Wath Brow Hornets

RL Conf Challenge Cup Semi Final
Wath Brow 8 
Wigan St Patricks 22
Gate: £2
Atten: 250ish 

Wath Brow Hornets are based in Cleator, a village in the county of Cumbria and within the boundaries of the traditional county of Cumberland.
On Thursday 19 November 2009, rainfall of over 300 mm was recorded in Cumbria. The surge of water off the fells of the Lake District flowed back to the Irish Sea down the rivers of West Cumbria, including the River Derwent which caused flooding and damage at Keswick, Cockermouth and Workington. The River Ehen burst its banks at Cleator, near to the Kangol factory, flooding fields and a number of residential properties. But they seem tough folk around here and bouncing back was the only option.

The game of rugby of one sorts or another has been played in the Wath Brow area of Cleator Moor for many a long year, Prior to the great breakaway in 1895 there was a rugby union team with the name now associated to the rugby league club. The original club was disbanded in 1904 and it was not until 1920 that a Wath Brow Hornets Northern Union was formed and featured in its ranks the Famous Slasher Nolan a local Pugilist of some repute. This club however was only disbanded again on the outbreak of war in 1939 and from then until 1955 there was no rugby of any code played in the area


Season 2000/01 proved a momentous one again for the Hornets and ever better than the previous year when the club became the Cumberland Leagues most successful club ever in a single season - winning all five trophies on offer, the season was completed by the second team winning all three trophies available to them, a total of 7 trophies between them.They continue to strive forward and proudly sit high up in Division One of the NCL and who knows where they can reach in the pyramid.

Today's bill of fayre was the semi final of the RL Conference Challenge Cup against a tough Wigan St Patricks outfit. It was a highly entertaining match with the vocal locals happy with the way early events unfolded as the Hornets 'stung' into action with a try, conversion was missed. Wigan fought back and took control and took a 16-4 lead with some bruising tackles. Then Wath Brow fought back and it was a pulsating last 20 minutes until St Pats sealed the win to the delight of the Lancashire masses. The locals were disappointed to lose and even the scoreboard was too ashamed to put the final score up having 20-8 instead of 22-8 showing.

The ground is situated amongst glorious Cumbrian terrain with spectacular undulating views as far as the eye could see. Rugby League wise Cumbria seems in a time warp it is a special place with special people. The locals are warm and welcoming and forgiving especially when I asked a local Old Boy the question which was the bigger sport in this part of the world Rugby or Football ? He looked at me in complete shock as he shook his head he replied “never heard of hound trailing”? 

Hugs and handshakes all round

The journey home via Cockermouth and Keswick was simply sensational. I just gazed out of the car window totally hypnotised in the scenery that mother nature was presenting before my very eyes . The stunning Bassenthwaite Lake was as calm as a sleeping baby and did not have a ripple and all was serene and sunny, in the Lakes , quite simply majestic.

Backstreet in Cleator

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