February 18, 2014
Netherhall 55 points – Keswick 0.
Keswick under-14s have made steady progress this season but hit a brick wall in this match, comprehensively beaten by a strong and efficient side, enjoying too much their own-way. On a fine but cold blustery day at Maryport Keswick generously lent Netherhall a player but began the match poorly. The kick off was fielded but a succession of bad passes meant the team went backwards and, sensing the unease, Netherhall pressed for turnover possession. This was available, and without too much expenditure of energy Netherhall scored just to the right of the posts. Keswick didnâ€™t recover, defensive structure was lost, and after conceding three tries inside the first twelve minutes Keswick appeared to suffer a complete breakdown in confidence.
With confidence, such losses are recoverable but depend on the preparedness of the afflicted side to dig themselves out of the mire. Additionally there is much to be gained if by descent into complacency the dominant side â€˜switch offâ€™ or, inadvertently misplace their momentum. In this instance Keswick couldnâ€™t make things happen, ignored the advantage of a strong tail wind and remained troubled and sometimes frozen by Netherhallâ€™s enthusiasm. Keswickâ€™s tackles began to stop the runner but not the ball and with no discernible loss of concentration Netherhall referred to their skilled playmakers and cruised further ahead. In between tries Keswickâ€™s resistance was spirited if spasmodic; Keswickâ€™s set scrum was solid, Josh Newton and Thomas Slack made some strong tackles, Kristian Doherty, Henry Etisoy and Slack ran the ball out of defence effectively but lacked the support necessary to continue the momentum, and Danny Price covered every blade of grass in pursuit of an elusive ball. At half time Netherhall led 31 points -0.
Keswick were given an instant reminder of the need to tighten their defences and of Netherhallâ€™s opportunism, when a try was conceded within 30 seconds of the commencement of the second half.Â Keswick dropped off tackles and failed to chase back and behind the posts the team were reminded again that if they didnâ€™t offer greater resistance they faced the prospect of a massive defeat.
From then on Keswick improved and there is no doubt that their second half performance showed more accurately what the team are capable of. Keswick began to move forward and with greater close support were able to continue promising moves created by the runs of Slack, Price, Ceiran Davidson and Tom Hind. Netherhall were still dangerous every time they had possession, but their monopoly of possession was over and they had to drop back to re-group when at last some Keswick defence was applied going forward. It became Keswickâ€™s mission to score a consolation try and there were very good breaks by Doherty, Slack and Niall Askew which broke the gain line and forced Netherhall to defend inside their â€™22. Keswick began to believe that they could score and were unlucky that on more than one occasion a try would have been likely had one more pass been possible.
It was hard on Keswick that after such a promising recovery Netherhall scored three tries which with conversions took the score past 50. This was not the teamâ€™s finest hour, but this was recognised and recovery from this setback will be swift.
RUGBY CLUB NEWS.
The Cumbrian / North Lancashire League match between Keswick and Upper Eden was postponed on Saturday morning when Davidson Park was deemed waterlogged and unfit for play. This was after an inspection at 5-00 pm on Friday when the prospects for play looked good. A rare entirely fine day had accelerated a drying process begun on Thursday afternoon and the pitch was sufficiently firm (just) by sundown on Friday to allow the application of fresh white lines. The weather on Friday night was horrendous; on Saturday morning there were more puddles on the pitch than at any other time since the Christmas flood and the white lines were gone. The match against Upper Eden will now take place on Saturday 22nd February.
Keswick â€˜Aâ€™ have performed admirably this season with a record which is played 21, won 14, lost 7, points for 771, points against 531. This is not a perfect record, particularly in terms of points conceded, but it remains good enough to keep Keswick occasionally at the top, or near the top of the league.Â This admirable achievement has been the work of an extremely young side with an average age of 20. When Keswick hit top form there are few sides in the Cumbrian League Division 2 who can match their invention, pace and skill. â€˜Top formâ€™ is usually possible when the side remains that which is selected and there are a healthy number of replacements available. These qualities were most abundantly evident in some of Keswickâ€™s early season victories, one of which was against Kirkby Lonsdale â€˜Aâ€™, a match Keswick â€˜Aâ€™ won by 73 points -7.
Recently Keswick â€˜Aâ€™ have had to work harder for their victories, a fact partly attributable to the demands of an increasingly vulnerable 1st XV, and some injuries to key â€˜Aâ€™XV regulars. These developments are compounded by the general shortage of players created by inconsistent availability and a growing number of players unable or unwilling to play rugby on a regular basis. This depletion means that, currently, when Keswick teams are selected all available players are being picked and there is no surplus to fall back upon should gaps subsequently appear. This has been the case for the series of matches since the start of November where six of Keswick â€˜Aâ€™s seven losses have occurred. The situation remains sustainable because Cumbrian League rules do not punish or penalise teams who play with fewer than 15 players. On Saturday when a record number 6 selected players failed to â€˜showâ€™ and there were no reserves available, the team was completely undermined, a situation only partly alleviated by the fighting spirit of the loyal hard-core and the recruitment of Tom Partington and Lewis Davis, redundant casualties of the 1st XV.
KIRKBY LONSDALE â€˜Aâ€™ 43 points â€“ KESWICK â€˜Aâ€™ 14.
Like a lot of teams Kirkby Lonsdale â€˜Aâ€™ are a completely different proposition on their own patch and were quick to see the possibilities that arise from having an extra player. Playing with the aid of a very strong wind Kirkby ripped into Keswick from the start and attacked the heart of the visitors defence with strong destructive running and instantly available driving support. Keswick, who were given a player by Kirkby Lonsdale were placed very much on the back foot as they struggled to contain Kirkbyâ€™s impressive momentum.
Throughout the first half Keswickâ€™s attacks were restricted to breaks by their quick backsÂ but with scrum half Sam Hooper and stand-in stand- off Robert Bland under constant pressure, Keswickâ€™s best runners did well to escape as often as they did. Generally Keswick relied on inconsistent possession, sometimes lacking the quality delivery which enables the best attacks, and were further handicapped when full back Josh Clark sustained a knock which reduced his effectiveness. As usual flanker Christian Sellars topped Keswickâ€™s tackle count as the Keswick pack struggled, but survived, against heavier opponents playing appropriate tactics. In the circumstances it is difficult to see how the referee could have got the score wrong, but he did, crediting Keswick with a third try which they didnâ€™t score and missing a Kirkby try which he added as a penalty. Keswickâ€™s actual reward for survival was 2 tries scored by Dan Stephenson and Dominic Maguire both converted by Dunn.Â Kirkby Lonsdale scored three first half tries, and, in the real world, led at the interval by 21 points -14.
