2 years ago
By Paul Drysdale
Cup Final Winners
Following the disappointment of losing out on promotion, Egremont were keen to end their successful season in style by attempting to get their hands on the League Cup. Their opponents were Furness, who were equally determined to claim something to show for their efforts this year, so the scene was set for a rousing encounter.
The venue was Millom where, despite the warm and still evening elsewhere in the county, there was a strong wind blowing diagonally across the firm and dry pitch. This was to prove a significant factor in the match and Furness, having won the toss, rather surprisingly chose to make use of it first. However, Egremont’s defence was on top form throughout the match and no more so than in the opening exchanges when Furness were simply unable to gain a toehold in Egremont’s territory. Furness persisted in trying to run at Egremont rather than kicking for the corners, but were repulsed on every occasion by the gritty resolve of the Bleach Green side.
Furness did gain some reward eventually when, after half an hour’s play, they scored a converted try wide out on the left wing. However, the game was effectively won by Egremont in the ten minutes remaining before half time when first lock Lee Stamper and then centre Fraser McNee scored tries against the wind, one of which was converted by Josh Graves. Furness added a penalty of their own but when Egremont reached half time with a 12-10 advantage, knowing that they had the elements in their favour for the second half, this dealt an obvious psychological blow to Furness.
Immediately following the break, Egremont’s fly half Patrick Williamson gave his side a huge lift by harnessing the wind to drill a raking touch finder to within metres of the Furness tryline. A Josh Graves penalty extended the lead to 15-10 as Egremont continued to adopt exceptional game management to pin down Furness deep in their own half. Further scoring seemed inevitable and, fittingly, it was livewire flanker Jimmy Temple who extended Egremont’s lead to 20-10. This was followed in rapid succession by the Egremont try of the evening when powerhouse number 8 Michael Quirke crossed to complete a move which involved more than half of the team.
At 25-10 down, and with the gale strengthening, it looked all over for Furness as Egremont continued to dominate both territory and possession. To their credit however, they summoned up the spirit for a rare foray into the Egremont 22 and scored a converted try with the very last movement of the game to give Egremont the Cup by a margin of 25-17.
The action at Bleach Green has not quite finished yet, however, as Egremont heard this week that the club is to be proud hosts of the Cumbria Cup Final between St Benedicts and Whitehaven. The game takes place on Tuesday 24th May with a 7.00 p.m. kick off.
Updated 15:17 - 16 May 2016 by Paul Drysdale