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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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Workington Town hit back late to restore pride at Rochdale

Rochdale Hornets 42 Workington Town 20: It was a disappointing end to a disappointing season for a depleted Workington Town as they were beaten 42-20 by Hornets at Spotland on Sunday afternoon.

A poor defensive display, particularly in the first half, saw them trailing by 34 points as they struggled to cope with a lively Hornets outfit who were determined to end a difficult season on a winning note in front of their home crowd.

But it wasn’t all doom and gloom for Town coach Gary Charlton and the small band of intrepid followers who made the journey south, as the visitors showed great character to score three second-half tries in a superb 15 minute spell to restore some pride in their performance.

Charlton probably saw enough from the 14 fit players he had at his disposal to give him some encouragement for next season and said: “The second half we came out and played a bit of rugby, built a bit of pressure.

“We only had 14 fit players today. The lads have put their hands up and got stuck in. I think it’s a testament to their fitness and I thought the character and the effort was brilliant in the second half.

“If we can take that into next season and build on that, hopefully we will do well.”

Workington started brightly, stunning the home fans into silence when Jack Pedley’s sharp pass sent Jamie Marshall in at the corner.

The joy, though, was shortlived as unforced errors and poor defence around the ruck saw Hornets Mick Fogerty run in two tries, both converted by Dean Hatton. And when Adam Thomas and Marlon Miller added two more, Hatton converting the second, Workington were well and truly on the back foot.

Things didn’t get any better after the break as Miller ran in a second and Martin Ainscough intercepted a sloppy pass before racing 60 metres to touch down. Two conversions from Hatton gave Hornets a 38-4 lead.

The visitors might have been forgiven had they thrown in the towel at this point but, inspired by Pedley and the powerful running of Dean Bragg, James Robinson and Martyn Wilson they mounted a recovery.

And it was no surprise when, on the back of a blockbusting run by Bragg, Stephen Dawes got on the end of a fluent passing move to power his way over the line.

It was just what the doctor ordered and with Workington now getting the basics right a second soon followed, Dawes’ superb offload sending Pedley in for a well-deserved try. Scott Burgess converted.

Pedley was again prominent when his neat grubber wrong-footed the Hornets’ defence and James Robinson pounced to score. Burgess added the extras.

As fatigue set in there was still time for Hornets to hit back as Andrew Isherwood sliced through a tiring backline to score out wide.

HORNETS: Rivett, Gillam, Fogerty, Thomas, Miller, Ainscough, Powell, Best, Hatton, Raftery, Isherwood, Kay, Gallagher. Subs: Roper, Sinfield, Corcoran, Brindle.

Tries: Gillam (9), Fogerty (14, 19), Thomas (28), Miller (38, 45), Ainscough (51), Isherwood (42). Goals: Hatton 5.

WORKINGTON TOWN: Beattie, Marshall, Johnson, Dawes, Wilson, Frodsham, Burgess, Bragg, Pedley, Whitehead, Stack, Robinson, Coupar. Subs: Kaufman, Frazer, Dobson.

Tries: Marshall (3), Dawes (56), Pedley (64), Robinson (69); Goals: Burgess 2.

Referee: C Leatherbarrow

Attendance: 893

Star man: Jack Pedley.

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