In the end the refereeâ€™s confusion did not matter, Kirkby Lonsdale further punished Keswick with more heavyweight attacking pressure completed first by a try and then a penalty. Kirkbyâ€™s organisation featured enough good defence to deny any wind-assisted Keswick scores and the visitorâ€™s lack of quality possession remained a major handicap. Keswick defended mostly well during the third quarter but, lacking so many vital components, became confused in possession about the best way to play. Utility forward Davis, now operating at stand-off, played in an unorthodox, yet effective manner; but collectively, Keswick failed to produce the right mix between kick and chase and attacks with ball in hand. Keswickâ€™s kicks more often than not gained ground which was then lost to efficient Kirkby Lonsdale counter attack. Keswickâ€™s lack of replacements further added to their woes; in addition to the injury sustained by Clark, another to Dunn meant that Keswick were further weakened by the loss of one of their main strike threats.
Kirkby Lonsdale finished very strongly adding 3 tries without reply during a fourth quarter where the wind was so strong and unpredictable that it was of no real advantage to anyone. Kirkby had 5 replacements which were introduced and rotated at intervals during the second half, – maintaining control and exacting a maximum toll on Keswickâ€™s depleted resources.
WORKINGTON 10 points – KESWICK 10.
KESWICK 41 points â€“ WIGTON 0.
In search of a suitable playing surface Keswick moved the match from Davidson Park to the slightly less saturated Keswick School pitch. Keswick played the match with 14 players, but against a depleted Wigton side suffered no disadvantage because of this. Both Josh Newton and Thomas Slack played for Wigton during the match and were both prominent contributors to some of the visitorâ€™s best moments. Keswick, who were delighted to introduce three recently recruited players, Jordan Martin, Adam Paylor and Max Anderson-Cole, also used the match to experiment with some positional changes. Will Westle, normally Keswickâ€™s highly skilled playmaker at stand-off, played, and in the word of coach Peter Sant â€˜shoneâ€™ at fullback, Tom Hind, the teamâ€™s regular scrum half played in Willâ€™s stand-off position, and Danny Price, who plays with equal aplomb at full back or winger, played very well in his gamesâ€™ lesson position of scrum-half. As with all successful experiments there will now be confusion and healthy disagreement as to who plays where in this Sundayâ€™s crunch Cumberland Cup match against Kendal.
Keswickâ€™s tries against Wigton were scored by Dan Sant 3, Thomas Slack, Kristian Doherty, George Attwood and Henry Etisoy. Danny Price kicked 3 conversions.
COCKERMOUTH 44 points â€“ KESWICK 10.
Keswick travel to Cockermouth with 14 players and against a strong side, blessed with the advantage of superior pace, produced a solid and honest performance. Keswick coach Bryan Mol was delighted with the teamâ€™s effort and said that the Keswick side shows great attitude, a willingness to work hard for each other, even when the game was irretrievable, and that in the circumstances enjoyment and performance was always more important than the result.
The Keswick pack stuck at it against bigger opponents, with the performance of props, Cearan Davidson and Captain Will Addyman providing particular inspiration. Cearan made some very powerful carries which gained priceless ground against a strong defence, and taking full advantage of the momentum Will drove over to score two well-taken tries. Tim Outhwaite worked hard in a stretched back row and was ably supported by James Mattinson and hard-working hooker Ben Hammond.
Against a side who enjoyed most of the possession the Keswick backs were worked hard in defence. Stand-off Matty Newton and centre Sam Cameron made some great tackles and Ben Vaillant did a lot of chasing and covering. In attack Marco Wong showed good positional sense and until he retired injured was Keswickâ€™s most potent wide attacker.
This Sunday Keswick have a County Cup game against Carlisle.
KESWICK 3 tries â€“EGREMONT 7 tries.
After confirming that the match could be played with the optimum 13 a side Keswick only had 11 players in attendance. In order to maximise game time Egremont readily loaned players which allowed rotation and for match to be played with the full compliment. The nine Egremont players loaned over the three periods of play had clearly been acquainted with rugbyâ€™s ancient sporting concept that playing for the opposition means playing properly and, because of this, those well-known downsides associated with borrowing players were avoided at a stroke.
In a game that was made all the more difficult because of the extremely muddy conditions Keswick continued their recent improvement. Zante Stone led Keswickâ€™s charge and with strong carries and good tackles became an inspirational figure in both attack and defence. Always in close support was Keswick skipper Jacob Fell who is a fearless competitor, ever prepared to lead from the front. Realizing immediately they were in a game Egremont rose to the challenge and were soon producing their best attacking form. Keswick battled hard to escape the pressure but Egremont retained the ball after most tackles and dominated the first â€˜thirdâ€™. With a strong mobile pack and individually gifted and a well aligned back division Egremont were dangerous everywhere and at the end of the first period led by 4 tries -0.
All the play had been in one half of the pitch so it said a lot for Keswickâ€™s competitive spirit that in the early phases of period two it was they who dominated possession. There was evidence of Keswickâ€™s improved rucking, Keswick retained ball going forward, and after a great tackle by Eddie Messenger a combination comprising forwards Charlotte Mawdsley, Alice Langcake and Joseph Slack secured a brilliant turnover, – Keswickâ€™s first of the match. Keswick were attacking when control of the ball was lost and Egremont broke to score two tries from admirably constructed counter attacks. Keswickâ€™s attacking initiative was finally rewarded by an opening try created by Seb Sandersonâ€™s final pass and scored in determined fashion by Zante. At the end of the second â€˜thirdâ€™ Egremont scored again to lead 7 tries to 1.
With the game safely in the bag Egremont took the opportunity to test themselves more thoroughly and lent Keswick two of their strongest forwards. This adjustment helped make the final â€˜thirdâ€™ the closest of the match. The wholehearted commitment of the sides produced a thrilling climax where high risk passing helped produce end to end attacking and some extremely physical exchanges in the muddy midfield. Keswick scored the only two tries of the â€˜third. One by Zante, again after a final pass by Seb and a second after a glorious multi pass move involvingÂ Jacob, Riley Moffatt, Nathan Hughes, Jonno Langcake, Charlie Cartmell and one of the borrowed Egremont players.Â There was a final rush to the line, the huddle collapsed and the ball was buried. At the bottom of the pile was the second borrowed Egremont player and when the ball was discovered underneath him a try was awarded. The spectators loved it and the players deserved the appreciative response at the end of the match.
CUMBRIAN LEAGUE DIVISION 2.
Keswick â€˜Aâ€™ 40 points â€“ Upper Eden â€˜Aâ€™ 17.
