber before Pearce passed wide, full back Fraser Nicholson breaking through, popping to Simpson who was tackled just short of the line before off loading to Jack Gascoyne to finish well, converted by Harrison.
Durham gained possession from the kick off before a turnover gave prop Nathaniel Mossop a chance to show that dominating the scrum is not all he can do and a 30m break and well timed pass gave Gascoyne the chance to run in for his 2nd try from half way , Harrison converted to finish the game at 45 -7.
It was a real squad effort with all players featuring for at least half a game. The coaching team for the day of Nigel Beaty, Graham Kidd and Matty Kaye were proud Cumbrians as the boys “outenthused” their opponents.
The referee gave man of match to No8 Will Addyman with the coaches selecting wing Joe Connelly.
County ties were awarded to 18 players by long serving secretary Cumbria RU Jason Gregory.
The reward for their performances this season is a match against Lancashire who have beaten Yorkshire and Cheshire at Kingston Park, Newcastle Falcons ground on Sunday 13th January 3.15pm KO.
Updated 14:47 - 18 Dec 2018 by Allan Lambert