Tarleton needed to get back to winning ways on Saturday against Littleborough First XV after a narrow away defeat the week before to league leaders Keswick.
Tarleton fielded a strong squad and from the off started to play at a high tempo denying Littleborough any significant possession in the first 10 minutes. It was from Littleboroughs’ first significant attack that the ball was turned over and an excellent clearance kick from Aiden Miller gave Littleborough a defensive lineout in their own 22. This was thrown long and gathered in by Tom Crowe who burst through the Littleborough defence before being brought down, quick recycling of the ball saw it rapidly spread across the back line to Luke Banks on the right wing who rounded the last two Littleborough defenders to score the opening try.
Tarletons’ second try also came from a messed up Littleborough line out and the ball found its way to Matt Forrest in midfield who blitzed his way through the Littleborough line before offloading to the supporting Aiden Miller who crossed the line to score. He converted his own try and Tarleton now led 12-0.
The next 10 minutes of the game was scrappy with constant stoppages for injuries and Tarleton being guilty of giving too many penalties away. Littleborough had a pot at goal with one of these but the kick was pulled left of the uprights.
Tarleton then started to play some flowing rugby as their confidence levels rose and this style of play incorporating fast hands, good running lines and passing out of the tackle saw Frankie Skofic punch a hole in the Littleborough defence and a well timed inside pass to Jack Skofic saw him in under the posts. Aiden Miller added the conversion and a 19-0 lead ensued.
In the second half Tarleton continued to play open flowing rugby at pace and it was Frankie Skofic again who burst through the Littleborough defense only to be brought down just short of the line a pass to Aiden Miller saw him over the line for his second try and Tarleton were coasting at 24-0 and had secured the bonus point for the fourth try.
After 70 minutes Littleborough were awarded a penalty in the Tarleton 22 ( one of too many conceded during the game) and this was quickly taken and the Littleborough scrum half went in between the sticks to score a good individual try which was converted and the score was now 24-7.
Tarleton continued to pressurise and from an attacking lineout in Littleboroughs’ 22 the ball was caught and driven over the line for Hugo Castle to score a good try from the efforts of the pack. Aiden Miller added the extra points and with 5 minutes left Tarleton led 31-7.
The scoring wasn’t over though as from another flowing Tarleton attack the ball went through 5 pairs of hands and a good line and a good pass saw the ball with Frankie Skofic who broke through to score the final try of the day.
This was a good victory and the final score of 36-7 means that Tarleton go back to 3rd place in the league on points difference.
The First XV have a week off now before travelling up to Wigton to continue with their league campaign.