Egremont Rugby Union beat Carlisle Crusaders

THERE was drama aplenty on and off the field for Egremont on Saturday September 24.

The 2016 - 2017 Egremont Rugby Union first team - photo by Jeffrey Dixon

The 2016 – 2017 Egremont Rugby Union first team – photo by Jeffrey Dixon

A broken down car meant that the Bleach Green side took to the field with just fourteen players, which is how it stayed throughout the match.

Egremont faced the strong wind and were outplayed throughout the first half by a determined Carlisle side who reached the interval with a 22-7 lead and a try bonus point to show for their efforts.

Egremont’s centre Josh Graves, who was outstanding throughout, powered over for the visitors’ only try in that half but coming as it did just before the break, Egremont took a great deal of confidence from the timely score knowing that they would have the gale behind them when play resumed.

The ‘magnificent seven’ Egremont forwards found a new lease of life from the restart and, led by inspirational performances from Jimmy Temple and Daniel Caine, they produced a steady stream of ball for an increasingly dangerous looking back line.

Such was the turnaround in Egremont’s fortunes that they overhauled an increasingly ragged and rattled Carlisle to take a 24-22 lead with ten minutes remaining.

However, the hosts seized on one of the few Egremont second half mistakes to pilfer a try against the run of play to take them back in front of this thrilling encounter by 27-24.

With time running out Egremont continued to throw everything at the home team, and they were rewarded for their efforts when Alan Case burst through a demoralised Carlisle defence for the winning try which Josh Graves converted for an extraordinary and thoroughly deserved 31-27 win for the fourteen visitors.

What made the result especially pleasing was that Egremont’s coach for the day was Graham Kidd who, during the early September match between the two teams, had left the field in the Air Ambulance.

He returned to inspire the Egremont players to victory over his former club and received a very warm welcome from all concerned.