Penrith RUFC Ltd

Penrith RUFC Ltd

CUMBRIA FALL AT FINAL HURDLE

There was no third time lucky for Cumbria as they failed at the semi

final stage for the third year in succession, this time, as last year,

against Surrey at Aspatria. They did not run them as close as last year

but you could not fault the spirit or the effort shown by the Cumbrians

who gave there all, they just simply came up short against a well

motivated, big, strong, well drilled outfit.

It was good to see from the start Cumbria had an uphill battle on their

hands, Surrey showed purpose and determination from the off and their

intention to make it a hard physical contest was clear. It was no

surprise when they took an early lead with a penalty goal but the home

side were able to strike back from the restart. Over deliberation with

the clearance kick enabled Phil Fell to make up the ground to charge

down the attempted kick, he was then able to gather the ball to score

the try to give them the lead and Gregg Smith added the conversion.

The lead did not last long as Surrey piled on the pressure, a penalty

kicked to the corner gave them an attacking platform with a lineout

which they won and the forwards rumbled forward, Cumbrian defence

stopped the initial drives but they were unable to stop the No8 as he

peeled off and crashed over from 5m.

Cumbria were having trouble getting over the gain line and there cause

was not helped mid way through the first half when they lost big Ryan

Johnson with an ankle injury. They then conceded a second converted try

following a poor clearance kick, the visitors ran it back and put the

ball through the phases before Cumbria ran out of defenders on their

right and the winger went around the outside. Cumbria again struck back

from the restart, Surrey were penalised and did not retreat 10m when

the ball was run and from the advanced penalty spot Smith kicked the

penalty to drag them back to only 17-10 down. They were then again

under tremendous pressure as the half drew to a close defending a 5m

scrum but were able to hold out to half time and with the advantage of

the breeze in the second period give themselves a chance.

They looked to be back in the game as Surrey were penalised at the

restart following some ferocious Cumbrian tackling and a second Smith

penalty put them within a score. It was not to last long as Surrey won

a penalty from the restart and then two converted tries in six minutes

from the Surrey blind side flanker put the game to bed. He scored the

first after their stand off chipped the defensive line and then

gathered his own kick to feed the flanker. The second came following a

period of sustained possession where they wore down the Cumbrian

rearguard and the pressure told.

Surrey looked at this stage as if they were going to run away with it

and rack up 50 points or more but to their credit the home players dug

in and refused to crack, they went close when David Hannabury made the

only clean Cumbrian break of the game but he was brought down just

short, their stubbornness was rewarded when got themselves into the

visitor’s 22 and won a penalty 5m out, they tapped and drove and sheer

determination by the forwards earned them a try through Graham Andrews.

They were back to within two scores but a final Surrey penalty killed

off any hope of a revival and Surrrey go on to the final deserving

winners.

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