It was a much changed Furness side that ran out onto a very squelchy Strawberry Ground to face Cockermouth for the third time this season. With honours even there was everything to play for. The Furness game plan was interrupted virtually straightaway when prop forward Chris Dalton went off With a knee injury to take no further part in the game. There was clear evidence that the Furness youth policy is starting to pay dividends with 9, 10 and 12 having a combined age of 135 which coincidentally is the combined measurement of their waistlines!!
After a pretty even start Furness put over a penalty for a three point lead only to see that wiped out 5 minutes later, when after a succession of penalties straight out of the England senior team handbook, Cocekermouth went over for a try in the corner. This was followed a few minutes later with a further try, this time converted. Furness were by now on the wrong end of a heavy penalty count and it was no surprise when Cockermouth went over for their third try of the game after 28 minutes. Furness 3 Cockermouth 19. There was some respite when the visiting 6 was yellow carded and Mike Backhouse went over from 5 yards out after good work by the Furness pack. This was followed in short order by a successful penalty attempt by Furness's ginger answer to Steven Seagal, Steve Perry. Half time arrived with Furness now only 8 points in arrears.
As with the first half Furness started off brightly enough, but the heavy conditions were taking their toll on some aging legs, something the young opposition flyers were quick to take advantage of. The Furness cause wasn't helped when flanker Rhys Studt who was having a fine game, received a yellow for an offence that wasn't readily discernible. A Cockermouth try in the corner was followed by a length of the pitch effort for a try under the sticks. In a matter of minutes Furness had gone from being competitive to being 20 points behind. It would have been easy for heads to drop but with McQuistan prompting from scrum half and Neale proving that there's life in the old dog yet at stand off Furness stuck at their task. Unfortunately Cockermouth weren't finished and got over for another converted try before Furness scored the final points of the day when awarded a penalty try. Final score Furness 18 Cockermouth 38. A fair result.
There could be no faulting the Furness effort but there's no substitute for pace which Cockermouth had in buckets. Studt had his usual good game but Furness man of the match honours went to our old friend Dries Venter. Hopefully we'll be seeing him in Furness colours again soon. Whilst on the subject of old friends many thanks to our generous sponsor, former Furness stalwart Graham Harris and to Matt from Lancaster Brewery for the free barrel. We couldn't do it without you.
Next match Silloth away. We may be taking a bus. If so there will be spare seats available for a small fee which will help defray the cost of £540!. Anyone interested in coming along contact John Mallinson. We'll be leaving the club at 11.30 and be back in Barrow by 11.