After two successive defeats, Workington Finches regained the taste of victory as they outplayed West Park Leeds 2nds 32 – 5 on a wet and windy day at The Ellis.
Though it had been three weeks since their last game, the Finches showed no signs of rustiness from kick off to final whistle and barely two minutes had passed when they scored their first try as Nicole Stewart sprinted clear before offloading to Lauren Coulson, who nipped in under the posts to set up an easy conversion for Elsa Whelan.
A main strength of the Finches this season has been turning successful line outs to scoring tries and on eight minutes, they did just that. Danielle Easdon charged for the line but when held back, she teed up captain Charlotte Cammack to finish the job with an unconverted try.
By this time, the Finches were well and truly bossing the game, with Whelan and Sammy Jo Cole both constantly dangerous on the wings and debutant Molly Coldham quickly bonding with Steph Ratcliffe in the centre. Also, Easdon demonstrated her flexibility by switching from scrum half to openside flanker, playing as though she was a veteran in that position.
On 23 minutes, Workington bagged their third try when another successful line out saw Cammack thrust her way through in that trademark style of hers to crash down for her second try, though this went unconverted.
West Park simply could not find any answers to the Finches’ juggernaut and ten minutes from time conceded under unconverted try as high pressure scrummaging ended with the ball finding Coulson, who wasted no time in pinching her second try of the day and eighth in only four games.
To their credit, West Park did not surrender and just before half time their first serious charge into Finches territory paid off with an unconverted try.
For about twenty minutes of the second half, it was pretty much evenly balanced with both sides having their moments of period pressure but each thwarted by strong tackling and at times poor handling with the lousy weather conditions not helping one bit.
However, it was Workington who stepped up a gear and on 65 minutes another neat passive move ended with Francheska Horsburgh taking no prisoners as she bludgeoned her way through the tiring West Park ranks to race home and over the tryline.
Ten minutes from time, the Finches had the last word with the game’s “Champagne Moment” when another well drilled surge into West Park territory led to Easdon finding Cammack who in turn fed the ball to Hannah Thornbery and after shrugging off a half-hearted challenge she stepped up a gear to romp home and touch down for a fantastic try - Workington's sixth of the afternoon.
Workington sit fifth in North 2 West and will be back in league action with a trip to Harrogate on 3rd November, but before that they will host Kirkby Lonsdale at The Ellis on 27th October in the second round of the RFU Junior Cup.
By John Hastings @ The ESG.