Aspatria and Tarleton shared in a feast of tries in their friendly at Bower Park which finished 47-38 to the hosts.

Both coaching teams will have been delighted that this game proved to be a hard fought affair.

The end result was important but the main aim was to give two large squads a run out and try some combinations that may have to be relied upon later in the season.

The contest see-sawed with both teams having periods of dominance. The frequent changes of players was a key factor in establishing this pattern but it all added to a glorious feast of rugby.

Aspatria began in convincing style and were first to draw blood when Matthew Atkinson charged over for a converted try from the back of ruck close to the line.

Tarleton responded with a penalty and a try which came as a direct result of the new laws which require a drop out from the goal line. The drop out was not well executed and as the law intends handed the attacking initiative back to Tarleton who needed no further incentive to take the lead. Aspatria regained the lead with a near carbon copy of their first try but this time it was the back division and Josh Watson who broke through from close range.

From the restart the home side failed to secure the ball and paid the price as the Tarleton forwards took possession and moved ahead. A third Tarleton try soon followed to widen the gap to 20-14.

Debutant Cameron Steele impressed with his early contribution and he brought Aspatria back into contention with a dogged effort to score under the sticks but had to retire with an injury.

Tarleton, showing great ambition in attack, knocked the home team back with two well taken scores and as the contest headed towards half-time led 32-21.

Incredibly, in the final minutes of the half Aspatria came back with two tries of their own. The first from lock forward, Chris Graham and a second from Atkinson for a 35-32 lead.

Into the second period and Tarleton used two successful penalty shots to put themselves back into the lead.

As the game moved into the final quarter the try scoring exploits earlier in the day looked a distant memory. The respective packs were now in charge of proceedings and despite being behind Aspatria were looking the more likely to secure the spoils.

The home side could have used a number of penalty opportunities to draw level but declined them all in favour of running the ball. This paid off when Ross Barton found space on the right flank to go over in the corner.

Tarleton continued the fight but a final try from Jamie Lightfoot sealed the result when he pounced on a defensive mistake to touch down a loose ball.