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Heworth ARLFC

Heworth 22 vs 10 Egremont. Saturday 11/5/2024. NCL Premier Division round 9

In the National Conference League Premier Division Heworth, after two consecutive last gasp narrow defeats, bounced back in fine style with a morale boosting 22-10 success over old rivals Egremont Rangers in a hard fought encounter at Elmpark Way. The Villagers, who were the better side throughout, posted a brace of tries to lead 12-4 at the break before going on to add two further touchdowns in the second period to record a much needed and well deserved victory.

Heworth started in determined fashion,  dominating possession and territory to restrict their opponents attacking options which led to them opening the scoring after six minutes when a fine offload from prop Jonny Payne enabled hooker Jack Sadler to put loose forward Jack Earl over from close range next to the posts for stand off Danny Allan to add the extras for a 6-0 lead. The hosts kept up the pressure but despite creating a number of scoring opportunities they were not able to turn it into points and on 32 minutes the visitors got themselves back into the contest after scrum half Paul Corkhill took advantage of a momentary lapse in concentration in the defensive line to dart over direct from acting half to reduce the deficit to two points. Undeterred, the Villagers hit back in spectacular fashion three minutes before the break when a long cut out pass from Allan inside their own twenty metre line exposed the visitors right edge and winger Billy Sturdy raced away over halfway before cutting inside and finding Sadler up in support to outpace the cover defence and cross under the posts. Allan slotted the simple conversion for a useful 12-4 interval lead.

Both sides came out for the second period fully aware that the first score would prove vital and it was the Black and Whites who seized the initiative after just nine minutes when Allan sent substitute forward Ben Barnard charging through a gap on an angled run from forty metres out to touch down for an excellent try which Allan improved to make it 18-4. The Cumbrian outfit were in no mood to capitulate and hit back three minutes later with a touchdown from influential loose forward John-Paul Brocklebank goaled by stand off Matt Bewsher to reduce the deficit to eight points. There was no let up in the action and with both teams making strenuous efforts to come out on top the excitement mounted. However, defences held firm for the next twenty minutes until finally it was the Villagers who struck the killer blow when a quick shift to the left created space for full back Fraser West to cross by the corner flag to make it 22-10. Allan's conversion attempt bounced back of the near post. There was still work to do though as helped by a string of penalties Rangers laid siege to the home line for the remaining period but some stoic and resolute defending kept them at bay and the visitors returned home empty handed.

In a superb all round team performance Fraser West took the Man of the match award for the Villagers.

Next week Heworth face another stiff task when they visit fourth placed Rochdale Mayfield. (Kick off 2.30p.m.) 

Report- Dave Ward


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