ALL-CONQUERING Hawcoat Park have been crowned champions of the Cumbria League after they won their 13th match out of 13 with a comfortable 55-0 success over Kirkby Lonsdale Seconds on Saturday.
The score was 40-0 at half time as Hawcoat ran in six tries, and in the second half Kirkby refused to give up to concede only 15 points in the second half.
Windermere’s hopes of promotion took a hit after an 11-5 defeat to Millom in their penultimate match of the league.
The first half was a dour affair with the Windermere defence repelling several attacks and breaking into the Millom half only a handful of times.
A textbook maul from a lineout took the Windermere pack over the line wide on the left to score the first points of the game but it was too wide for the conversion to be successful in the gusty conditions.
After 12 minutes of the second half, Windermere were penalised on their own 22, but the Millom kicker hooked the kick. A chasing Millom player and a defending Windermere man both jumped for the ball and collided in mid-air, but the referee decided that an offence had taken place and Millom kicked a penalty in front of the posts to bring the score to 5-3.
Millom took a three-point lead when one of their players went on the blind side of a ruck, burst through a last-gap tackle and scored wide on the left.
With 15 minutes left Millom kicked ahead to the edge of the Windermere 22 and a ruck formed. When the whistle went again, denying Windermere the advantage of using the ball quickly, a Windermere player remonstrated with the referee and was shown the yellow card, turning Windermere possession into a penalty to Millom in front of the posts which they converted to go 11-5 up.
Shortly afterwards, the numbers were evened up as a Millom player was shown yellow for punching.
The remainder of the match was played on the Millom five metre line, but Windermere were unable to turn their position into points, and they face second-placed Furness next weekend in a crucial match.
Kendal Seconds completed their campaign with a 25-20 defeat at Carlisle Crusaders Seconds.
In a first half where Kendal committed too many unforced errors and lost concentration too often, they found themselves 15-3 down at half time after Carlisle scored three unconverted tries, with Jordan Johnson kicking Kendal’s penalty after eight minutes.
Carlisle extended their lead early in the second half when they scored their fourth and bonus point try.
Kendal finally came to life, lifted their game and scored an unconverted try when full back Graham Coulter finished a flowing move to bring the score to 20-8.
Replacement Jack Lashley barged his way to the line after good work by the forwards had set up the opportunity, and with the conversion kicked Kendal reduced their arrears to seven points.
Kendal conceded a fifth unconverted try shortly after but they finished the game strongly and centre Leo Mercer, who had been making breaks all afternoon, scored a deserved try which Johnson converted to make the final score 25-20, which earned Kendal a bonus point.
In the league’s other match, Furness moved up to second in the league with a closely-fought 26-23 home win over Penrith RFC A XV.