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Lancaster Rugby

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Morecambe take the bragging rights

Local Rugby League will have picked up many new fans as Lancaster and Morecambe served up a thriller in the inaugural Morecambe Bay Origin Game.

A crowd of over 400 people witnessed Morecambe win the game with three late tries after Lancaster had taken the lead with only five minutes left to play.

The match winner was 16 year old stand off Shaun Weed. He scored a hat trick of tries and caused Lancaster problems all evening with ball in hand. Already signed with Challenge Cup finalists St Helens, Weed looks to have a big future within the sport.

Morecambe started the game at a hundred miles an hour. A beautiful slipped pass from captain Keith Hartlebury saw Elliott Pyrah race forty metres deep into Lancaster territory. The ball was spilled on the next play but Morecambe had laid down their marker. Indeed it was five minutes into the game before Lancaster touched the ball and when they did it was turned over immediately.

Morecambe were quick to turn this early pressure into points. Ryan Weed linked with the Morecambe half backs and threw a well timed timed pass to winger Joe Pyrah. Pyrah dived low over the line to beat the tackle of Mark Squires and score in the corner. Although the conversion was missed by Weed, he added a penalty soon after to give his side a 6-0 lead.

Lancaster needed up the tempo to match Morecambe and get back into the game and in fairness to them they did this quickly. From a scrum base, Mark Squires broke away and arced towards the corner. He was tackled by Randall Raines but a penalty was conceded. The quick thinking Andy Garnett tapped the ball on the nod of the referee and plunged over the tryline to reduce the deficit to two. However the tryscorer was less successful with the conversion attempt and Morecambe stayed in the lead.

The Origin concept may well pitch mate against mate but friendships were soon forgotten as a bout of fisticuffs broke out. With local pride at stake as well as the brand new two foot trophy, there was a danger that this could happen. Referee Neil Ward halted the game and instructed the captains to gather their teams together to ensure there was no repeat of this. But the crowd were left in no doubt that this was a thoroughly passionate encounter and that both teams were absolutely desperate to secure local bragging rights.

It was Morecambe who reacted quicker once the dust had settled. Once again in a strong attacking position, Weed swept into the acting half role, got on the outside of the markers and gleefully touched down under the posts. With the simplicity of the conversion, Morecambe had an eight point lead, which they held until half time. This was largely thanks to the eagle eyed referee Ward who spotted a forward pass as player coach Andy Helme sent Lewis Mills racing to the posts.

Lancaster began the second half in much the same vein. A forty metre break from Rob Shaw stated their intentions and with Helme, Mills and hooker Greg Sykes prompting they looked favourite to register the next try. When it finally arrived, it was Lewis Mills at the fore. The five eighth has been in wonderful form all year for the Heysham Atoms and he conclusively proved his danger to the Morecambe outfit as he dummied through a gap in the their defence and raced seventy metres for an outstanding solo effort. The extras were added by Garnett, leaving the game delicately poised at 10-12.

Despite the efforts of both sides, this was still the score for most of the half. Morecambe centre Matthew Craven tested the Lancaster defence with a penetrating arcing run to the corner and at the other end Mills' clever kicking game forced two repeat sets of six. Substitute Simon Brookes drove deep into Morecambe territory and on the next play Mark Squires was adjudged to be held over the line by referee Ward.

The deadlock was finally broken with seven minutes left. The referee awarded Lancaster a penalty when Squires was dragged into touch after the completion of the tackle. Garnett took his side into the Morecambe red zone with a strong jinking run. From the next ruck, Mills found Russell Birkett on his right and the second row shrugged off two tacklers to edge the home side into the lead. Lancaster led by two and minutes later Mills potted a field goal to give his side an extra point.

This was the signal for Morecambe's gamebreaker to step forward. Having to kick off to Lancaster with less than five minutes left, Shaun Weed grubbered the ball a precise ten metres and was first to the ball to gain possession for his side. Suddenly Morecambe had the territory they required and late in the sequence of tackles Andy Aldren fired the ball right to local rugby league newcomer Matthew Craven who was swamped by his joyous team mates as he crossed in the corner. Weed hit the far post from the touchline and Morecambe led by a solitary point.

Receiving the ball from the restart, Morecambe were soon back on the attack as they sought to bury Lancaster. Bryan Cambidge broke down the left and the supporting Lee Harvey offloaded to Weed who scored his second try. Incredibly, there was still time for his hat trick. The runner up to Weed in the man of the match stakes, Keith Hartlebury floated an inch perfect cross field kick for the stand off to collect and seal the game with a scoreline of 15-24.

St Helens Super League stars Mark Edmondson and Ade Gardner presented the trophy to the jubilant skipper Keith Hartlebury and Morecambe were the deserved winners of area's first Rugby League Origin Challenge.

