Ellenborough getting better week by week, claims Gorge
Last updated at 11:45, Friday, 29 June 2012
Ellenborough Rangers are set to enjoy a weekend that a couple of seasons ago they could scarcely have imagined.
The rejuvenated Cumberland League outfit face Flimby in the Dale Campbell-Savours Cup semi-final tomorrow and their Under-16s tackle Kells in the County Cup final on Sunday.
The former National Cup holders still have a long way to go to return to their old dizzy heights, but they have made a cracking start under boss Craig ‘Butch’ Barker, the Workington Town assistant coach and Paul Gorge.
“It’s a semi-final that two years ago we thought we would never get in to,” said club president Kevan Gorge.
“We are getting better week by week and you can see it in training. All the hard work that Butch and Paul are putting in is paying dividends.
“We have a couple of stalwarts like Stephen Stoddart and Jamie Watson, but we are stacked with kids of 16, 17 and 18, who we can look to for the next 12 to 15 years.
“Looking at them and the Under-16s, 12s and 14s, we are on the right track. The semi-final is too close to call. Flimby are a very good side and the clubs are little more than a mile apart. It’s not bad going.
“We had a very tight encounter with them fairly recently and it’s going to be a cracking game. There’s a lot of rivalry between us and no quarter is given.
“It’s a little bit of a milestone game as it shows where we are now compared to two years ago, when the doors nearly closed.
“Craig Holdsworth has returned to the club and will bolster us, as he’s a useful forward. We never close the door on anyone.
“We have a very strong pack and there are just a couple of positions in the back division we are looking to plug.”
With seven wins from 12 league games this term, promotion may be beyond Ellenborough this term, though they will continue to develop next year, when their current crop of talented Under-16s move in to open age rugby, and they plan to field a second senior side.
A handful of the Under-16s are on scholarships at Wigan, Salford and with the new Cumbria set-up. Bradley Lawrence is Wigan Under-16 skipper and Bradley Fearon has already featured for Ellenborough’s first-team.
“We are a little like Kells in many respects,” Gorge continued. “Mike Dempsey and others have nurtured talent at the club since they were eight or nine.
“But the downside of that is they are touted by Super League clubs, and we tend to lose a few, though that is a positive for those players.”
Eight ex-Ellenborough players are to qualify as coaches, to help with the next generation. Their Under-12s are flourishing this term and an Under-14 side will be launched next season.
“Interest has gone through the roof and there’s a spirit and camaraderie we haven’t had for a number of years,” Gorge said.
Division One: Distington v Cockermouth, Hensingham v Broughton Red Rose, Maryport v Kells, Seaton A v Glasson, Wath Brow v Seaton.
Division Two: Aspatria v Lowca, Glasson A v Egremont, Kells A v Frizington.
Dale Campbell Savours Cup semi-final: Flimby v Ellenborough
National Conference Premier Division: West Hull v Wath Brow
Division One: Eccles v Egremont
First published at 11:30, Friday, 29 June 2012
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
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