Six years after their formation, Workington Finches are on the brink of their first promotion after a comprehensive 79 - 0 victory over Liverpool Collegiate at The Eliis on a cold and blustery Saturday lunchtime which saw no fewer than 13 tries.
Barely a minute had passed from kick off when the Finches opened their account with their first attack which saw Nicole Stewart produce her signature sprint before unselfishly offloading to Steph Ratcliffe to go over for her first try in Finches colours. However, the windy conditions made conversion impossible.
Eight minutes later the lead was doubled after another relentless onslaught in Liverpool territory ended with Christina Tully skipping her way through to touch down and then on 12 minutes it was the turn of Meagen Byers to help herself to a slice of the try pie as she exploited gaping holes in the visitors' defence to nip in under the posts and set up the first conversion for Stewart.
Captain Charlotte Bowman registered the Finches' 4th try after only 16 minutes when she was first to snaffle the ball from a scrum before thrusting over the whitewash, with Stewart again making no mistake with her conversion attempt.
Two minutes later, Tully grabbed advantage of a poor Liverpool kick to scorch down the flank before cutting in to coast home under the posts, allowing Stewart to make it a hat trick of conversions and she made it four after Bowman was again on hand to emerge from the scrum to dart through for her second try.
Liverpool just couldn't find any response as time and again they were swamped by wave after wave of Finches' uncompromising attacks and on 27 minutes, Tully produced another lightning burst of pace to leave her opponents flailing as she wrapped up a well deserved hat trick.
Stewart added the conversion and 5 minutes later decided to turn try scorer when she received a ball from halfway and once again sliced her way through the Liverpool backline to deliver a scintillating run before touching down between the posts to set up an easy conversion for herself.
The second half wasn't even a minute old when the scoring deluge resumed and this time round it was Hannah Thornbery who caught the Liverpool defence napping with a nifty turn of speed to thunder home in the corner for an unconverted try.
Liverpool finally managed to stem the flow and proceeded to frustrate the Finches with their containment until the 51st minute when another well drilled Workington scrum saw Bowman once again emerge with the ball before setting up Shaz Dunne to crash over the tryline.
Again, the visitors refused to lie down and were able to clamp the Workington juggernaut for a further 15 minutes before the Finches got back on the try scoring road as Rose Ann Cleaton's determined run paid off with a well deserved try and this was followed 2 minutes later when Thornbury's quality offload found Sophie Weir who wasted no time with a dazzling sprint home to score her maiden try, which was successfully converted by Dunne, who had taken over on kicking duties by this time.
The feast of scoring eventually came to an end 5 minutes from time when the ever industrious Leonie Hudson effortlessly cut the Liverpool defence to ribbons before finding debutant Chloe Helens who left her opponents grasping thin air as she capped a confident performance by cruising home for her first try - she is definitely one to watch for next season.
Liverpool deserve ultimate credit - indeed, total respect - for making the long and winding journey from Merseyside to Cumbria in defiance of the wet weather and strong winds that greeted the North West at breakfast time and despite the heavy defeat, they kept heads up and maintained their fighting spirit from kick off to final whistle.
The result leaves Workington joint second in North 2 West alongside Burnley, who have a game in hand, with both sides a point behind leaders Littleborough Victory in their final game of the season at Winnington Park on 31st March can seal promotion for the Finches.
By John Hastings @ The ESG