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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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Eleven-try Workington Town crush North Wales Crusaders

Workington Town 58 North Wales Crusaders 0: Workington Town were much too strong for the Championship One new boys from North Wales as they maintained their position as table leaders.

Brett Carter photo
Brett Carter scores

In the end it was an 11-try massacre without reply, but seven of those came in the first-half as Town established a 36-0 interval lead to effectively finish the match as a contest.

When Town scored two more tries in the first five minutes of the second period the home fans sat back anticipating a real avalanche of points.

But it didn’t quite materialise as the home side suddenly started to make too many unforced errors, made wrong decisions with the ball and overall didn’t show the same zest which had taken apart the Crusaders earlier in the game

Coach Gary Charlton said: “We played with the right intensity in the first-half and we were well-pleased with how we performed. Probably the game was won but we went off the boil and had more defending to do than we should have.”

The Crusaders, game enough, but really lacking in class and direction, could have had a couple of consolation scores in the closing stages but both times they squandered very good chances. It hadn’t been the most auspicious of starts by Town as they looked sloppy in possession and were unable to finish-off any of their first three sets.

We needn’t have been too concerned, however, for when they did find their rhythm the opening score wasn’t long in coming.

The Crusaders defence was made to look exceedingly threadbare as Jarrad Stack strode through on a typically majestic 25 yard run to the line and went in for the first try on eight minutes.

Five minutes later Marc Bainbridge swept onto Graeme Mattinson’s lobbed pass to score the second after quick hands in mid-field had again opened-up the Crusaders cover. Carl Forber converted the first of his six successful shots at goal.

North Wales’ excursions into Workington territory were few and far between but twice they went close when centre Leon Brennan and their best forward Jamie Clarke were both pulled down near the home line.

Really, though, it was Workington who called the shots and on 16 minutes they scored a third try. Brett Carter went from acting half-back close to the line to dive over in the corner,

Clarke was a hard-working second-rower for Crusaders but the visitors lacked any real craft to pose any serious alarms in the Workington defence.

They did hang-on to the 30th minute before Town scored again. Jamie Thackeray, making another big impact from the bench, bounced out of two tackles ten yards out and when he fed Carter inside the full-back danced round the last two defenders to score his second try which Forber converted.

In the last eight minutes of the half Town added three more tries to put themselves out of sight.

Stack ran well and had support from Jason Mossop to put Elliott Miller in at the corner; Bainbridge put loose-forward Dave Peterson in under the posts and then a long pass from the hard-working Marc Shackley sent Miller scampering over in the corner for his second try. Forber’s fourth conversion was the best of the lot from the touchline.

There wasn’t much change in the way the game was going when play resumed as Town scored twice in the first five minutes as first Shackley and then Peterson finished off under the posts to give Forber two easy conversions.

But Town had to wait almost 20 minutes for their next score as Stephen Dawes finished-off some smart handling with a try in the corner which pushed the west Cumbrians over the half century.

Then on 68 minutes Town notched their 11th and final try – a candidate for score of the season so far.

Thackray made a terrific burst from his own 30,metre line and was a similar distance from the Crusaders line when he slipped a clever reverse pass to Peterson. He had support from Shackley, who in turn found Mossop steaming up on the outside. He outpaced the final defender before cutting back over the try line to dot the ball down behind the sticks.

Bainbridge converted.

For their part Crusaders could have gone home with a consolation try.

Jamie Curbin was inches away from reaching a kick through from Andy Mosedale while Owain Brown almost handed Billy Sheen a walk in with only minutes remaining.

Workington Town: Carter, Miller, Mossop, Olstrum, S. Dawes, Bainbridge, Forber, Tunstall, Mattinson, Coward, Shackley, Stack, Peterson. Subs (all used) Whitehead, Lupton, Rooney, Thackray.

Tries: Carter (2), Miller (2), Peterson (2), Stack, Bainbridge, Shackley, Dawes, Mossop. Goals: Forber (6), Bainbridge.

North Wales Crusaders: Johnson, Clay, Massam, Brennan, Wilkes, Mosedale, Durbin, Walker, Hudson, I. Brown, Clarke, Morrison, Stephens. Subs (all used) Tyrer, O. Brown, Griffiths, Sheen.

Referee: Tom Crashley, Wakefield

Half Time: 38-0

Penalties: 12-4

Crowd: 776

Star Man: Jamie Thackray

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