Once again the match had to be moved from a very soggy Davidson Park to the Keswick School pitch where the benefits of playing on a slightly drier surface make the effort worthwhile for players and spectators alike. Keswick â€˜Aâ€™ and Upper Eden â€˜Aâ€™ have had some close matches recently which made some sense of the visitorâ€™s concerns that in the absence of a 1st XV fixture Keswick might be tempted to boost their chances of success by including 1st teamers in their â€˜Aâ€™ XV. With no need or desire to boost an extremely competent â€˜Aâ€™ squad Keswick were relieved that in the absence of regulars Will Steel, Louis Cornforth, the in-form Joe Quail and skipper Tim Green; Stephen Hodgson, James Langstaff, Dan Simpson and Matty Atkinson were available once more.
The game began well for Keswick who thanks to the positive actions of a lively back row and half backs seemed to find their natural rhythm very quickly. Keswick knew that the pitch was likely to deteriorate and that in order to maximise the benefits of their superior pace they must pass early and expose Upper Eden in the wide channels. Upper Eden had the first extended spell of possession and began by driving hard at the edges. They skilfully kept the ball tight but then, thanks to the combined efforts of Simpson and Christian Sellars, they were slowed, dispossessed and turned. Half backs Jim Creighton and Oliver MacPherson were quick to exploit the turnover and MacPhersonâ€™s pass found Bland in acres of space. Looking to the outside, Bland drove hard at the gap and with Langstaff in support drew the penultimate defender. Langstaffâ€™s charge was ended by a strong tackle but he kept control of the ball and dived over the line for the gameâ€™s opening try. A difficult conversion success by Oliver Dunn capped a fine start for Keswick.
Keswick returned to the attack and a second try was made possible when MacPherson and Bland combined to split the Eden midfield. On the narrow pitch it was only Keswickâ€™s overestimation of available space that ended the attack. Eden resisted Keswickâ€™s next surges with a bout of well organised defence and determined tackling and when Keswick transgressed Eden were able to clear their lines with a penalty kicked to touch. This was the start of a very indifferent spell for Keswick who from one technical lapse to another fell into a trough of indiscipline. This incurred the wrath of the referee who issued Keswick with the promise of yellow cards, and cost 60 metres of territory. Eden were clearly a side who needed no such help and the boost to their confidence was plain to see. Eden advanced and from the third of three tapped penalties a looser driving maul was executed at pace. Keswick back pedalled desperately but were offside and in disarray as Eden ploughed over the line to score.
It was imperative that Keswick restore some composure and they showed good character and were very well disciplined during Upper Eden attacks which followed. One such attack, which was a replica of that from which they scored, saw another big gain in ground by Eden halted by a pair of Keswick counter rucks where a combination of determination and good technique by Keswick forwards Simpson, Langstaff, Ben Hooper and Jonny Howson triumphed over superior muscle. With the hard earned possession Keswick wasted no time in launching a counter attack and Dan Stephenson, Hodgson and full back Josh Clark were involved in an adventurous handling move which carried play to a safer distance. Despite pressure Keswick held fast at a half way line scrum and MacPhersonâ€™s step to the left opened an angle for Bland. Bland steamed through the gap and was only prevented from breaking clear by a very good tackle by the Upper Eden left winger. Bland kept his cool and as he fell he released the perfect pop pass to Hodgson supporting intelligently on the inside. Hodgson completed the attack with a 40 metre dash and a try under the posts and Dunn kicked an easy conversion.
Upper Eden remained dangerous in possession and with the ball under the control of their experienced players were certs to make hard yards. Keswickâ€™s best approach was the early denial of momentum and this was largely achieved by the rock solid tackles of Simpson, Langstaff and the insatiably lively Sellars. On one occasion, where no tackle was made Upper Eden grouped and drove hard in the inside right channel for a gain of 25 metres. The move was stopped by the collapse of the maul and as promised the referee sent Keswickâ€™s prime suspect to the sin bin.
To compensate Keswick upped their effort, with particular determination shown at the first 7 â€“man scrum. Keswick retained the ball and during the broken play which followed burst the visitorâ€™s line with carries by Langstaff, MacPherson and prop forward Dominic Maguire. Supporting well at the heels Creighton switched play against the flow and long passes by MacPherson and Hodgson found Bland in space. Bland showed typical pace and vision and after rounding the only credible defender sprinted in to score. Dunn added conversion points.
Despite the 21 points to 7 lead Keswick were aware that Upper Eden were far from finished and that for the visitors wind advantage and the cut â€“up pitch were likely to represent significant factors which they had the nouse to exploit.
The second half began with a series of fierce exchanges mainly concentrated in the pitchâ€™s extremely muddy centre strip. Keswick knew that the first score of the half was vital and that the opposition must still be denied the opportunity to set up speciality drives and close plays which are generally impossible to defend legally.Â Sellars levelled the first Upper Eden runner, and Simpson the next and Keswick twice won loose possession. On both occasions the interventions were followed by kicks by Hodgson and MacPherson respectively, which gained good distance and confirmed the merits of an alternative approach. Wingers Dunn and Stephenson chased well, both securing the gain in ground and denying the creation of counter attacks.
Keswickâ€™s main threat still lay in the running ability of their back division who with no fear of the deteriorating conditions continued to pass accurately and run at pace. With good field position established, some fast passes saw Eden struggle to fill the space. Having threatened such a move all match, from 50 metres, MacPherson ignored the support outside him and broke on his own to score a stunning fourth try.
Eden stuck to their guns and for the middle 15 minutes of the second half enjoyed a monopoly of possession. This primarily denied the Keswick backs the running opportunities they expected and resulted in a visit to the sin bin for another Keswick forward guilty of collapsing a maul. Eden then developed control from which tries could be scored. An Eden try with a ball hidden for the best part of five minutes made the score 28-12 and briefly hinted at a comeback.
Keswickâ€™s changes saw the introduction of Phil Graham on the wing, Sam Hooper at scrum half and Jonny Craghill at hooker. Those players subsequently removed were only off the pitch for minutes at a time as Keswick offered breathers through rotation to guarantee the pace of the game be preserved during the last quarter. The tactic had the desired effect and Keswick tries 5 and 6, scored respectively by Bland and Creighton, though laced with pace and individual flair were scored against a defence, not giving in, but outmanoeuvred. Dunn converted both tries.
Upper Eden finished the game strongly and runs by their big forwards which mixed driving maul with some very well executed â€˜pick and goâ€™ advances deservedly produced the final score of an entertaining match.
No matches are arranged at half term so Sunday Junior and Mini training took place at Davidson Park. The session had been in doubt all week and anybody who participated in the senior training session on Thursday evening, when the pitch became flooded, would have concluded that there would be no chance of juniors training in such conditions. It kept raining but not hard enough to maintain the flooded surface and a very promising weather forecast for Sunday helped influence the decision to keep the Sunday session on. In the end 41 players from three different age groups turned up and trained on a drying surface with a crust and a slimy sub structure which was more difficult to run in than the squit produced by a flood. A seriously messy but a very productive session ensued.