LANCASTER: 1 Mark Squires, 2 Gavin Winder, 3 Andy Garnett, 4 Mark Allan, 5 Simon Ledwick, 6 Lewis Mills, 7 Andy Helme, 8 Rob Shaw, 9 Greg Sykes, 10 Chris Connaughton, 11 Russell Birkett, 12 Gavin Helliwell, 13 Brian Gregory. 14 Mick Spenceley, 15 Simon Brookes, 16 Steven Jackson, 17 Mick Doherty

Tries: Garnett, Mills, Birkett. Goals: Garnett. Field Goal: Mills


MORECAMBE: 1 Randall Raines, 2 Joe Pyrah, 3 Brian Cambidge, 4 Matt Craven, 5 Martin Pike, 6 Shaun Weed, 7 Keith Hartlebury, 8 Liam Hall, 9 Andy Aldren, 10 Ryan Weed, 11 Chris Helme, 12 Elliott Pyrah, 13 Peter Livingstone. 14 Colin Bebington, 15 Shane Weed, 16 Scott Needham, 17 Lee Harvey

Tries: J Pyrah, Shaun Weed (3), Craven. Goals: Shaun Weed (2)

MAN OF THE MATCH: Shaun Weed


Gallery

 More Photos From The Big Night - Click Here 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 More Photos From The Big Night - Click Here 

Players:Buy your own match shirt: £30 including your name on the back.
Supporters: Buy a replica, £35, running out fast!
Contact Rich de le Riviere delariv@hotmail.com


The Flyers


The View From The Axe - Rob Shaw

Phew - What game! Giant Axe resonated on Tuesday night as the Morecambe juggernaught rolled into town for a passion-filled clash that left the players shattered and the crowd wanting more.

Congratulations to Morecambe, they played to their strengths and thoroughly deserved their victory.

One of the more unusual aspects of this match was the fact that the players on both sides knew each other so well. This meant that not only were the teams playing to their own game plan, but were also able to analyse the likely game plan of their opponents.

Lancaster knew that Bryan Cambidge would play a dominant role with the powerful running that is the feature of his game, and that the other main danger man was the devastating step of the 16-year old St Helens starlet Shaun Weed. Lancaster manager Andy Helme said before the match that if Lancaster were still in the game after 60 minutes, then the big Morecambe forwards would begin to tire and the game would be there for the taking. The score up until this point was almost an irrelevance, as the final quarter would likely contain the make-or-break plays.

And so it proved. Morecambe came out with their big forwards fired up with Lancaster struggling to match them down the middle. An early lead through an excellent Jo Pyrah score after brother Elliott Pyrah broke 40m down the right flank was no less than Morecambe deserved. A bout of fisticuffs instigated by Liam Hall's swinging arm on Andy Helme fired up the Lancaster team who showed they were not about to be rolled over without a fight by the big Morecambe forwards. The passion on display was evident as bone-crunching hit after bone-crunching hit was put in by both sides. Morecambe further extended their lead to enter the break 12-4 up. After the break, the Morecambe forwards were beginning to tire just as predicted, and Lancaster clawed their way back into the match. On 60 minutes, Lancaster were still in the game, and perhaps too confidently expected to win it as Russell Birkett crossed with 10 minutes remaining to put Lancaster into the lead for the first. Lewis Mills slotted over a drop goal to extend the lead, and which should have meant the all-important possession was retained at this vital time in the game. However, history now shows that Morecambe made the most of the re-start back at the half-way line. Their tactical short kick off worked, and Morecambe managed to gain possession from which Shaun Weed scored the second of his tries to put Morecambe back in the lead. There was still time for a Lancaster try to ensure the cup stayed at this side of Skerton Bridge, but once again Shaun Weed stepped up to completely shatter the Lancaster hopes and to complete his hat-trick.

Spare a thought for those injured, especially Mick Spencely who just moments into his Lancaster debut ruptured his Achilles, and Martin Pike, the diminutive Morecambe winger who got knocked unconscious by one Andy Garnet challenge. Martin's courageous running was one of the highlights of the match, not that 'Pikey' will remember much about it with his dose of concussion. But remember, Pikey, "Your bruises last a few days, but your pride lasts forever!"

Back in March 2003 when the Origin concept was first mooted between John Thomason and Rich de le Riviere, few could have predicted how big the event was going to be as the sceptics tried to laugh it down before it had even got off the ground.

For many, playing in front of a paying attendance of several hundred and representing their town of birth will be the highlight of their careers. As a player, these are the matches you dream of taking part in. Our thanks go to Rich and John for making it happen and providing the players with this opportunity.

