Miners Rangers went down to their first defeat of the season as Egremont, who have been rampant in the early weeks of the campaign, were too strong on a traditional Cumbrian mudbath of a pitch. Miners know full well the dangers of playing newly-promoted sides so early in the season when the afterglow of success is still bright, having been ambushed by the likes of Eastmoor and East Leeds in previous years, and this Egremont side are several classes above those opponents. The Cumbrians, narrowly vanquished by Miners in the Conference Cup final last season, showed just why they are hotly tipped to challenge at the top of the table this term with this crushing victory over a Miners side who have been equally fancied in 2013, and whilst the thirty points difference between the teams might have been a little harsh on the visitors there can be no doubt the Gillfoot Park side were full value for their comfortable victory.
Miners were without Ross Bradley and Andrew Groves through work commitments whilst John Woods was forced from the action in the early stages as they battled up the slope in the first half. Sean Pendlebury and Shaun McDonald came into the side with Tom Farrimond starting at prop. The early stages saw the visitors pressing on the Egremont line but without the breakthrough and instead it was the home side who took the lead, Peter Murphy allowed to take a quick tap penalty inside the Miners’ ten and with no home defenders in front of him he strolled through for the try. From there the floodgates opened in the second quarter as three more Egremont tries followed in short order, the outstanding Blake Mahovic storming through under the posts and then the Cumbrians moving play to their left wing and exposing gaps out wide as Ryan Barnes twice found himself with space to score at the corner. It could have been worse for Miners as only a fine covering tackle by Jonny Youds ran Mahovic into touch as the barnstorming back-row charged down the left wing.
Miners needed the early score after half time and they gave themselves a glimmer of hope when Ryan Monaghan squeezed in at the corner and Youds goaled from the touchline, but despite enjoying spells of pressure they couldn’t make a further impression on the scoreboard and Egremont were comfortable, JP Brocklebank adding a penalty and then a try to illuminate any proceedings, Miners on the attack and seeming certain to score under the posts but when the ball came loose Egremont swiftly countered, Barnes and Brocklebank taking play up the left and then wiry fullback Rhys Davies – an unlikely looking character but enjoying a fine game – in support down the middle when the inside ball came back off a Miners’ hand to storm home from half way. At the death the home side further rubbed salt into the wounds when Barnes grabbed his hat-trick despite the ball appearing to run forward off an Egremont player.
Egremont – Rhys Davies, Ryan Barnes, Ben Walker, Peter Murphy, Jack Stainton, John Paul Brocklebank, Paul Corkhill, Tom Whalley, James McDonald, Peter Bewsher, Matthew Bewsher, Kieran Glenn, Clayton Sutton Subs – Tony Hetherington, Blake Mahovic, Richard Farrer, Daniel Graham
Tries -Murphy (14), Barnes (23, 40, 80), Mahovic (30), Davies (76)
Goals – Brocklebank 6
MoM – Blake Mahovic
Miners – Jonny Youds, Sean Pendlebury, Shaun McDonald, Martin Lewis, John Woods, Liam Coleman, Scott O’Brien, Tom Farrimond, Danny Jones, Darryl Kay, Adam Thomason, Lee Gittins, Danny Jackson Subs – Jimmy Muir, Ryan Monaghan, Kevin Howells, Jonny Carroll
Try – Monaghan (45)
Goal – Youds
MoM – Lee Gittins
Referee – Curtis Braithwaite
Photos with grateful thanks to Peter Bradley
« EGREMONT RANGERS (AWAY) Match Postponed »