Egremont survive snow but lose Eden

Egremont managed to beat the elements to host a superb Cumbria League match at Bleach Green on Saturday, March 3 which astonishingly given the big freeze was played on a perfect pitch in spring sunshine.

Final Moments: Egremont never gave up contesting tackle with Upper Eden

However league leaders Upper Eden took the role of the beasts from the east of the county to take maximum points from this skillful and entertaining encounter.

The visitors took an early lead from an unconverted try, but this spurred Egremont to produce some of the best attacking play seen this season as they responded to the challenge in fine style.

The first of three tries in the opening half came from left wing Jack Gascoyne, who looked confident and threatening throughout the game in an excellent debut performance.

Full back Brad Jackson converted for a 7-5 lead and soon after added a converted try of his own to extend Egremont’s lead to 14-5.

Upper Eden looked as startled at Egremont’s play as they did at the weather but true to their league-leading status they scored again in a gripping period of play to narrow the gap once again to 14-12.

Egremont surged back into the visitors’ half and were rewarded with a very well-worked try by flanker Graham Temple from an attacking scrum, again converted by Jackson, to stretch the lead to 21-12.

An excellent half of rugby closed at 21-19 to Egremont following another converted Eden try, allowing the good-sized crowd to catch their breath during the interval.

The visitors shared some sharp words amongst themselves at the break and, as a result, added their fourth try within minutes of the restart to take the lead for the first time since the opening moments.

However, Egremont were not overawed in the slightest and with powerful flanker Richard Marr, intelligent half backs Jack and Billy Thompson, and debut lock Ben Brock to the fore the Bleach Green side immediately responded to secure a bonus point fourth try of their own through the dangerous Gascoyne for a 26-24 lead in this see-saw thriller.

Unfortunately for Egremont an awkward fall from the restart saw number 8 Jimmy Temple, who had been in outstanding form throughout, clearly in some distress on the ground.

Soon after he was stretchered off the pitch and taken to hospital, it became clear that the loss of talisman Temple had had a completely opposite effect on either team.

Egremont were clearly rattled whilst Upper Eden gained increased confidence, allowing the visitors to shake free of the home side for the first time in the match as they posted three tries in quick succession for a seemingly unassailable lead.

To their immense credit, Egremont once again recovered their all-action style and finished the match the stronger with two late tries.

The final score was 50-38 to the league leaders, with an 8 to 6 try count a fair reflection of the terrific entertainment on offer in this enthralling encounter, which was very well-refereed by Barrow’s Ciaron Trainer.

Egremont were quick to praise the Upper Eden team for their efforts in getting to the game, particularly as a number of their players had to trudge through snowdrifts in the Kirkby Stephen area.

All at the club also wish Jimmy Temple a full and speedy recovery from his injury.

Egremont make the trip down the coast to Millom on Saturday, March 10 as the Cumbria League fixture list once again picks up momentum.