Hemel Stags 18-66 Workington Town

Gordon Maudling enjoyed a dream first-team debut for Workington Town as he ran in a second-half hat-trick of tries against bottom-of-the-table Hemel Stags at Pennine Way.

Dave Clark’s team racked up a total of 11 tries and enjoyed a biggest points total to boot in this League One campaign for a morale-boosting victory.

Town half-back Carl Forber was also in the thick of the action throughout this clash, crossing for a try and slotting over all 10 of his conversion kicks at goal for a personal tally of 24 points.

Clark’s charges came into this clash sitting mid table, having lost three of their opening five league fixtures. Desperate to kick start their season against a Stags side without a win to date, they came up trumps with a sterling performance.

The match was only four minutes old when Jason Mossop span away from two Hemel defenders to crash over after an astute inside ball from Kieran Mewse.

Forber slotted over the kick and then turned try maker on the 10-minute mark.

Mewse and Maudling made initial inroads in the Hemel defence before Forber sent Rooke over in the left corner. Forber duly added the extras.

Hemel simply had no answer to Town’s early attacking onslaught and were soon watching another Forber conversion sail through the posts after half-back partner Jamie Doran put Stevie Scholey in for try number three.

The match looked all over for the hosts when Mewse was on hand to offer Forber a simple try opportunity on 15 minutes.

Forber crossed then converted his own try for a 24-0 lead in what seemed a flash.

Everything was going Town’s way but suddenly the hosts found energy from somewhere to hit back with two quick fire scores either side of the opening quarter of action.

Josh Nathaniel crossed in the corner and then Lewis Fairhurst found space to score a try.

Mitch Vincent converted both efforts to reduce the home arrears to 24-12.

But Town were dominating this match and settled the clash as a contest when Mewse completed a sweeping move for Brett Phillips to cross in the right corner on 26 minutes. Forber kicked the goal.

Conor Fitzsimmons came off the bench to add punch to the Town attack and looked a certainty to cross until he spilled the ball close to the posts.

Scott Rooke then wasted a glorious opportunity to add his name to the list of try scorers until being bundled into touch.

But Town were not to be denied after Callum Phillps spilled a try chance and had the final say of the half when Maudling broke from deep for Mossop to score under posts.

Forber slotted over for a 36-12 interval lead.

The second half began with handling errors from both teams until Maudling took centre stage when he took a kick by Doran high over his head to score a deserved try on 52 minutes.

After Forber kicked the goal, Maudley drove Town forward with another lung bursting run in the next set before sending Handley in close to the posts. Forber slotted over.

Hemel looked spent and after conceding a penalty for a head high tackle on Kyle Shelford, Town drove forward and Maudley crashed over for his second try.

Forber converted for a 54-12 lead on the hour.

Town were now on fire and after Hemel kicked out on the restart, from the resultant penalty award, Maudley ran in for his easiest try of the afternoon on 63 minutes.

Forber kicked his tenth successful kick against hapless Hemel.

Town again made inroads as Perry Singleton completed the try scoring for the visitors 14 minutes from time.

Mewse added the kick before Whitehurst grabbed a third consolation score for Hemel.

Fairhurst landed the kick but the spoils had gone to Town, who will have enjoyed the long journey home.

Hemel: Vincent, Forde, Nathaniel, Tomlinson, Alatt, Matthews, Fairhurst, Hanson, Burns, R. Williams, A. Williams, Thornton, Whitehead. Subs: Axe, Decaro, Hawksworth, James

Tries: Nathaniel (18), Fairhurst (22), Whitehead (71)

Goals: Vincent 2/2, Fairhurst 1/1

Town: Mewse, Hambley, Chamberlain, Mossop, Rooke, Forber, Doran, Scholey, Howarth, Curwen, B Phillips, Maudling, Singleton. Subs: Szostak, C Phillips, Fitzsimmons, Shelford

Tries: Mossop (4, 37), Rooke (10), Scholey (12), Forber (15), B Phillips (26), Maudling (52, 60, 63), Handley (56), Singleton (66)

Goals: Forber 10/10, Mewse 1/1

HT: 12-36

Penalties: 6-7 Referee: M. Rossleigh

Crowd: 107

Star Man: Gordon Maudling