FIVE members of Kendal RUFC are off to Twickenham after helping Cumbria to a narrow 18-17 victory over Essex.

James Gough skippered the triumphant Cumbrian side that also included Liam Hayton, Glen Weightman, Richard Harryman and James Thompson.

The victory has earned them their second trip to the home of England rugby in the last three years.

The Kendal quartet more than played their part in the victory with Hayton scoring one of Cumbria's three tries while Weightman kicked a crucial penalty.

However, the match hinged on a missed Essex kick as Jack Barrand's failed conversion attempt 10 minutes from time meant Cumbria stay in the lead and they managed to hang on for a hard-fought victory.

Cumbria took an early lead when they won the lineout and set up the driving maul and, with some ease, shunted the Essex pack over their own line for Ryan Feeney to come up with the try.

A second try arrive when Feeney stripped the ball from the Essex runner and it quickly came to Kris Bratton on the left wing who had the little room he needed, beat two men and then showed the cover a clean pair of heels as he sped in for the try.

Cumbria failed to convert either try and three successful penalties by Essex full back Jake Barrand in the closing 10 minutes of the half saw them close the gap to a point.

Early in the second half, Cumbria crossed for a third try, catching a driving from a line-out with Hayton claiming the try.

Weightman missed the conversion but made amends by slotting over a penalty to open up a nine point lead.

Barrand cut the gap with a fourth penalty and with 10 minutes left, Essex touched down through captain Josh Woodcock.

But crucially, Barrand failed with his conversion attempt and Cumbria kept Essex at bay to book their return trip to Twickenham.