Egremont Rugby Union took three matches in a week

EGREMONT RUFC faced three tough tests against Millom and Upper Eden in the League with a Cup match against St. Benedicts on a damp midweek night in between.

Egremont team photograph – photo Jeffery Dixon

This has been an intensive period for Egremont, with two league matches and a cup game having to be played over just eight days.
There were no complaints from the Bleach Green side, however, and despite the rigors of the program club spirit was very high from start to finish.

Millom were the visitors on Saturday, November 11 in a match which probably fairly reflected the bottom two status of the sides.
The visitors were dogged opponents throughout the scrappy encounter and despite well-deserved tries for prop Karl Connor and wing Scott Hail, the visitors outscored their hosts by three tries to two.
However, Millom had no answer to the accurate boot of Egremont full back Brad Jackson who hit four penalty kicks in addition to the two conversions, ensuring that the much-needed league points went to the home side.
Millom were rewarded with a losing bonus point which, on the day, they fully deserved as Egremont won 26 – 23.

Egremont then faced a short turnaround before welcoming St Benedicts to Bleach Green on the Tuesday, November 14 in the newly revamped Cumbria Cup draw, which gives the lower ranked side the home draw in round one.
Despite the relentless heavy drizzle, both sides adopted a positive and attacking approach from the kick off, giving the large and appreciative midweek crowd plenty to enjoy on an otherwise foul night.

St Benedicts made the better start, as befits their superior league status, and within twenty minutes they had forged a two try lead.
Egremont, however, seemed to be gaining in confidence as the match progressed and rattled St Benedicts with the ferocity of their tackling and clearing out from the outstanding Liam Kirkbride and Graham Temple in particular. This kept the visitors’ lead to 10-0 at the break and, within minutes of the restart, Egremont roared right back into the game when hooker David Hargreaves bustled over to narrow the gap.

Crucially, St Benedicts then scored a try against the second half run of play to extend their lead, but Egremont came back again with the first of a brace of tries for Jackson.
The visitors then sensibly opted for a penalty three-pointer to leave the game finely balanced at 20-14.
In the continual rain, St Benedicts scored a crucial converted try from a pushover scrum to take a grip on the game as time began to run out for Egremont.
However, Jackson’s second try kept the game in the balance as Egremont kept attacking right up until the final whistle, giving a very respectable final score of 27-19 to St Benedicts which gave them the win, but which earned Egremont considerable respect on the night.

An away visit to joint league leaders Upper Eden within four days, however, was a bridge too far for a plucky but exhausted Egremont.
They did rattle the Kirkby Stephen side by taking the lead within five minutes of the start with an excellent team try finished off and converted by Brad Jackson, but a flurry of injuries left Egremont clinging on by their fingertips at half time, when the hosts led by just 17-7.

Upper Eden were quick to take advantage of Egremont’s fatigue, and in the twenty minutes following half time they raced out to an unassailable lead.
To their credit Egremont summoned up the energy to finish considerably the stronger of the two teams, and a darting scrum half try from the excellent man-of-the-match Jack Thompson was no less than the visitors deserved as they completed this intense period of match action.
Upper Eden ran out 47 – 15 winners.

Egremont return to Bleach Green on Saturday, November 25 for the visit of Silloth in the Cumbria League Cup, with a 2.15pm kick off.

This is followed by a very special event for the club when mighty ex-All Black Zinzan Brooke will be presenting the players’ awards and then speaking to a packed audience in the clubhouse, rounding off in style a very busy period for all involved with Egremont RUFC.