CUMBRIAN NORTH LANCASHIRE LEAGUE
WHITEHAVEN 16 points â€“ KESWICK 3.
There was a case for thinking that no rugby would be possible at Whitehaven on Saturday where a bog can be created by a lot less rain than that which fell during the days before the match. Knowing that Whitehaven would not mind playing Keswick on a slow dirty pitch Keswick trained with the slow game in mind and despite more rain were not surprised when the match was confirmed on Saturday morning.
Keswick were able to inspect the pitch for them-selves during a warm up which confirmed what had been suspected. The pitch was indeed a bog, and that was without any interference; there was standing water either side of the half way line and everywhere water immediately beneath the surface. Skipper Matty Roper reinforced the message that possession and territory were the twin principles that would win the match.
The match kicked off in bright sunshine which was a useful tool for the tactically astute but brought no benefit in terms of pitch conditions. Keswick played with the sun, but against the wind which was occasionally strong, which on a day where progress ball-in-hand was sure to be difficult, suggested a second half kicking option which was an irresistible natural aid to progress.
Keswick started very brightly and after fielding the kick off drove forward with a series of accurately executed short plays. Every-where play went a quagmire was instantly created but Keswickâ€™s quick presentations were in defiance of the conditions and with encouraging momentum Keswick drove Whitehaven to the edge of their â€˜22â€™. Keswick had demonstrated a tactic which worked and which could be interpreted as a successful first step in the fruition of the game plan.
Whitehaven deserve credit for their positive and focussed response. From the resultant scrum, where they split Keswick and drove them backwards, and during the plays which followed, they hogged possession and showed a desire to work for the hard yards. With the ball off the floor Whitehavenâ€™s forwards made the risky business of offloading from the tackle look easy. This helped fly-over the morass and find forwards located in the â€™10â€™ channel. This created a faster game than that which could possibly have been contemplated. For the middle 20 minutes of the half Keswick were stretched in defence and denied much useful possession. Whitehavenâ€™s progress was helped by penalties which were usually conceded unnecessarily and always punished by wind-assisted boots to touch. There was also some uncharacteristically sloppy play by Keswick where first up tackles were either missed or not sufficiently destructive to prevent the movement of the ball. In desperation, from only occasional possession, Keswick tried to move the ball from impossible start points and on such a slow pitch, against the wind and in the face of fierce Whitehaven defence this was a tactic that could not work. From an attack led impressively by their back-row Whitehaven made progress through the close traffic and with a penalty advantage scored to the right of the Keswick posts. It was a just reward for 15 minutes of pressure in the Keswick â€˜22â€™.
Keswick worked hard to reverse Whitehavenâ€™s domination and following good close running and support by Carrick Wharmby, Karl Smyth and James Hinkley, a kick by Paul Ireland found some undisturbed ground behind the Whitehaven left winger. Whitehaven were turned and vulnerable and further Keswick progress was made through an interchange of short passes by Roper and Jamie McKenzie. This was followed by a series of explosive drives by members of the Keswick pack and play was soon concentrated inside the Whitehaven 5 metre area. A scrum was awarded and Tom Partington combined smoothly with Roper to attack the blind side. Roper was well supported and after being stopped a metre short of the target Keswick forwards took it turn to burrow towards the line. A try against the wind would have represented a major achievement and Keswick came very close. Whitehaven kept their cool against Keswickâ€™s perseverance, tackled hard and with precision, and eventually forced Keswick to release the ball to the threequarters. As Keswick sought deeper space Whitehaven rushed, and with deadly accurate tackles stopped Keswick and then claimed possession. It was a major psychological plus for the home side and undoubtedly one of the gameâ€™s key moments.
Whitehaven finished the half strongly and added a further three points with a penalty. Keswick did well to stop other close penetrations by Whitehaven and had reason to be happy with a half time scoreline which saw them a mere 8 points in arrears.
Keswick had a very clear picture of what was required in the second half and began as well as they had the first. Playing appropriate tactics from the lineout following a penalty kick to touch by Ireland the ball was advanced by forwards Mike Tait and replacement Christian Sellars. Keswick were awarded a penalty and Irelandâ€™s accurate kick reduced the margin to 5 points.
All Keswick needed to do was to return to the Whitehaven half and apply and maintain pressure. This could best be achieved by defending high and in a disciplined manner, ideally at the half way line, advancing the ball through the forwards and kicking, wind-assisted, for position. It was evident from the first half exchanges that neither side had the special pace available to successfully attack from the length of the field, and even if they had, the underfoot conditions were now so bad that the luxury of pace was no longer a significant advantage.
Sadly for Keswick it was Whitehaven who claimed the initiative at this critical stage. Mostly it was achieved by the home sideâ€™s better use of possession which saw determined running by their loose forwards further enhanced by instant support from the tight five. This meant repeated breaches of the gain line followed either by telling presence at the breakdown or support for the offload. As Whitehaven played more rugby Keswick were pressed backwards and achieved a very low turnover rate. Tackling by Sellars and McKenzie remained steadfast but in the absence of Brian Storey in particular, Keswickâ€™s tackling lacked the conviction required.
Thus Whitehaven forced Keswick back to a safe distance where they were denied much chance to kick for position or with just scraps of possession mount anything resembling a counter attack. The penalty count against Keswick remained unhealthily high and this helped Whitehaven remain or return to the Keswick end of the pitch. Twice when Keswick were awarded penalties, they chose to run the ball which gained little ground and compounded decisions clearly indicative of a panicked response. Nobody could criticise Keswickâ€™s effort, and, eventually after almost 20 minutes of stalemate on the wrong side of half-way their slog was rewarded with a break-out led by McKenzie and Tom Garner and a penalty on the edge of the Whitehaven â€˜22â€™. Irelandâ€™s kick hit the post and bounced clear meaning that Keswick still needed a try to draw. Whitehaven, aware of the â€˜let-offâ€™ and the potential damage to Keswickâ€™s morale immediately booted the ball clear and as the game entered its final phase were soon back on the edge of Keswickâ€™s â€˜22â€™.
Still playing with enormous spirit but completely unable to break free of Whitehavenâ€™s grip Keswick defended a series of Whitehaven attacks the last of which saw determined tackling by Sellars, Roper and McKenzie but the award of a penalty to Whitehaven. The kick was successful, producing a 3-11 scoreline which meant the potential loss of the match, and of the loserâ€™s bonus point.
