WORKINGTON TOWN 54 – 22 GLOUCESTERSHIRE ALL GOLDS

By CHRIS WILSON, Derwent Park, Sunday

Image courtesy Jack Conlon

The harsh realities of playing the big boys of League 1 kicked in and exposed the All Golds’ defensive frailties as they crashed to a second successive heavy defeat.

The All Golds were clinging on but still in contention until ten minutes from the end when the dam finally broke and Town ran riot scoring on four consecutive sets to inflict the All Golds’ heaviest defeat of the season.

Town were the better side throughout the game but basic errors cost them at least two tries. The All Golds were able to stay in the dogfight until the interval which saw the sides turn round level.

In the second period, Town tightened up their discipline and cut out the errors to ease to a comfortable win.

Immediately after the game Lee Greenwood’s mood was as frosty and unforgiving as the snow-capped Cumbrian Fells glistening in the sunlight that provided the backdrop to the match. “I’m disappointed,” he said. “We competed for an hour, just like last week, but finished really poorly.”

The All Golds’ luck with injuries was well and truly out as Alex Gaskell suffered a serious-looking ankle injury in the first five minutes of the game which caused a shuffle in the team and disrupted the substitution schedule.

On the scoreboard, things looked brighter as they responded well to the loss of their full-back and opened the scoring after nine minutes. After being pinned ten metres from their own line, they earned a penalty and, at the end of the set, Phil Cowburn stretched out to touch down. Kieran Hyde added the goal.

After an error from Chris Barlow, Tom Curwen crashed over and then showed some neat footwork to score his second try in the same place. Carl Forber converted both on a perfect day for him with the boot.

There was little to choose between the sides, both coaches emptied their bench looking for the x-factor that would give them the advantage. Both sides ran through their sets and kicked hoping for an error as the stalemate continued. Finally, five minutes before the interval, Cowburn’s arcing run after Steve Scholey’s basic handling error stretched the defence and Joe McClean ploughed over. Hyde levelled the score with the goal.

The ‘we-score-you-score’ nature of the game continued into the second half. Macauley Davies broke two tackles to score for Town but Barlow touched down Hyde’s expertly weighted kick to the corner in reply.

Hyde missed the kick at goal to leave Town ahead by two points and the home side took just five minutes to extend their lead when Joe Hambley scored down.

Hyde’s boot then provided a try for Mo Agoro, the winger doing well to catch and ground the ball under pressure from Scott Rooke.

That was as close as the All Golds were to get as the home side began to press the All Golds back and make their sharper ball-handling pay.

Callum Phillips wriggled over from close range to make the score 30-22 and signalled the start of a last quarter totally dominated by the home side. The All Golds had possession just twice during that 20-minute period and the scoreboard went away from them rapidly.

Town went for the jugular and Agoro made a superb try-saving tackle on Rooke before Ed Chamberlain was held up over the line. Then, crisp handling sent Jason Mossop over and the All Golds never had the ball in hand again.

Rooke picked Cowburn’s pocket in a challenge for a high ball and raced away to score before a suspiciously forward pass ended up in Forber’s hands for the stand off to add a try to his nine goals.

Davies then swatted off tacklers to send Scholey galloping under the posts to post the half century and Town were looking threatening again when the hooter mercifully blew for time.

TOWN: Ed Chamberlain; Scott Rooke, Joe Hambley, Jason Mossop, Kieran Mewse; Carl Forber, Stuart Howarth; Stevie Scholey, Callum Phillips, Tom Curwen; Brett Phillips, Conor Fitzsimmons; Perry Singleton; Subs (all used); Kris Coward, Sam Dowsett, Alex Szostak, Macauley Davies.

Tries: Curwen (14, 20), Davies (43), Hambley (52), C Phillips (60), Mossop (69), Rooke (72), Forber (75), Scholey (77)

Goals: Forber 9 from 9

ALL GOLDS: Alex Gaskell; Mo Agoro, Phil Cowburn, Brad Kislingbury, Chris Barlow; Jack Mitchell, Kieran Hyde; Ollie Purslow, Steve Parry, Harrison Elliott; Chris Worrall, Joe McClean,

Billy Brickhill; Subs (all used); Malikhi Lloyd-Jones, Jordan Andrade, James Walter, Harry Kidd.

Tries: Cowburn (9), McClean (35), Barlow (47), Agoro (55)

Goals: Hyde 3 from 4

SCORING SEQUENCE:

0-6, 6-6, 12-6, 12-12, 18-12, 18-16, 24-16, 24-22, 30-22, 36-22, 42-22, 48-22, 54-22

Penalty count: 6-3

Half-time: 12-12

Referee:  Liam Moore