MATCH REPORT – Newcastle Thunder 30 – 22 Workington Town

Newcastle Thunder were made to work hard by Workington Town on Sunday afternoon as they battled to 30-22 win at Kingston Park Stadium.

It was an action-packed match throughout as both sides looked to play fast-paced rugby on a long-overdue dry day and one that will have left the 1,011 fans in attendance suitably entertained.

Thunder started slowly with Workington making most of the early running and pinning the hosts back into their half, though that was mitigated by strong carries from Adam Lawton and Mikey Wood gaining some territory.

When they started to find their form however Thunder proved irresistible with three tries in nine minutes giving them a superb 18-0 lead.

Lawton opened the scoring after a strong carry from Brenden Santi broke the defensive line and played the front rower in on a crash ball to stretch over, before Ashely Gibson finished off a flowing move down the line with a dive in at the corner four minutes later.

The hosts third score was a thing to delight as a superb offload allowed Bob Beswick to break through midfield and create a two-on-one that saw the Ireland captain feed Reece Dean to bring up 18-0.

Seemingly in full control, the momentum swung back in favour of the visitors and Thunder were on the back foot for most of the remaining 25 minutes as Workington battered at the host’s defensive line, using a combination of power and pace to square the scores by the half time break.

Profiting from a well-placed kick ahead, Hanely Dawson got the Cumbrians off the mark before Carl Forber forced his way over as chaos reigned in the Thunder defence, after a reset of the tackle count was gifted by a knock on in the air.

Jamie Doran levelled the scores with four minutes to play as he barrelled over from close range, before a missed penalty attempt prevented Thunder from regaining the lead.

Having surrendered such a position of dominance Newcastle got their noses back in front courtesy of Kieran Gill, as the centre backed himself on the fifth tackle to crash over after coming onto the ball at pace.

A successful Dean penalty gave the hosts a six-point advantage but that was reduced to just two moments later, when the visitors regathered the kick off and played Alex Young in out wide with just the missed allowing Newcastle to remain in front.

It was a case of deja vu when Gill scored his second with 13 minutes left as Workington pressured a mistake from the hosts at the restart, with only a superb defensive effort from Lewis Young preventing a certain score for the visitors.

There was further defensive heroics from the Thunder ranks by Sam Lukcley who forced a crucial turn over in the closing stages and gave the home side the opportunity to close out an important win.   

Newcastle Thunder

Lewis Young, Ashley Gibson, Matty Wright, Kieran Gill, Alex Clegg, Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e, Reece Dean, Brenden Santi, Bob Beswick, Mikey Wood, Adam Lawton, Harry Aldous, Sam Luckley, Sam Blake, Evan Simons, Rhys Clarke, Joe Brown

Tries – Lawton (5), Gibson (9), Dean (14) Gill (47, 67)

Goals – Dean 5/7

Workington Town

Gabriel Fell, Elliot Hall, Elliot Miller, Calvin Wellington, Alex Young, Jamie Doran, Carl Forber, Andrew Dawson, Marcus O’Brien, Conor Fitzsimmons, Caine Barnes, Stevie Scholey, Hanley Dawson, Blain Marwood, Fui Fui Moi Moi, Tom Curwen, Ryan Wilson

Tries – Dawson (18) Forber (27) Doran (36) Young (65)

Goals – Doran 3/4

HT 18-18

Penalties – Thunder 7 – 6 Town

Attendance – 1,011