Chasing the game Keswick advanced again through a series of short drives which took them into the Whitehaven â€˜22â€™. Keswick lost the ball forcing the pass, and a swift Whitehaven counter attack returned play to the Keswick â€˜22â€™. Defending desperately Keswick advanced too quickly at the edge and in their eagerness conceded a further penalty. Whitehaven kicked for the corner and from the resultant lineout play was switched back to the blind side where a try was scored at the flag.
Keswick ended the contest in the Whitehaven half where the determined charges of Partington, Wharmby, McKenzie and Tait made ground but so slowly that in the now impossible conditions Whitehavenâ€™s heavier forwards were able to re-group and drive Keswick sideways. By now the mire was at its most glutinous, fallen players became part of the ground, play was almost at a standstill, and despite the sunshine the players were indistinguishable.
Keswick â€˜Aâ€™s home match against Carlisle â€˜Bâ€™ was postponed on Friday afternoon. Once again an inspection confirmed that the pitch was still waterlogged and there could be no prospect of play. There has been so much rain that even Keswick Schoolâ€™s pitches, which have traditionally provided a reliable alternative to Davidson Park, were similarly unplayable.
COCKERMOUTH 7 tries- KESWICK 2 tries.
Keswick gave another improved performance against a very strong Cockermouth side that beat Keswick 8 tries to 1 earlier in the season. Keswick continue to enjoy the benefits of a dominant set scrum but have now got much better at rucking, an area which posed the biggest problem during the early part of the season. Now, thanks to hard practice and greater awareness Keswick donâ€™t lose nearly so much possession at the ruck, Archie Fillingham, Jonno Langcake, Alice Lancake and Eddie Messenger are becoming experts at rucking skills and because of this Keswick retain more ball. This is beneficial as it helps the team demonstrate more of their undoubted attacking talent.
By their standards Cockermouth were slow off the mark and Zante Stone made the first of several runs past the first up defence. Seb Sanderson backed up well and so too did Jacob Fell and Nicole Mattinson. Keswick were twice within a dive of the Cockermouth try line but Cockermouth recovered to make effective last ditch tackles. A try before Cockermouth settled would have been beneficial but despite a good effort Keswick just couldnâ€™t get over the line. Cockermouth have three very good players upon whom they depend to make breaks, and who score most of their tries. Cockermouth have a good tactic of booting the ball up field and chasing it with their fast players. This tactic resulted in four of their tries against Keswick. Cockermouth scored 3 tries in the first half against 1 scored by Zante for Keswick.
In the second half Keswick made a bad start by conceding a try in the first minute. There was some disorganisation after the half-time substitutions which resulted in the loss of another try and Keswickâ€™s cause was not helped when Riley Moffatt had to retire with a knee injury. Keswick dug in and defended well against some very threatening Cockermouth attacks. Zante led the way with some textbook tackling and Jacob and Nicole were not far behind him. Jim Trotman made a great tackle when a Cockermouth forward tried to go it alone from a tap penalty. Keswick returned to the attack with some solid play by Archie and James Miller who stopped Cockermouth forwards before robbing them of the ball with some very good mauling.
Louis Jenkinson playing his second game for Keswick this season then scored the try of the match. There were some exchanges of possession near the half way line when neither side seemed capable of controlling the ball. As eager and busy as usual Seb picked up an awkward loose ball and fed Louis. In a flash Louis stepped around his marker and showed great pace in a 20 metre dash to the line.
Cockermouth finished strongly scoring two more tries when their fastest player sprinted in from distance. Keswick were sorry to lose by a margin that did not reflect the balance of play but in terms of improvement this was a performance of which Keswick should feel pleased.
CUMBRIAN / NORTH LANCASHIRE LEAGUE.
BOLTON 20 points -KESWICK 3.
Bolton are top of the league but last weekâ€™s victory over Hawcoat Park when Keswick battled to the end and won with a try in the last minute, was a reward for good effort which did much to fuel confidence. Then Keswick were fractured by changes in composition made to plug the gaps in the back division, and on the bench, which appeared both pre and post selection. The disruption facilitated the returns of Brian Storey and Jamie McKenzie and, unexpectedly, from Australia Andy Muir. One gap could not be filled and Keswick had to tackle the toughest match of the season with only 17 men. It is more difficult still to compensate for the continued absence of the injured skipper Matty Roper watching anxiously from the technical area but playing every move. Dean Robinson performed well at scrum half against Hawcoat Park and was asked to repeat the performance here.
On a perfectly prepared and massive fast pitch, Keswick made a great start and, with an unambiguous statement of intent, a first run at Boltonâ€™s midfield defence by flanker James Addyman was only stopped by the necessary intervention of a third tackler. Addyman remained on his feet until he decided to go to ground and with the rapid arrival of support Keswick won their first quick ruck ball. The move framed the events of the next 20 minutes which saw an intense and enthralling battle for the gain line that shifted mostly between the â€˜22â€™s. Keswick mixed their game and Paul Ireland kept the ball in front of the forwards with some well weighted kicks. With Thomas Garner and Tom Partington prominent, Keswick moved the ball skilfully in their best demonstration of short passing since October, and won the turnovers with regularly applied smash and grab. Both sides were desperate to play rugby but two unscrupulous high line defences, scrambling like crazy thwarted each otherâ€™s best efforts. After a lot of noisy head-on collisions, and a softer one between two cars on the road beside the pitch, Bolton shifted their emphasis to include the greater involvement of an extremely talented centre.
This made a big difference, all Boltonâ€™s possession was directed at their star man and suddenly a Keswick midfield which appeared watertight was cracked by angled runs, cuts and sharply executed run rounds. For Keswick knowing where the ball was going made it no easier to solve the problems being presented by a highly skilled individual and for most of the second quarter Keswick were placed firmly on the back foot. Keswick affected escapes with clearing runs by McKenzie and Muir and Ireland saw a very ambitious kick at goal fall short. After conceding a penalty for a high tackle Keswick were kicked to the corner where Boltonâ€™s driving maul was executed to perfection and a try was scored.
Keswick battled to reverse the effects of Boltonâ€™s improvement but suffered further through losses of ground at the scrum and from some decisions which seemed harsh and inconsistently applied. Bolton added a penalty and more critically, just before half-time, a second try.
