Newcastle Thunder 38 Workington Town 18: This proved to be one game too far for a 14-man Workington Town side as they lost out to Newcastle Thunder in their League One play-off eliminator.

Several injuries and a ban for Danny Tickle had not helped Chris Thorman's cause and Workington travelled to the North-east with just 14 fit men.

The home side clinched yesterday's game 38-18 but Town did not take a backward step, giving them a run for their money, despite only being able to name one on the subs bench.

You could not fault the effort and bravery from the injury-hit Workington outfit, with Perry Singleton to the fore, but in the end, it took its toll.

It was a bad start for Town as Newcastle got into their faces from the off and got quick rewards for their efforts.

Inside the second minute a kick from Quentin Laulu-Togaga'e bounced over the line and was met by Kieran Gill to touch down, Rhys Clarke converting for an early lead for the home side.

But as soon as Town got their hands back on the ball, they completed a flowing move that led to a break for Perry Singleton.

He used the man on the outside, Russ Bolton, before passing back inside to the supporting Blain Marwood who raced over next to the posts, leaving Carl Forber with an easy two-pointer to level the scores.

Newcastle got their noses back in front when they got a second set of six encamped on Town's line, Nick Newman saw the gap and dived over with Clarke again converting.

On the 20-minute mark, Newman picked up his second, again spying the gap in the Town defence and ghosting through, with Clarke's goal handing Newcastle an 18-6 lead.

Workington tried to get back into the game as they whipped the ball out to the left again and Singleton put boot to ball and followed it up with a good chase, but Newcastle just got there ahead.

And they broke right back upfield, then close to the line, Laulu-Togaga'e dummied and went over the line himself. Clarke made it four from four attempts as they went into a 24-6 lead.

It was becoming too easy for Newcastle as time rolled on and, on 33 minutes, Gill got his second wide out and the resulting kick was missed but Thunder were firmly in the driving seat.

But you can never write Workington off and Sean Penkywicz caught Newcastle on the hop with a quick play from dummy-half and he released Singleton again.

The strong-running centre barged through the last line of defence and took several players over the line with him to score, Forber converting for 28-12.

Thunder went in at the break with a little bit of breathing space but Town still have 40 minutes to hit back.

Workington came back out in the second half looking to get some early points on the board and Stevie Scholey released Fuifui Moimoi through a gap.

He charged down the field, looking for support but Forber was pulled back and Town got the penalty but they couldn't make it pay as the ball went to ground as the rain began to pound down.

At the other end of the field, Newcastle were passing it about well but a scrambling Town defence managed to put Thunder into touch, courtesy of Tyler Lancaster to delay any further score.

A mistake from Gordon Maudling put Workington under pressure with another set of six, which was compounded by Penkywicz giving away a penalty.

Newcastle kept coming and forced a drop-out from under the sticks but some strong defence from Town forced a mistake from the Thunder to relieve the pressure.

They had held out for so long but, in the end, Newcastle stretched their lead on 58 minutes, as Alex Clegg went over wide out. Again the kick was missed but Thunder were 32-12 in front.

Town fought back and forced a drop-out at the opposite end of the field after Thunder put dead a Forber grubber. But tiredness and mistakes were creeping in and the chance went begging.

A great tackle from Singleton on Misi Taulupapa forced a mistake and encapsulated the spirit of the Town side, although they were down they were not holding back.

There was a late flurry from Town as Andrew Dawson got on the end of a neat little kick from Penkywicz to narrow the margin, with Forber's conversion making it 32-18 with about five minutes remaining.

But as the clock ticked down, Kieran Gill completed his hat-trick, with a Clarke goal to ensure victory for Newcastle 38-18 and passage into next week's semi-final.

A late tackle on Forber earned a sin-bin for Sam Luckley and Newcastle saw the remainder of the game out with 12 men, as the hooter sounded.