By Paula Ratcliffe
It was almost 12 months to the day since the last time the Bulls arrived at Egremont for a National Cup encounter with their horns polished and today was no different, albeit a Challenge Cup encounter. The name and shape of the cup maybe different but the result was the same as Egremont kept their composure and the penalty count down to secure a keenly contested victory 22 – 16.
Spectators – dressed in attire suited to arctic exploration – witnessed a red hot encounter with Bulls nostrils aflame from the first whistle. They had the size and capability to take victory; however their actions and words cost them dear.
Bulls were hot of hoof when fullback Eddie Vaughan chased after a chip through to score under the posts converted by Craig White with only 2 minutes gone on the clock. Egremont levelled the scores on 17 minutes after a Bank Quay penalty gave the home side possession and fast hands provideD the opportunity for young Leon Crellin to go over on the far left of the pitch and duly converted by John-Paul Brocklebank.
With the scores level, each ball was keenly contested, each tackle crunching and the deadlock was broken when winger Ryan Barnes dived over in the corner leaving John-Paul Brocklebank a mighty challenge which he faced with a fine boot to give Egremont a 12 – 6 advantage at half time.
Bulls started the second half strongly when after 4 minutes centre Mark Foster crossed for an unconverted try. It took Egremont a further 4 minutes for Egremont’s Man of the Match, Rhys Davies, to duck and dive away from a number of would be defenders to provide a sublime offload for Brocklebank to score between the uprights and duly convert his own try.
Brocklebank then added four more points to his tally with 2 penalty goals whilst Bulls Millington and Bird were cooling their bovine tempers in the sinbin. However the Bulls didn’t rest on their hooves and on 62 minutes Bulls’ Man of the Match, Nick Braide used his bulk to charge through from close range – converted by Craig White.
The controlled determination and powerful tackling Egremont kept the score at 22 – 16 for the last quarter of the game and gave them victory.