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Saturday 21st October

Egremont 17  Furness 30

  Having successfully managed to avoid the incoming tide just south of Muncaster Castle the Furness team arrived at Egremont just ahead of Storm Brian. Furness kicked off playing slightly uphill but with a strong wind behind them. Yet again the team had a much changed look to it with veteran Paul Dean and captain Corne Els stepping up to the second row. The game had barely started when a typically mazy run from centre Adam Nicholson resulted in a penalty, easily slotted over from 30 metres by scrum half Sam Dutton. It was at this stage that Nicholson decided his teeth were hindering his performance and handed them to club president John Mallinson for safe keeping. Unfortunately, like their owner, they continued talking throughout the match.


  With Furness dominating the early exchanges another Dutton penalty gave Furness a six point advantage after ten minutes. That advantage was increased to nine points after 25 minutes following a high tackle on Dutton. More Furness pressure found several Egremont players offside after 30 minutes. Another successful Dutton penalty made it Furness twelve points the good. With the majority of the play in the Egremont half of the pitch Furness were looking to increase their lead with half time approaching and it was somewhat against the run of play when the Egremont stand off went over for a try out wide. With the conversion attempt hitting the woodwork it was Egremont 5 Furness 12 as the half time whistle blew.


  The weather gods having smiled on Furness the start of the second half found Storm Brian much abated. The referee however wasn't feeling quite so well disposed and after five minutes of the half Furness were reduced to 14 when Will Mallinson was yellow carded seemingly for tackling! Furness weathered the ensuing Egremont storm without conceding any points in his absence due to a combination  of good defence and poor execution and decision making by Egremont.


  Yet another penalty after 55 minutes, converted into the wind by Dutton, gave Furness a ten point lead, which was subsequently increased to thirteen several minutes later following yet another Egremont indiscretion. Egremont weren't lying down however, and after 60 minutes their angry number 11 went over in the corner following a couple of Furness missed tackles. Egremont 10 Furness 18 going into the final quarter. It was at this stage of the game that Furness unleashed it's secret weapon in the shape of 42 year old Craig McKinnon, following Cam McLures retirement from the playing arena with a severe case of nicotine induced breathlessness masquerading as a sore knee! With a bit of reshuffling to accommodate the athletic replacement Furness were soon back on the front foot and following some good work by prop Leon Sweet, flanker Rhys Studt picked up a loose ball, cleverly handed off the Egremont 11 and went over under the sticks for Furness's first try of the day. Dutton's conversion made it Egremont 10 Furness 25 with 12 minutes left to play. Egremont weren't done however and responded with a try of their own, their third of the day, which with the conversion narrowed the Furness lead to eight with 5 minutes left on the clock. It was at this stage that the game threatened to descend into farce when the referee yellow carded flanker Joe Mallinson apparently for the offence of deliberately running into the referee. Yet again Furness resisted the ensuing Egremont pressure and found themselves in the bottom corner of the pitch ten metres out from the Egremont line. Good driving play by the pack saw Els go over for a well deserved try. Duttons conversion attempt narrowly missed making it Egremont 17 Furness 30 as the referee blew his whistle for the end of the game.


   An excellent win for Furness. Egremont away is never an easy fixture. Travelling with sixteen meant it was never going to be an easy day however all the players stepped up to the mark, none more so than veteran prop Paul Dean, filling in in the unaccustomed position of second row, and giving a wholehearted display for the entire 80 minutes. Dutton took the man of the match honours for an excellent all round display and although reluctant to become involved in the drink off almost broke his duck!!