Keswick miss first-team players as they fall to their first North Lancs/Cumbria defeat this season

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Line-out: Keswick challenge for the ball
Line-out: Keswick challenge for the ball

Without five first-team regulars, Keswick suffered their first North Lancs/Cumbria defeat of the season.

They lost 27-18 at home to Aldwinians when the failure to convert a late try cost them a losing bonus point.

Despite rain through the morning, the conditions were excellent for running rugby and for ten minutes Keswick put their visitors under pressure but were unable to come up with points.

Unfortunately, Jamie McKenzie was injured early on and unable to continue and with just one replacement, home options were soon limited from the bench.

Keswick’s pack drove well and linked with the backs for some good running moves.

After an unsuccessful penalty attempt at goal, Keswick opted to kick for position.

Despite losing their own line-out on the opposition five-metre line, they regained possession for forwards and backs to combine and put Harry Vaillant in for a try, which was converted by Andy Muir.

Aldwinians responded immediately, putting pressure on the Keswick line and kicked a penalty after 20 minutes.

Clearly missing the regular players, Keswick struggled to win their own ball at the line-out and were under severe pressure in the scrum.

As a result, Aldwinians gained good possession and took the lead on the half hour with a converted try – pressure they shouldn’t have had.

They began to kick for position and to run their subsequent possession, and despite some excellent defence, ran in for a converted try under the posts to lead 10-7 after 30 minutes.

Keswick responded well, forcing errors to win a penalty converted by Muir on the stroke of half-time to draw level.

In the second half, Aldwinians gave away a number of penalties eventually resulting in a successful kick by Muir for a 13-10 lead to Keswick.

More scrappy play ensued during which Keswick missed another kick at goal.

Midway through the second half yet another penalty against Aldwinians also resulted in the referee showing a yellow card for a high tackle.

Even so, a couple of penalties in the Keswick 22 saw Aldwinians opt for a scrum and they were able to run the ball in for another converted try to lead 17-13. This was soon followed by another penalty to put them further ahead.

Another scrum gave Aldwinians a further scoring chance, which they took to extend their lead.

To Keswick’s credit, they did not give up and a good run up the right saw Ryan Weir cross for an unconverted try.

A sound first-half performance laid the basis for Wigton’s 29-12 home win over bottom club Hawcoat Park.

It had been 24-0 at the break and Hawcoat Park came back well to dominate the last half hour of the match.

However, any chance of a try seemed thwarted when the ball was turned over virtually on the Hawcoat Park tryline. Early in the game, Wigton won a line-out and drove the ball to the five-metre line. It was then moved out wide where the Greens had an overlap.

Only a high tackle stopped winger Kieron Miller from scoring but referee Martin Maughan had no hesitation in awarding a seven-point penalty try.

Hawcoat Park showed they were a threat when the ball was moved wide with full back Brian Marwood being particularly elusive and pacey.

But it was Wigton who scored when Richard Moffatt intercepted to put Wigton on the front foot again.

Centre Mark Deans bumped off his opposite number and then Moffatt handed on to stand off Dan Reed who was in support to score a try which he converted.

Hawcoat Park continued to have their moments in attack but, when they turned over the ball on halfway, paid the price.

Moffatt, a threat all afternoon, powered away to score a fine individual try.

Hawcoat Park were careless again in possession and turned over as they tried to play their way out of trouble.

Wigton had the simple task of passing along the line to the left where Stephen Harris took advantage of the overlap to score the bonus point fourth try.

Wigton started the second half with a sustained period of pressure and a line-out which was caught and driven for hooker Elliot Armstrong to register an unconverted try. But at 29-0 down Hawcoat Park dominated the remainder of the game.

They were able to score two tries, one of them converted.

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