Morecambe will enjoy the bragging rights for the next year, no doubt their players will continue in the same vein as Tuesday evening singing 'Championies' for some while yet. Enjoy it whilst it lasts lads. Your victory will last a mere 12 months. For Lancaster the build up to Origin 2005 starts today.

Looking back in years to come, it will be seen that the real winners this evening was the sport of rugby league with the re-birth of one of the oldest derbies in the game. Our thanks go to the large, passionate crowd who were fantastic all the way through the game. Hopefully by next year, a more suitable weekend date will be found which will hopefully enable even more supporters to see Origin 2005.

 More Photos From The Big Night - Click Here 


Origin Photo Shoot 7th Dec 2003

 

 

 

 

 

 


Decemeber 2003 Press Release

Lancaster v Morecambe "State of Origin"
The "Morecambe Bay Origin Challenge"

Next Spring a “Morecambe Bay Origin Challenge” will take place, due to a unique partnership between the rugby clubs of Lancaster and Heysham Atoms, which is helping to create an exciting and dynamic future for rugby league in the Morecambe Bay area.

In commemoration of the centenary of Lancaster meeting Morecambe in the Rugby League Challenge Cup, the two clubs agreed to work in partnership to develop a special contest between Lancaster and Morecambe, based, like Australia’s State of Origin series, upon the home of players, rather than their individual club loyalty. The game, which will take place in Lancaster during the spring of next year, is expected to be one of passion and pride for the players involved.

"This is a great opportunity to build on the rich rugby league heritage of the area" said Lancaster Captain Rob Shaw this week. "It recognises the derby factor that rugby league had in the district a century ago, and puts a local twist on the Origin concept that has evolved to become Australia’s most popular sporting event."

The original "Origin" game took place during the 1903/4 Rugby League Challenge Cup competition, where the two local teams played out an unusual 0-0 draw at Quay Meadow, only to be followed in the replay by a Lancaster win of 13 points to 4 at Moss Lane in Morecambe, approximately where Morrisons supermarket now stands. Lancaster progressed to the second round of the Cup, where they were defeated 8 points to nil by Keighley at Quay Meadow.

Morecambe representative Keith Hartlebury was also looking forward to the game. "It’s a chance for Morecambe to get their own back after 100 years!" joked Keith, who is captain of Heysham Atoms. "Already a number of Atoms’ players are talking about coming out of retirement for the occasion and I’m sure competition for the 17 jerseys will be strong!"

The two representative teams will be playing in the colours of the original two clubs when the game takes place in the spring.

"Red and white hoops are the traditional colours of Lancaster, dating back to the original club that joined the rugby league in the 1890s" said Rob. "We want to acknowledge those that played for the city a century ago."

Keith was keen to wear the blue and white hoops of the first Morecambe jersey in over ninety years and was confident that the game will be a local derby with a difference. "I’m sure the people of Morecambe will get behind us and support their team when the game takes place next year."


Origin Photo Shoot 4th May 2004

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


May 2004 Press Releases

One hundred years ago the areas two leading rugby clubs met for the only time in the Northern Union Challenge Cup, rugby league's most prestigious competition. Lancaster had the home advantage, and despite having the bigger team, the game ended with a rather unusual 0-0 draw at Quay Meadow, triggering a replay later that week at Morecambe's Moss Lane ground, ironically located very close to Trimpell where Heysham Atoms now play. The replay saw a much more confident display by Lancaster, who progressed to the next round after a 13 points to 4 win. In the next round they were knocked out by Keighley.

On Tuesday evening Morecambe have the chance to get their own back, and the blue and white of the club will be making it's first appearance for over ninety years. Lancaster, playing the game in the traditional red and white hoops of the Northern Union club, will be looking to "retain" the honours and ensure that there will be one trophy heading to Giant Axe this season!

The game is guaranteed to be filled with passion and will pitch mate-against-mate, as club loyalty goes out of the window in favour of local identity. One difference to the 1904 game that will be made though is to the playing rules. In 1904 rugby league was just in it's ninth season since the "great schism" tore rugby apart over the broken time issue, and many of the key features of the modern game were yet to be invented. In 1904 the game was still very much influenced by the style of play we still see in rugby union, with competitive scrums and fifteen-a-side teams. Although the line-out had gone, and the play-the-ball had been introduced, it was still to be a further few years until the game took on an identity of it's own - something that was largely due to Lancaster's James Leytham. Leytham who by the time of the 1904 Challenege Cup had signed for Wigan, played an essential role in defining the characteristics of the league game and in the Wigan three-quarters maximised the changes brought about by the redundancy of the flankers and the reduction to thirteen-a-side.

Tuesday's game will be played to modern rules - rules in which, thanks to James Leytham, Lancaster played a key role in defining.