Bolton were taken aback by Keswickâ€™s second good start of the day and from a position where they could have justifiably thought they had ridden Keswickâ€™s best effort it was they who were suddenly defending for all they were worth. Keswick started the second half with guns blazing and with a dominant display, particularly in the loose, the Keswick forwards assumed an emphatic upper hand. Keswickâ€™s initial surges by Addyman, Partington and Garner resulted in gains in ground, but soon the effort became more collective and runs were continued by the provision of quality support. McKenzie made a run in the inside right channel which absorbed so many defenders that had a quick release been possible Keswick would surely have scored. Then between them Partington and Addyman backed up by the angled driving support of locks Carrick Wharmby and Karl Smyth took the ball into the Bolton â€˜22â€™. Bolton then showed how good they were in defence. For five minutes Keswick battered the Bolton rear-guard, mainly by the use of short drives, some of which were stopped inches from the try line. The ball was allowed out â€˜one channelâ€™ as Keswick varied their options. Lewis Davis was held up short and so too were Robinson and prop forward Mike Tait. Keswick were awarded a penalty from which another surge was attempted; again Bolton held firm.
A penalty awarded to Keswick in front of the posts was too good to spurn and Ireland kicked deserved points. Keswick were confident and playing well and couldnâ€™t wait to get back to the Bolton deep end. This was achieved initially down the wide left with a run out of defence by Andy Wallace, backed by wingman Bruce Rigby. Keswick continued the pressure through the forwards who were still dominant and winning all the 50-50 challenges. Deft passes going right creating running opportunities for Ireland and his centres and when Keswick got more forwards to a breakdown on the centre right one of the few holes left by Bolton was instantly exposed. Keswick drove straight and Smyth was principal carrier in a surge which was held up only feet from the line. Other Keswick forwards had a go at the tantalisingly close line without reward, and two passes out Addyman smashed a path to within inches of the target. Against a less proficient defence there would have been a Keswick score, or at least more penalties, but under pressure Bolton were superb and worked for what they achieved. As good as they were they would be the first to admit that at the end of their most thorough examination, in the 62nd minute, Keswick deserved a try. It was Keswickâ€™s clearest sight of the line, well away from the melee on an exposed wide left; a try could have changed the game and at least given Keswick a whiff of the bonus point their efforts deserved. To Boltonâ€™s relief, the try scoring pass was dropped and it was Keswickâ€™s last good chance.
Keswick, who had introduced their two replacements and re introduced the lively Garner due to an injury to Smyth, gave their all but were unable to reproduce the concentrated pressure which troubled Bolton throughout the third quarter. Keswick continued their good approaches and the banishment to the sin bin of Boltonâ€™s troublesome open side flanker would have allowed slightly greater freedom at the edge had not the rest of the Bolton forwards compensated by working harder. Partington and replacement prop Ben Hooper made the space for Garner to run yet again but against a restored Bolton defence Keswickâ€™s continuity lacked its previous cutting edge. Bolton finished well, as all good sides do, and exploited slight and fleeting disorganisation on Keswickâ€™s right to achieve their most advanced position of the half. Keswick conceded a penalty inside their â€˜22â€™ allowing Bolton a catch and drive lineout from which they could directly threaten the Keswick line.
Keswick showed typical character defending the next phases but were eventually knocked back, deemed offside, and conceded a try in the dying minutes of the match. The conversion was successful giving Bolton a 20 points -3 lead. The game ended in a flurry of non-stop action with Bolton in search of a bonus point try and Keswick chasing the try which could still have led to the prospect of a loserâ€™s bonus point. The sizable crowd were entertained all the way to the end of a breathless contest.
Â CUMBRIAN SHIELD
KESWICK â€˜Aâ€™ 45 points â€“ MILLOM â€˜Aâ€™ 0.
Keswick â€˜Aâ€™ extended their lead at the top of the table with another emphatic success. The basis for victory lay in a full strength squad, good organization and a well-established game plan which concentrates on strength in the tackle and the invention of an extremely quick back division. Millom â€˜Aâ€™ were not a poor side but with fast hands and faster feet Keswick played the game at a pace which Millom were unable to match. Keswick scored 7 tries, 5 of which were scored during a first half blitz.
Keswick try scorers were Dan Stephenson 2, Jim Creighton, Joe Quail, Josh Clark, Jonny Howson and Will Steel. Oliver Dunn kicked 5 conversions.
January 9, 2014
CUMBRIAN NORTH LANCASHIRE LEAGUE
KESWICK 17 points â€“ HAWCOAT PARK 14.
For a variety of reasons it is desirable that the first match of the new-year takes place at home. With Davidson Park waterlogged and unplayable fears that some of the advantages associated with playing at home would be lost by the necessary shift to the main Keswick School pitch, were negated by the positive attitude of the Keswick team. Keswick adopted a game plan tailored to cater for the absence of a different set of key players and an unfeasibly narrow marked pitch. Despite the prolonged wet weather the Keswick School pitches remained in good condition and, unlike Davidson Park, were noticeably improved by a dry Fridayâ€™s gale force wind.
Keswick began more shakily than they would have liked, which was a shame because Hawcoat Park began shakily too. The exchanges were scrappy, and beyond clearances which were necessary, punctuated by unproductive kicking. That none of this was punished by more positive counter attack showed a reluctance to take a risk which was surprising given the need to boost confidence and the psychological importance of the first strike. On a surprisingly windless day, on a still helpful pitch, decisions to merely return kicks represented missed opportunity.
There was a lot of hard graft up front with Tom Partington, Carrick Wharmby and James Addyman Keswickâ€™s most prominent ball carriers matched by some equally robust contributions by the prominent individuals of the visitorâ€™s pack. Any progress was hard earned, play was exclusively wedged between the â€˜22â€™s and there was nothing resembling a try scoring chance. The stalemate was broken by an illegal tackle by a Hawcoat Park forward, and from 40 metres Paul Ireland confidently landed a kick that might not have been possible on a windy day.
The stalemate continued, but gradually, during periods where attempts were made to pass for progress, defences were tested by more varied and productive attacking initiatives. Hawcoat Park broke the Keswick line with a fast passing exchange and should have gone for goal and equalised from a penalty awarded just to the left of the sticks. Hawcoatâ€™s decision to kick for position was staggering, and particularly when the ball was then kicked dead, represented a massive let off for Keswick.
Keswick also began to find their passing range and threatened with increasing menace in the channels occupied by centre Mike Bunting. Bunting made two good runs which turned Hawcoatâ€™s midfield and allowed further progress by lively hooker Tom Garner, prop James Hinkley and the strong running Addyman. Hawcoat cleared under pressure, but Oliver MacPhersonâ€™s quickly taken lineout exploited disarray in the visitors defence and a running opportunity for Keswick centre Bruce Rigby. Rigby made rapid progress inside the â€˜22â€™ and good support by Keswick forwards Partington and Garner offered Keswick a 3 on 1 situation from which a try ought to have been scored. Some credit was due to the last despairing Hawcoat defender whose slap-tackle on Partington did enough to help dislodge the ball as it was being placed on the try line.
