SATURDAY 25 JANUARY 2020
BARLA NATIONAL CUP PRELIMINARY ROUND
BLACKBROOK 46 ASPATRIA HORNETS 22
Blackbrook, who were promoted into the North West Men’s League Premier Division at the end of last season tackled Cumberland League opponents Aspatria in the outstanding tie from Round One of the BARLA National Cup and an open game brought 13 tries with Brook just outclassing their entertaining opposition.
Three of those tries came in the 13 minutes after half-time took Blackbrook into the next round, extending a 16-10 half-time advantage out to 32-10.
Early on Blackbrook opened scoring through centre Aaron Hewitt. Aspatria responded and Luke Crossman was left kicking himself when dropping the ball with the line at his mercy after 8 minutes. He made amends four minutes later – charging over at the side of the posts from outstanding halfback Luke Johnson, who added the extras.
The visitors then extended their lead after 18 minutes when sharp play on the blindside saw Scott Donal feed Mark Irwin and he powered over. Blackbrook introduced substitute Lewis Martin to the field and with his first touch he stormed through the middle for a try. Hewitt goaled to level the game. Then in the 28th minute, Blackbrook hit the front when Paddy Maher scooted forward and Hewitt struck the goal. It remained 16-10 until the break.
Next came Blackbrook’s whirlwind start. Maher and Cammy Tunstall combined and his pass found Wynn at pace and the stand-off ran to the posts. Hewitt goaled to make it 22-10. An acting halfback scoot from Paddy Maher brought him a second with Hewitt once again on target after 46 minutes and there was further misery or the visitors when Jordan Welsby ran down the left and Jordan Darwin supported for the score. Although the conversion was missed it was 32-10.
Brook lost possession at the restart and were almost immediately punished when good passing freed Kristian Beattie and the centre ran over. Johnson goaled. Any hopes the visitors harboured of a comeback were dashed with two more quickfire tries. First Cameron Birkett tapped the ball on his own twenty, burst a couple of tackles and raced away for a quality try. Then Maher and Welsby were involved on the left from the base of a scrum and Bobby Williams ran clear. With Hewitt adding a goal it was 42-16. Aspatria rallied to claim a brilliant consolation try. The ball moved through several pairs of hands before Beattie touched down his second try. Johnson golaed to make it 42-22.
The game was then stopped for five minutes while Apsatrias Mark Irwin was treated for a dislocated elbow – the joint being put back in place.
The game restarted and there was just enough time for Mike Wynn to skip over the line for his second try on the final whistle with Darwin missing the conversion.