LANCASHIRE’S superb victory over Cumbria after their trek to Askam on Sunday sets up a winner-takes-all clash in the Under 17s BARLA Tri-Series when Yorkshire travel to Wigan St Patrick’s this coming Sunday for the final fixture writes Steve Manning.
A draw will see Lancashire retain the title, the Red Rose side having a six-point advantage in the points’ difference column following their 10-try, 48-0 victory.
Nico Rizzelli (Mayfield Mustangs) went over for a hat-trick and was named man of the match.
Cumbria, who were 26-0 adrift at the break, never let their heads drop but their cause in the first half wasn’t helped by dropped balls early in the tackle count deep in their own half.
The first example saw forward Lewis Martin (Blackbrook Royals) score after 45 seconds; Gary McMahon (Wigan St Judes), who went onto kick four from nine, missed his opening conversion.
Four further tries came at regular intervals with two from Rizzelli plus efforts by Ben Legge (Newton Storm) and Sam Favell (Shevington Sharks), while Cumbria scrum-half Sam Curwen (Wath Brow Hornets) lost the ball driving for the line.
Lancashire’s momentum continued in the second half with a quick-fire double from Jake Swash (Widnes Moorfield) and after Rizzelli’s third it looked bleak for Cumbria following a sinbinning.
They held out spiritedly during that period but in the closing stages of the game they conceded a final two tries as great hands saw hooker Adam Carr (Wigan St Judes) drive over and Legge complete his double.