Over 35's BARLA Tri-Series County Championship 2012
Lancashire are the Over 35's BARLA Tri Series County Champions after victories over Yorkshire and Cumbria on the 3G pitch at Leigh Sporting Village, the home of Leigh East ARLFC.by NRL
Lancashire are the Over 35's BARLA Tri Series County Champions after victories over Yorkshire and Cumbria on the 3G pitch at Leigh Sporting Village, the home of Leigh East ARLFC.
In Game 1 Lancashire defeated holders Yorkshire 24-0 in a game which they dominated from the outset with four unanswered tries.
Prop Steve Bird drove over from close range after eight minutes skipper Safraz Jama added the extras. They doubled their lead on 19 minutes following a penalty when Jama went on an angled run through the Yorkshire defence to double the lead as Craig Dean added the extras.
Two further converted tries in the last ten minutes clinched the win, Ste Caley picked up a loose ball and went 35 metres for a fine individual try Gary Fletcher went over for a superb solo effort, both converted by Joe Bate.
In Game 2 Yorkshire and Cumbria drew 14 all in dramatic circumstances.
Yorkshire went 6-0 ahead after 12 minutes after a superb Steve Morton break, he offloaded to Chris Peach who went under the posts for the first of his brace, Chris Burnage added the extras.
On the last play of the half Cumbria's Kevin Hetherington offloaded to Jason Zaccarini to score in the corner to make it 6-4.
On 28 minutes Peach jinked through the Cumbria defence for his second but three minutes later Cumbria's Murray intercepted Peach's intended pass and went 60 metres to score.
Yorkshire increased the lead to six points following a scrum; Martin Luxford broke away offloaded to Carl Morton who beat the cover defence five minutes from time.
Cumbria's sustained pressure saw Craig McKinnon bulldoze over on the last play of the game and Stainton coolly added the extras to earn a point.
Game 3 saw Lancashire off to a sensational start and hit Cumbria with three converted tries to lead 18-0 after only seven minutes. A ball steal by Sean Richardson saw him stride over from eighty metres in the opening minute, quickly followed by Jama and then supporting Gary Fletcher taking Jama's pass to go under the posts, with Jama kicking three goals.
Lancashire made sure that there was no second half comeback from Cumbria with two tries in three minutes in the opening ten of the stanza. On 25 minutes Ste Caley scored out wide and on 28 minutes following a scrum Mike Ward went 70 metres with Joe Bate adding to clinch the title.
Safraz Jama completed a fantastic week, after being named the BARLA International Veteran Player of the Year he was named as Player of the Tournament.
"To be honest we had a great team playing together today, we have struggled for the last couple of years against Yorkshire especially but we have trained well this year, proved our point and gave it them as well as Cumbria. Our defence spoke for itself throughout and our attack took care of itself.
"I'm over the moon being named player of the tournament but the rest of the lads deserve the award to and I'm very happy."
Lancashire Head Coach Mark Forster
"Champions brilliant, I'm happier as a coach that we conceded no tries or points throughout the series. That was our goal in the first game and we carried it through in the second so it was quite successful for me as a coach. The attack was good as well, we have learned from the first two years of the competition and we did things in training that we knew could beat Cumbria and Yorkshire and they all worked today.
"Saf (Safraz Jama) deserved it, he led from the front, and we gave him a job as captain. He has been playing at nine for the last three weeks and through problems yesterday we moved him to six and he just continued doing his job."
CUMBRIA: 1. David Wynn, 2. Jason Zaccarini, 3. David Brighorn, 4. Warren Stainton, 5. Paul Southward, 6. Anthony Murray, 7. Paul Henderson, 8. Stephen Long, 9. Craig McKinnon, 10. Ricky Wright, 11. Paul Dean, 12. Dominic Connor, 13. Kevin Hetherington, 14. Trevor Dryden, 15. John Hazelwood.
LANCASHIRE: 1. Kieran Kavanagn, 2. Ste Caley, 3. Ste Flannery, 4. Damian Whitefield, 5. Mark Kay, 6. Sarfraz Jama, 7. Craig Dean, 8. Ste Bird, 9. Gary Fletcher, 10. Andy O'Neil, 11. Mark Birmingham, 12. Sean Richardson, 13. Mike Ward, 14. Daz McKinnon, 15. Mark Meadows, 16. Chris Fenlon, 17. Joe Bate, 18. Lee Brown, 19. Mark Forster.
YORKSHIRE: 1. Maurice Main, 2. Mark Baird, 3. Steve Morton, 4. Geoff Handley, 5. Chris Burnage, 6. Chris Peach, 7. Martin Luxford, 8. Lee Kelly, 9. Fran Starkey, 10. Adam Hoyle, 11. Shane Davis, 12. Carl Morton, 13. Andy Corbett, 14. Dave Peach, 15. John Dudley, 16. Gary Woodcock, 17. Danny Bolton.
Follow rleague.com on Facebook
View profile pages including statistics, results, news, photos and more on all of the following...