The miss was costly; despite losing a forward to the sin-bin Hawcoat Park exploited their weight advantage in the set scrum to develop an edge at the ruck, and were the better side for what remained of the first half. They were rewarded for their improvement with a 34th minute penalty which was kicked and tied the scores at 3-3.
Keswick began the second half on the attack but after a failed kick chase Hawcoatâ€™s best player, a lock forward, made significant yardage and when eventually he was stopped Keswick conceded a penalty. It was the start of a very poor patch for Keswick; just after this, back on the attack, Keswick conceded an unnecessary penalty for â€˜crossingâ€™ and Hawcoat took telling advantage with a big kick to the left hand corner. Hawcoat won the lineout ball and exerted pressure with a series of driving mauls which Keswick struggled to resist. Despite twice being crabbed sideways Hawcoat kept the ball and with a final surge were awarded a try at the corner flag.
The game remained scrappy and despite a deteriorating pitch managed to increase its overall pace. Keswick knew they would have to work hard to de rail an improving side and runs at the heart of the visitorâ€™s defence by Garner and Addyman characterised Keswickâ€™s good attitude. Throughout the third quarter both sides tried the wide option without too much success although it was suspected that if Keswick had been able to find wing men MacPherson and Robert Bland with accurate passes there was an opportunity to exploit superior pace. Mainly the teams were happy to trust in their forwards and increasingly the contest became one where fitness and the greater staying power would determine which pack would be more likely to prevail. Keswick continued to graft without reward and there were more powerful bursts in the midfield by Wharmby and Addyman. Keswickâ€™s efforts were still blighted by inaccuracy and, after a loss of possession; Hawcoat kicked a penalty to go further ahead.
Keswick raised their game in response and led once again by Addyman, Partington and Wharmby played a very good sequence of pick and go moves which placed Hawcoat under pressure close to their line. Keswick were penalised for â€˜holding onâ€™ but minutes later, thanks to a brilliant counter attacking run by full back Andy Wallace, returned to the same area of the field to repeat the pressure. Keswick had to work doubly hard against a defence which fully exploited the latitude allowed them at the back-foot and with the try line only feet away it became necessary to widen the play. In the expanded edge Keswick forwards Karl Smyth and Lewis Davis smashed further holes allowing hooker Garner a sight of the line. Showing strength, technique and the value of practice, Garner took his half chance and despite the attentions of two defenders drove determinedly to score underneath the crossbar. Ireland kicked the conversion creating a scoreline of 10 points -11.
With everything to play for Keswick had confirmed their best way to play. Returning to the Hawcoat â€˜22â€™ Keswick were punished for a loss of control and Hawcoat won a scrum from which they affected an escape. Again further penalty concessions and spillages of possession by Keswick helped Hawcoat progress and their pressure led to a penalty which was kicked for a 10-14 scoreline.
The score did little to alter Keswickâ€™s position, a try was still required and with eight minutes to play there were signs that Keswick had the endurance to play flat out all the way to the end of the match. Twice, runs by Addyman supported by Wharmby took play into the Hawcoat â€˜22â€™ where Keswick discovered greater accuracy and exchanges became intense. Davis, Smyth and Garner all drove for the line but were driven back by Hawcoatâ€™s accurate and hard hitting tackles. At this time some stoppages for injuries to Hawcoat players helped Keswick plan their next moves and re charge their batteries and it was clear now which side had the capacity for a really big finish.
The move from which Keswick won the match began with a run by Wallace which made good ground and provided the target for Keswickâ€™s ever willing support. The ball was moved wide to MacPherson whose promising run was ended by a tackle which may have been deemed a tad high. Addyman emerged from the melee with the ball and after bursting a tackle hit clear space inside the visitors â€˜22â€™. With support abundant Keswick carved their way to the 5 metre line where another sequence of pick and go drives, this time to the right of the posts, further unsettled the visitorâ€™s defence. Keswick executed the play perfectly and released the ball to a wider attacking channel at precisely the right time. Demonstrating an uncanny knack of being in the right place at the right time and scoring his 5th try against Hawcoat Park this season it was Garner who bashed his way over the line to claim a last gasp win for Keswick. Irelandâ€™s conversion was the last act of the match.
Â CUMBRIAN LEAGUE
KESWICK â€˜Aâ€™ 17 points- ST BENEDICTâ€™S â€˜â€™Aâ€™ 14.
Playing alongside the 1st XV can only mean that the â€˜Aâ€™ XV will lose players, in this case star threequarter Robert Bland who was a named 1st XV replacement, captured after 15 minutes play. Prop forward Ben Hooper had already moved from â€˜Aâ€™ to 1st in the morning but, with both matches at home, Keswick had options and plenty players with which they could paper over the cracks. Keswick â€˜Aâ€™ now have 4 consecutive matches at home which will provide some possibility of fielding a settled side.
This was good preparation for the matches to follow. St Benedictâ€™s are tough opponents with lots of presence up front, backs that like to run and a never say die attitude. Keswick won a very competitive match away in September by the score of 40 points â€“ 29, but the quality of the defences in this return, as evidenced by the intensity of the early exchanges indicated a smaller and closer contest this time.
The first half was an end to end affair with lots of play inside the respective â€˜22â€™s and a mutually ferocious determination to prevent scores. Keswick might have suffered from the loss of Hooper and Bland had it not been for the determined contributions, of their various replacements. Making his senior debut Sam Hooper played with the bottle and commitment which has characterised his junior career and John Addyman, on leave from the army, was rock solid at prop and lively in the loose. Joe Quail continues an injury free comeback with typical contributions and there were welcome returns from long term lay-offs by Jim Creighton and Ross Connell.
Of the regulars Skipper Tim Green and the non-stop Christian Sellars set a typically high bar for what is expected in defence andÂ against heavier opponents tight forwards Dom Maguire and Zeb Stone broke quickly from scrum and lineout to provide instant backing for the first-up tacklers.
As half time approached it looked as if the first period would produce a 0-0 scoreline but after a sustained build-up of pressure led by the Keswick forwards Quail broke to score and further points were added when Oliver Dunn kicked the conversion.
The second half was just as close as the first but St Benedictâ€™s saw a greater share of possession and Keswick, who were not helped by the loss of the workhorse Stephen Hodgson, had to work very hard to preserve their lead. With a significant weight advantage in the forwards St Benedictâ€™s were right to keep the ball tight and were rewarded with tries scored from close quarters which Keswick were powerless to defend. Keswickâ€™s try scoring chances were not so clear cut but the home side remained very much in contention thanks to breaks from defence by Dunn and Louis Cornforth which turned and stretched St Benedictâ€™s
Keswickâ€™s belief in their fitness and the calm leadership of Green meant that the means by which Keswick could steal the result lay in concentration, application of the right option and seizing the chance. Keswick upped their work rate, St Benedictâ€™s momentarily fell off the pace and Quail popped up again to score his second try. Dunn kicked the equalising points.
