Upton ease to nine-try cup victory

Upton host Stanningley in the second round.
Upton host Stanningley in the second round.

Upton blew away North Herts Crusaders in more ways than one on a windy day to book a home tie against Stanningley in the BARLA National Cup second round on Saturday, January 24 .

Hitchin-based South East area champions Crusaders, whose season has not yet started, were beaten 50-0 at Waggon Lane in the opening round last Saturday.

Upton, playing with the wind behind them in the first half, made a strong start.

Their first points came after youngster Aaron Cartwright made progress down the middle. Liam Harnell found Jake Turner and he smartly off-loaded to John McDermott who scored in the corner. Steve Beal converted.

Nick Welsh then made a good break before Alex Copcutt and Paul Thompson sent in winger Andy Iveson for a smartly-taken try.

Upton were now in full flow, with loose forward Matt Steadman and fellow forwards Stu James, Alan Thomson, Cartwright and Turner all running smart angles and making in roads.

Full-back Todd Williamson joined the attacking line and fed McDermott who exchanged passes with Turner before scoring in the corner. Beal added his third goal with a touchline kick.

Crusaders rallied and put in some big hits but Upton were quicker around the ruck and play of the ball, with Nathan Kirby, Harry Stevens , Iveson and Thompson in lively form.

Everything Upton tried came off.

After being awarded an attacking scrum 20 yards out, Williamson served Beal who took the ball to the line before darting over to make it 22-0.

Upton kept the pressure on and the ball went along the line through Beal, Williamson and McDermott before Turner found Welsh who powered over in the corner.

Upton ended the half on a high as Harnell broke down middle and the ball was then switched to the opposite wing with good ball handling from Beal and Steadman setting up a try for Liam Hobson. Beal’s fifth goal made it 34-0 at the break.

The second half started with Herts in a more determined mood and they worked hard to keep out Upton. The visitors got over Upton’s line three times but were unable to ground the ball.

Upton’s Turner then got a deserved try as he burst onto a short pass back on the inside from Williamson before knocking attempted tacklers out of the way to score beneath the posts.

Steadman, who worked tirelessly all day, supplied a short pass to McDermott who ran a great line to score, with Beal kicking his seventh goal.

Hobson completed the scoring after the ball hit the ground on one of the few times moves broke down. Hobson smartly tidied up and strectched over the line to score.

Credit must go to Crusaders who kept going all game but were beaten by a more experienced side.

Referee Liam Staveley had another good match but had little to do as both sides played in good spirit.

Herts enjoyed a couple of hours back in Upton’s clubhouse before departing for home. having enjoyed their trip to Yorkshire

Upton’s MOM award went to Todd Williamson followed by Beal and Steadman in an excellent team performance

Upton visit Fryston Warriors in a Pennine League Premier Division game on Saturday. The match kicks off at 2pm.