Yet again it was a much changed Furness team that took the pitch at Windermere for this rearranged league fixture. With Dutton injured, crowd favourite McQuistan came into the side at scrum half looking svelte and ready for action after a spell in rehab. With the unpredictable Nicholson outside him at stand off the Furness faithful nervously awaited the kick off. Windermere came into the game on the back of a heavy home defeat last time out. The game kicked off in cool, breezy conditions on a firm pitch with Furness playing up the slight incline into the wind and the away side was soon into its stride when a break by Nicholson well supported by Ethan Guy resulted in a try for winger Ashton. Guy narrowly missed the conversion. 8 minutes gone, Windermere 0 Furness 5. Windermere started to get into the game with Furness struggling to cope with the very heavy home forwards particularly in the set piece. It was somewhat against the run of play therefore when Nicholson put Studt over under the sticks a few minutes later. A simple conversion by Guy gave Furness a 12 point lead with 15 minutes gone. Windermere weren't giving up however and it was only resolute Furness defending that prevented them going over after a sustained period of pressure yards from the Furness line. The pattern of the game had by now been established with the large Windermere forwards looking to rely on brute force to get over the line with Furness relying on guile, improvisation and speed of thought and foot, none more so than Nicholson who masterminded the next Furness effort after 22 minutes when breaking from his own 22, finding Brown on his shoulder who in turn found number 8 Mallinson in support who in turn went over under the posts. Guy's successful conversion made it Windermere Furness 19.
It was pretty much stalemate for the remainder of the half which was notable only for the look of panic in Guy's eyes when he found himself with the ball in acres of space 75 metres from the Windermere line. Order was soon restored however when he quickly spotted some slow moving Windermere forwards, eagerly running into their welcoming embrace.
There was some concern in the Furness camp at half time with McQuistan displaying all the symptoms of bovine TB as he expectorated all over the pitch, however a hastily summoned vet gave him the all clear, despite the away supporters calling for a second opinion.
The second half kicked into action when Furness prop Venter went off on a 50 metre run down the pitch resulting in a hasty Windermere clearance being charged down to bounce nicely into the hands of Furness winger Attard who met with little opposition to go over under the sticks for Furness's fourth and bonus point try of the day. Although by now 26 points in arrears Windermere weren't giving up and another period of pressure saw them narrowly fail to score with only some excellent Furness defensive play keeping them out. Furness were however proving very adept in turning defence into attack and in another move emanating from their own 22 captain Ells was there to apply the finishing touch with another try under the posts. Guy's conversion made it Windermere 0 Furness 33.
As if Windermere weren't suffering enough it was at this stage that Furness introduced its secret weapon in the rotund shape of veteran prop Leon 'Benno ' Sweet fresh from a relaxing skiing holiday and looking resplendent in his red ballet pumps. Benno was soon into the action, rising like a leaping Tay salmon to gather Windermere's kick off. The ensuing move saw Venter cross for a well deserved try successfully converted by Guy. Windermere 0 Furness 40. Furness's plans were slightly disrupted with an injury to hard working flanker Brannon and a yellow card shown to Studt however this didn't stop Brown going over for Furness's seventh try of the afternoon after another length of the field effort. With full time approaching and with some very tired looking Windermere bodies on the pitch it was no surprise to see Furness round off a very successful afternoon with an eight and final try fittingly scored by Els who also managed to squeeze over the conversion. Final score Windermere 0 Furness 52.
A good all round display by Furness with several players playing out of position. Hayward at flanker deserves particular mention as does Els at prop against a player who was probably 8 stones heavier than him.
Nicholson took the man of the match honours for Furness, declining to take part in the drink off having had rather too much the night before. Mallinson stepped in to save the day however beating Windermere's best man in the process.
Three home games for Furness now to round off the season starting with Workington next Saturday.