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Friday, 22 August 2014

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Last-gasp Brett Carter try ensures Cumbria win RL Nines

Rank outsiders Cumbria beat Featherstone Rovers 16-10 in the final to win the Rugby League 9s tournament and a £5,000 prize at Headingley last night.

Brett Carter photo
Brett Carter with the trophy

A last-minute try from skipper Brett Carter, the Workington Town full-back, ensured he lifted the trophy in front of the 1,461-strong crowd.

Cumbria had earlier beaten Super League Wakefield 10-0 in their opener before booking their place in the final with a comfortable 18-4 win over hosts Leeds in their semi-final, Barrow half-back Liam Campbell touching down twice.

Whitehaven hooker Carl Sice was named man of the tournament as Cumbria pulled off a massive shock by beating Featherstone in the final.

A Sice try in the showpiece confirmed his position as the tournament’s top player.

He said: “It feels good to get the win. The lads were unlucky last year, but we talked about it this year and fancied our chances when a couple of the top teams, Wigan and Warrington, went out early doors.

“We thought we could capitalise on the opportunity.”

Cumbria were beaten in the final by Warrington last year but pulled clear in the second-half last night to win 16-10 after being held 6-6 at the break.

Joint coach Don Gailer said: “It’s been a great night for the boys and a great night for Cumbria.”

Cumbria, sponsored by NMP, opened with a 10-0 win over Wakefield, who topped the East qualifying group with 11 wins from 12 outings, before looking equally comfortable in an 18-4 rout of the Rhinos.

Cumbria struck first in the final, Sice and Barrow’s Liam Campbell creating space for Workington’s pacey Elliott Miller to cross, Carl Forber converting.

Rovers hit back with a converted try with just 10 seconds left in the first-half. Carter scrambled back to deny Featherstone a long-range try early in the second period, before Sice latched on to Town half-back Forber’s intelligent cross-field kick to go between the sticks.

Barrow’s James Dandy made sure the trophy would return to Cumbria with last-gasp try.

Town boss Gary Charlton, who shared coaching duties with Gailer, said: “The boys love this competition, it puts them in the spotlight, hopefully for bigger clubs to come and have a little look at them, because we have a lot of good players up in Cumbria.”

Cumbria: Miller, Olstrum, Carter, Dawes, Gaskell, Forber (all Town); Ackerley, Hamzat, Sice, Gee, Crellin (all Haven); Backhouse, Campbell, Dandy, McGoff (all Barrow).

Elliott Miller, of Workington Town, and Haven’s Loz Hamzat, took part in the 17-strong race to decide RL’s fastest man.

But they were not in the frame as a photo finish was needed to confirm London Broncos’ Omari Caro had beaten Jamel Chisolm, of Leeds Rhinos, to the £1,000 prize money.

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