Both sides went all out for victory in the short time that remained. Keswick claimed that victory when they were awarded a penalty shot which Dunn landed with calmness and accuracy.
December 15, 2013
KESWICK 5 points â€“ CARLISLE 45.
The game began alarmingly for Keswick who seemed to undergo a collective â€˜forget what to doâ€™ moment where no body reacted, moved up or tackled during Carlisleâ€™s completion of two simple moves. With less than 2 minutes on the clock Keswick were 0-10 down and no member of the team had touched the ball other than skipper, scrum half and kicker Jacob Fell.
Keswick soon remembered the match plan and the chase which followed Jacobâ€™s third kick off was a lot more convincing. Charlotte Mawdsley and Jonno Langcake arrived at the catcher together and from Charlotteâ€™s tackle Keswick re-gained possession. Keswick were caught in possession as the ball was moved across the pitch but at least the passage ended with Keswick established inside the Carlisle half.
Keswick didnâ€™t stay there for long and Carlisle showed their passing ability with moves which demonstrated handling expertise and an understanding of the importance of good alignment. This was the sort of thing which Keswick had talked about and practiced in training, and Carlisle, who clearly were a team with greater experience than Keswick, were showing how passing and alignment skills can be effectively applied in a match. After their earlier setbacks Keswickâ€™s defence improved massively and as Carlisle advanced there were great tackles by Charlotte, Ben Calder, Zante Stone and Joseph Slack. Keswick were urged to â€˜move upâ€™ with more haste and they found that when they did, tackles became a lot easier to make. Alongside Zante, Seb Sanderson showed great promise as a tackler and on more than one occasion made successive successful tackles on Carlisle forwards roughly twice his size.
Keswickâ€™s rucking has improved with practice in matches, games lessons and in training. However Carlisleâ€™s rucking was super-efficient and Keswick soon discovered that if the ball was not secured quickly after the tackle then Carlisleâ€™s expertise, delivered by bigger heavier forwards always meant the loss of the ball. Ben, Charlotte, Eddie Messenger, Alice Langcake, James Miller and Jim Trotman worked hard to get to the breakdown and compete at the ruck but Keswick still struggled to retain decent possession.
This setback was in contrast to the set scrum where Keswick excelled and secured the clean possession which allowed breaks by Jacob, Zante and the extremely elusive Nicole Mattinson. Against less well organised opposition than Carlisle these breaks could have led to try scoring opportunities but good defence and a failure by Keswick to always offer immediate support for the ball carrier meant that good runs went unrewarded. Carlisle scored two further tries and the first third ended with a score of 0-20.
Keswick played a very good second third where the scrum got stronger and passing was helped by improvements in ball control and alignment. Nicole ran brilliantly out of some very tight spots and Zante made some typically determined runs from the deep field. Try as they might Keswick just couldnâ€™t score, sometimes because breaks were unsupported, or when, in the absence of close support, the ball was passed to Carlisle players, or when breaks were made but Carlisle recovered and quickly got back to man a second wall of defence. The â€˜thirdâ€™ finished with Keswick attacking in the Carlisle half in a move led by Zante but featuring good support by Joseph and Ben. Keswickâ€™s effort was reflected in the fact that even with a still greater share of possession and territory Carlisle only managed 2 more tries before the second break.
Keswick played their best rugby of the match in period three. The result was out of reach but where enjoyment, understanding and improvement are the primary objectives all that interested the Keswick team was scoring at least one try.
There was plenty effort from everybody in the side beginning with a try saving tackle by Seb, followed by further good defence by Zante, Jacob, and when Carlisle passed the ball wide by Charlie Cartmell and Nathan Hughes. Twice Carlisle broke the Keswick line to score tries, but were also dragged down inches short by great tackles. Twice Keswick carried the ball over their own line but then pushed Carlisle at the resultant 5 metre scrum, and, at last, with Nicole showing the way Keswick broke to the safety of the half way line. From here Keswick did some serious attacking and Zante, Seb and Nicole combined to create a chance for Jonno. Jonno is formidable going forward and it took three Carlisle defenders to drag him over. Later after a break by Alice the Carlisle defence moved up quickly to drive Keswickâ€™s attack sideways and to the safety of touch.
Carlisle scored their ninth try against the run of play and it it was this disappointment which sparked Keswickâ€™s big finish. Arriving at the tackle quickly and in force Keswick won a ruck on the half way line and Alice broke from the base to make some hard yards. George Carter Denton playing only his second game of rugby ever, took Aliceâ€™s pass under pressure but showed great composure and despite being tackled produced a deft pass to Zante. Zante took over and made headway in the tight left wing channel against three defenders who tried to slow him down. Under difficult circumstances Zante produced a pass and the ball was taken by Jacob. Pinned to touch, with no room ahead, and little or no space at the open edge, Jacob had to run backwards and sideways around the defence the long way, – a distance of about 50 metres. Jacob took full responsibility and in an effort exemplifying the best traditions of captaincy sprinted in at the far right hand corner to score. It was the try of the match; the very least Keswick deserved, and drew warm applause from the supporters of both camps.
Â YOUNG RUGBY AMBASSADORS.
The Young Rugby Ambassadors â€˜touchâ€™ 7s takes place at Davidson Park on Wednesday 18th December. Six of 8 competing squads will be captained by a Keswick RFC Young Rugby Ambassador with the other two squads captained by Keswick School 6th formers Peter Wilson and Keswick School vice-captain of Rugby Matty Horne.
There has been much competition amongst the Ambassadors to secure the services of the best â€˜touchâ€™ players but compliance with the competition rules has meant that teams cannot be overloaded and in theory all squads should be equal. The rules state that each squad should contain a maximum of two seniors; that there must be at least two girls in each squad, that two girls must be on the pitch at all times and that each squad should contain at least two players who have never played rugby before, both or either of whom should be on the pitch at all times.
The event will kick off at 4-00 pm, it will last about 80 minutes, and there will be food to follow.Â Supporters are welcome and the bar and kitchen will be open for the provision of refreshments.
Keswickâ€™s Young Rugby Ambassadors are Stuart Gray, Christian Sellars, Katie Pepper, Ceri Storer, Bethan Lloyd, Jim Creighton, Lilly Hodgson and Matty Atkinson.
The YRA Rugby Christmas Picture Quiz is available from YRAâ€™s, the PE Office at Keswick School and from Wolly behind the bar at Davidson Park. The winners of the Picture Quiz will be announced on 17th December.