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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

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Egremont want top-half finish in Conference premier division next season

Ambitious Egremont Rangers are aiming for a top-half finish in amateur rugby league’s flagship league next term after securing promotion as champions to the National Conference Premier Division.

Coach John Brocklebank is showing faith in his young team by looking for more than simply survival at the elite level next term, after an emphatic win over visitors Wigan St Judes in their last league outing of the Division One campaign on Saturday ensured their move up.

“We are looking forward to it,” said Brocklebank, who also steered his team to a thrilling 12-8 Challenge Cup win against Cumberland League champs Kells on Tuesday night. “We’ll have to develop and improve, and I think we will.

“We are looking to finish in the top half of the league. We want to make Egremont a fortress and give teams that come up here a very tough time.”

Egremont used 40 players this season with classy kicker John Paul Brocklebank scoring 256 league points, bagging 25 tries from 17 appearances.

“We scored 921 points this season, which reflected the entertaining style of rugby we play,” the coach added. “We’ve had an excellent year overall, and I’m delighted for the lads.”

Former Newcastle Falcon Peter Murphy was outstanding in the centres this term and was named man of the match last weekend by the St Judes coach, despite Leon Crellin’s five-try haul.

Wingers Jack Stainton and Ryan Barnes also impressed this term, as did hookers Dan Telford and Alistair Leak, while Brocklebank Jnr and international team-mate Rhys Davies, at full-back, showed their undoubted class.

Matthew Bewsher was arguably Egremont’s most improved player in the pack, where Richard Farrer, the ex-Haven and Workington Town prop, led from the front.

“I’d like to thank all our supporters this year, they have been fantastic, home and away,” Brocklebank Snr continued. “They have been like our 18th man and I think they are the best supporters in the country.”

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