The time for talking is almost over

One hundred years ago the areas two leading rugby clubs met for the only time in the Northern Union Challenge Cup, rugby league's most prestigious competition.

Lancaster had the home advantage, and despite having the bigger team, the game ended with a rather unusual 0-0 draw at Quay Meadow.
This result triggered a replay later that week at Morecambe's Moss Lane ground, ironically located very close to Trimpell where Heysham Atoms now play.
The replay saw a much more confident display by Lancaster, who progressed to the next round after a 13 points to four win. In the next round they were knocked out by Keighley.
On Tuesday evening Morecambe have the chance to get their own back, and the blue and white of the club will be making it's first appearance for over 90 years.
Lancaster, playing the game in the traditional red and white hoops of the Northern Union club, will be looking to 'retain' the honours.
The game is guaranteed to be filled with passion and will pitch mate-against-mate, as club loyalty goes out of the window in favour of local identity.
One difference to the 1904 game that will be made though is to the playing rules. In 1904 rugby league was just in it's ninth season and many of the key features of the modern game were yet to be invented.
In 1904 the game was still influenced by the style of play we still see in rugby union, with competitive scrums and 15-a-side teams.
Although the line-out had gone, and the play-the-ball had been introduced, it was still to be a further few years until the game took on an identity of its own,
With Morecambe particularly strong in the forwards, and Lancaster's skill being found in the backs, it is sure to be a challenging game for both teams.
The Origin game kicks-off at 7pm at Giant Axe.


Lancaster and Morecambe meet for first time in 100 years

Tue May 11, 2:19am (UK)
Written by: Richard de la Riviere
On Tuesday May 11th Giant Axe Stadium in Lancaster will host a State of Origin style game between the northern towns of Lancaster and Morecambe. Players will come together from Lancaster RLFC of the Summer Conference, Heysham Atoms ARLFC of the North West Counties competition, Lancaster University, Lancaster & Morecambe College, St Martins College and local rugby union sides to represent their town in what will become an annual event. Kick off will be at 7pm.

One hundred years ago the areas two leading rugby clubs met for the only time in the Northern Union Challenge Cup, rugby league's most prestigious competition. Lancaster had the home advantage, and despite having the bigger team, the game ended with a rather unusual 0-0 draw at Quay Meadow, triggering a replay later that week at Morecambe's Moss Lane ground, ironically located very close to Trimpell where Heysham Atoms now play. The replay saw a much more confident display by Lancaster, who progressed to the next round after a 13 points to 4 win. In the next round they were knocked out by Keighley.

On Tuesday evening Morecambe have the chance to get their own back, and the blue and white of the club will be making it's first appearance for over ninety years. Lancaster, playing the game in the traditional red and white hoops of the Northern Union club, will be looking to "retain" the honours and ensure that there will be one trophy heading to Giant Axe this season!

The game is guaranteed to be filled with passion and will pitch mate-against-mate, as club loyalty goes out of the window in favour of local identity. One difference to the 1904 game that will be made though is to the playing rules. In 1904 rugby league was just in it's ninth season since the "great schism" tore rugby apart over the broken time issue, and many of the key features of the modern game were yet to be invented. In 1904 the game was still very much influenced by the style of play we still see in rugby union, with competitive scrums and fifteen-a-side teams. Although the line-out had gone, and the play-the-ball had been introduced, it was still to be a further few years until the game took on an identity of it's own - something that was largely due to Lancaster's James Leytham. Leytham who by the time of the 1904 Challenege Cup had signed for Wigan, played an essential role in defining the characteristics of the league game and in the Wigan three-quarters maximised the changes brought about by the redundancy of the flankers and the reduction to thirteen-a-side.

Tuesday's game will be played to modern rules - rules in which, thanks to James Leytham, Lancaster played a key role in defining.


LANCASTER:

COACH: Andy Helme

1. Mark Squires
2. Simon Ledwick
3. Andy Garnett
4. Mark Allan
5. Gavin Winder
6. Lewis Mills
7. Andy Helme
8. Rob Shaw (capt)
9. Greg Sykes
10. Chris Connaughton
11. Gavin Helliwell
12. Russell Birkett
13. Brian Gregory

14. Mick Doherty
15. Steven Jackson
16. Simon Brooks
17. Mick Spenceley

 

MORECAMBE:

COACH: Dave Crow

1. Randall Raines
2. Joe Pyrah
3. Matthew Craven
4. Brian Cambidge
5. Martin Pike
6. Shaun Weed
7. Keith Hartlebury (capt)
8. Ryan Weed
9. Andy Aldren
10. Chris Helme
11. Elliott Pyrah
12. Liam Hall
13. Peter Livingstone

14. Lee Harvey
15. Colin Bebington
16. Shane Weed
17. Scott Needham

 

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