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1st XV - Match centre

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L Bell
A Muir
Sat 9 Mar 14:30 - Northern Division - Cumbria Division 1A Full time

Aspatria 23 Keswick 7


An 11 game winning run ends

After an 11 match winning run in the league and clinching promotion at home against Aspatria the previous week, the away fixture last Saturday at Aspatria proved one match too far for Keswick 1st XV. In conditions mostly best experienced in the warmth of a clubhouse the early stages of the match were a continuation of the closely matched contest that had seen Keswick top the league. In amongst the sunshine, the heavy rain, hail and strong winds made conditions difficult but didn’t prevent some exciting rugby.

For the first quarter both teams tested the other, trying to get good field position from which to launch an attack, but neither side was able to gain the ascendancy. Keswick’s pack, normally almost unbeatable in the set pieces, found the going difficult and both hookers struggled to provide good service at the line outs as the wind proved capricious. Down 3-0 from a Jack Clegg penalty, Keswick almost took the lead when a kick through and chase for the line ended with Ryan Weir just beaten to the touch down by a defender.

It was then Aspatria’s turn to attack and only stout defence kept them out until, unable to make progress close to the scrum, they ran the ball wide for Grant Bethwaite to score an unconverted try in the corner to make it 8-0 on 30 minutes. In worsening conditions, the final score of the half went to an excellently taken penalty by Clegg to extend the home side’s lead to 11-0.

At the start of the second half Keswick came back hard and an excellent 50 metre run by Ryan Weir ended with the ball run through the backs for Joe Bagnall to score a try converted by Andy Muir to cut the deficit to 11-7 on 47 minutes. The comeback didn’t last long as injuries took their toll of Keswick players in key positions and the Aspatria pack were able to drive forward before releasing the ball to the backs for Bethwaite to score his second, again converted by Clegg, 18-7 only 5 minutes later.

Still Keswick didn’t give up and continued to attack in the Aspatria half, but found the defence unwilling to concede. As the clock ran down and errors crept in, Keswick found themselves on the wrong end of a penalty decision 5 metres out on 70 minutes. Aspatria opted for the scrum and despite having had theirs dismantled by Keswick in the past, were able to reverse the tables for Matty Atkinson to pick up and drive over for an unconverted try, 23-7.

A final attack by Keswick was thwarted by a fine tackle by the Aspatria full back and they ended as deserving winners. Mathematicians will tell you that Aspatria could still be beaten to second place in the league by Cockermouth but realists won’t. As a result of this season’s probable final table, if Keswick’s preferred option for next season’s leagues is adopted by the RFU, Keswick will be playing in the North 1 West league together with Penrith at Level 6 and Aspatria will be in Lancs/Cheshire 1 at Level 7.

Saturday sees 2 cup fixtures at Davidson Park, the 1st XV facing Upper Eden in the Cumbria League Cup and the 2nd XV facing Tarleton, 3 places above them in the League, in their cup. Please note that the Rugby Club will not be open to the general public this Saturday (16th) for the televised 6 Nations as we have 2 home games that day. Unfortunately the clubhouse is only small so there is only room for players and supporters on this occasion.

Key moments

Penalty Penalty kicked for Aspatria
Try Try for Aspatria
Penalty Penalty kicked for Aspatria
Try Lewis Bell scores for Keswick
Conversion Andy Muir kicks a conversion for Keswick
Try Try for Aspatria
Conversion Conversion for Aspatria
Try Try for Aspatria


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70:00 Try 23 - 7
Try for Aspatria
54:00 Conversion 18 - 7
Conversion for Aspatria
53:00 Try 16 - 7
Try for Aspatria
48:00 Conversion 11 - 7
Andy Muir kicks a conversion for Keswick
47:00 Try 11 - 5
Lewis Bell scores for Keswick
45:00 Sub On
Lewis Lindsay is substituted on for Keswick
End of period 1
35:00 Penalty 11 - 0
Penalty kicked for Aspatria
30:00 Try 8 - 0
Try for Aspatria
20:00 Sub On
Josh Graves is substituted on for Keswick
15:00 Sub On
James Hinkley is substituted on for Keswick
15:00 Penalty 3 - 0
Penalty kicked for Aspatria
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Aspatria
  • Keswick
  • 0
  • Penalty 15:00'
  • James Hinkley Sub On 15:00'
  • Josh Graves Sub On 20:00'
  • Try 30:00'
  • Penalty 35:00'
  • Lewis Lindsay Sub On 45:00'
  • Lewis Bell Try 47:00'
  • Andy Muir Conversion 48:00'
  • Try 53:00'
  • Conversion 54:00'
  • Try 70:00'

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

Other Cumbria Division 1A results



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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Keswick 6 80
2. Aspatria 5 63
3. Cockermouth 5 49
4. Wigton 6 44

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