Cumbria U19 (28) 32
Tries: Ford, Stockdale, Batty, Carter, Pearce, Hutton Goals: Carter 4
Scotland U19 (12) 34
Tries: Weir, F. Ramsey, Noutch, Woods, Wales, Kennedy 2 Goals: Hogg 3
Scotland U19s went three from three after a narrow victory over Cumbria U19s at Craven Park, Barrow. After at 22-22 draw last year, this fixture was always set up to be close to the end and the game delivered just that. Scotland gave debuts to five new players, Cairn Ramsay, Jamie McCabe, Gregor Mitchell, Finlay Ramsay and Robbie Wales all of Edinburgh Eagles.
It was Cumbria who got the first attempt at a meaningful attack, being held up over the try line before giving away a penalty for obstruction, after a strong defensive set before this forced Scotland to kick from their own half.
Scotland opened the scoring though. Receiving the ball on the halfway line following a Cumbrian forward pass, the Bravehearts put the ball though the hands on the right hand side of the field for prop forward Calum Weir to use his footwork, which worked so well in his previous match against London Skolars, and danced over in the 7th minute of the game, conversion successful from captain Matt Hogg.
Winger, Finlay Ramsey, scored on debut when Scotland were given a penalty for dissent against the run of play, a simple play and putting the ball through hands to the winger who went over to the delight of his teammates.
From that point on it was all Cumbria for the rest of the first half. Adam Ford went over in the corner after a well worked attack, Danny Wright with a decent break before being tackled by an offside player; a quick tap and working across the pitch to Ford who scored, the resulting conversion by scrum half Jake Carter was successful.
A spilt ball under the high kick gave Cumbria possession and with the ball in hand they crossed the line in the next set via Jake Stockdale under the posts and with the conversion by Carter successful the scores were level after 24 minutes.
Concentrating an attack in the far corner Cumbria again crossed this time through Tyler Batty who ran easily, through the defence.
Scotland didn’t help themselves cheaply giving the ball away through handling errors and penalties and the repeat ball clearly worked to Cumbria’s favour and as their time with the ball increased so did their confidence Carter crossing and converting his own try bringing the scores to 22-12. More handling errors by Scotland gifted Cumbria possession 20m out and Cumbria’s Jake Pearce touched down and another successful conversion saw the hosts go into half time with a 16 point lead.
The Bravehearts found themselves in unfamiliar territory this season having not been losing a game thus far, they needed to pull something out of the bag!
With the Scots kicking off the second half, Cumbria went to the other end of the field and forced a drop out – certainly starting the second half the brightest. Jonny Hutton burrowed his way through the defence and the referee awarding the try after speaking with his near side touch judge.
Finding themselves 32-12 down after 42 minutes, Scotland moved up a gear and kept Cumbria scoreless for the remainder of the match. Patrick Noutch scooting over from dummy half to start the Scottish fight back.
The young Bravehearts owed much to their pack in the second half, who put in some big meters Jack Stevenson, Connor Meikle, Cairn Ramsey and Gregor Mitchell, all took drives which ended in Clayton Woods crossing to bring the Cumbrian score to within two scores.
A chip over the top from Matt Hogg, which he managed to collect and passed to Robbie Wales, who was also making his Scotland debut, found space and raced for the line, the try was converted by Hogg.
Sustained attack on the Cumbria line, eventually was fruitful again when Patrick Noutch looked to go over again but was deemed to be short; but a quick play of the ball and a smart kick from Niall Sidney where Scotland had the numbers, was batted back by Robbie Wales to Callum Kennedy who passed the last remaining defender with his signature sidestep. The try brought Scotland to within two points with only 15 minutes left to play.
A period of stalemate followed with both sides trading possession and territory. Cumbria went the closest when it appeared a try had been scored but after the match officials discussed quickly, awarded Scotland a 20m restart when it was deemed the touchdown was on the dead ball line.
Tempers flared on the pitch and tension built between the teams and after one scuffle Danny Wright was sent to the sin bin.
Scotland’s final try came from Callum Kennedy going over in the corner in a similar fashion to his first and put Scotland in the lead with 7 minutes left on the clock.
Cumbria still had a go at the line after a Scotland player dived on a grubber kick, though a penalty was given at the dropout as for offside. However, the Scottish defence did well to keep them out. Scotland continued to hold out the strong Cumbrian attack until the final whistle went and the Scots edging a very close encounter.
1. Jake Stockdale, 2. Finn Barwise, 3. Dane Richardson, 4. Tyler Batty, 5. Adam Ford, 6. Jake Carter, 7. Rhys Burr, 8. Nick Maudling, 9. Aiden Wright, 10. Luke Harrison, 11. Ioan Hayes, 12. Eddie Tyson, 13. Danny Wright, 14. Jake Pearce, 15. James McCartney, 16. Zac Olstrum, 17. Elliott Campbell, 18. Jonny Hutton, 19. Pat Bennett
1. Callum Kennedy, 2. Conal Macdonagh, 3. Clayton Woods, 4. Sean McKervial, 5. Finlay Ramsay, 6. Niall Sidney, 7. Matt Hogg, 8. Calum Weir, 9. Patrick Noutch, 10. Cairn Ramsay, 11. Connor Meikle, 12. Gregor MItchell, 13. Jack Stevenson, 14. Robbie Wales, 15. Elliot Scanlon-Wells, 16. Jamie McCabe