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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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National awards joy for Egremont Rangers father and son

Teamwork is key to the success of Egremont Rangers but the club’s promotion feat also reflects some outstanding individual achievements.

Brocklebanks photo
John Paul Brocklebank and his father John Brocklebank

No more so than father and son, John Brocklebank, and John Paul Brocklebank, already stars of rugby league’s amateur game.

Brocky, senior, is the National Conference League Division One coach of the year, and JP has taken the player of the year award.

“We are both proud and honoured,” said coach John, adding “but it reflects how well we have performed as a team.”

Egremont finished champions of the League Weekly Hattons Solicitors National Conference League Division One – but the chips were down as they needed to win their last match of the season.

John Paul Brocklebank again rose to the occasion with six goals and a try to seal the title.

The 23-year-old’s tally for the season as a whole was 25 tries, 78 goals and seven man-of-the-match awards in 17 league appearances.

Most of his scoring prowess came from the stand off position.

Father John a former Great Britain amateur captain, said: “He prefers to play loose forward but I’ve put him at No6 in the best interests of the side. As a team we racked up 921 points playing an exciting brand of rugby – that’s our style.”

And that’s what Rangers will take into next season’s Premier Division. Having beaten the likes of Wigan St Pat’s in the Cup last season, Brocklebank is confident of coaching the side to more successive. “We are well placed to take them on,” he says.

It brings the exciting prospect of derby games against Wath Brow Hornets and the challenge to match Brow, local rivals who have just been crowned Premier Division champs.

At this stage there seems a fair chance that Brocklebank junior will still be parading his talents in the premier division.

So far JP has resisted the temptation to turn professional although he has attracted attention for some time particularly since his outstanding display capped by a try for Cumbria’s professional side.

They drew 18-18 with England select in the Garry Purdham memorial match before a 5,000 crowd at the Recreation Ground two years ago.

Brocklebank, snr, said: “He’ enjoying the amateur game at the moment, playing with his mates – and also the success.”

This weekend sees two local ARL cup finals.

The Division Two Play-Off final between Flimby and Kells A will take place at Glasson tomorrow (2pm), while the Division One Play-Off final between Kells and Distington will take place at the Copeland Stadium on Sunday (2pm).

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