Keswick surge ahead in Westmorland title race after Wetheriggs outclassed

Keswick took a decisive lead in the race for the Westmorland League Division I title, thrashing Wetheriggs United 8-0 away at Gilwilly Recreation Park in Penrith on Tuesday night – whilst Kendal United, who had been hot on the league leader’s heels and equal on points, slipped up, losing out 2-3 to Lunesdale United at home. The result gives Keswick a three point advantage over Kendal, with a game in hand, and a massive 28 goal difference over their rivals.

Keswick attack (Ben Challis)

Keswick attack (Ben Challis)

The evening game started brightly, and was end to end for 10 minutes, but Keswick soon began to dominate. The first goal of the night came out of controversial penalty decision by referee Bernard Law, who ruled that a tackle on Richard Bannister in the box was a penalty. Andy Rigg stepped up and powered home a emphatic shot into low into the left hand corner of the Wertheriggs goal. Whilst Keswick were still dominant, Wetheriggs did have chances, and the Keswick back four of Bell, Dowson, Reilly and Cumber had to work hard to protect goalkeeper Lee Meddings’s net. At the other end, Keswick looked dangerous and the first half ended with a 2-0 lead for Keswick after the league’s top scorer Richard Bannister picked up a neat pass from Keswick’s number 8 Declan Robinson and slotted home an easy goal past the stranded Wetheriggs’ keeper into an empty net.

Wetheriggs Utd 0 v 8 Keswick - Bannister breaks through

Wetheriggs Utd 0 v 8 Keswick – Bannister breaks through (Ben Challis) 

The second half was all Keswick’s. With the light already beginning to fade, Richard Bannister too advantage of a confused Wetheriggs defence to take his second goal, and Andy Rigg added his second, and a fourth for Keswick. In the last half hour Keswick manager Paul Frampton took advantage of the four goal lead to bring on substitutes Alfie West and Tom Atkinson in place of Rigg and Jamie Little and both proved to be worth the wait. Atkinson took up a position as an attacking left winger, and as the light faded scored three goals in quick succession – a brilliant hat trick! With Stuart Webster now replacing the hard working Sam Reilly in defence, it was left to Declan Robinson to put away Keswick’s eighth, as the good turn out of fans for both sides struggled to see what was happening through the encroaching gloom. A massive result for Keswick, who now face fourth placed Windermere SC in the League this Saturday, and then Pirelli in the Benevolent Trophy final at Penrith AFC’s stadium at Frenchfield in an evening match on Thursday 14th April. Kendal have an away match in the league at Sedbergh Wanderers on the 7th –  Keswick beat Sedbergh  3-1 last weekend to reach the final of the High Sheriff’s Cup.

Referee:  Bernard Law
Cumbria Crack Man of the Match:  Lewis Cumber (Keswick)