Reds’ youngsters recorded a fine win in the Whitehaven Cup, toppling the Conway Cup winners and Cumberland Cup semi-finalists, Pirelli.
It was the third meeting between the sides this season – the first league meeting resulted in a draw before Pirelli knocked Reds out of the Conway Cup at the semi-final stage.
So it was a case of third time lucky in another cup-tie but there was nothing fortunate about the victory with Reds finishing deserved winners, despite trailing at the interval.
The squad was stretched to the limit with two players on first team duty, two turning out for Penrith and others simply unavailable. And that led to the call up of three members from the JPL team within the Academy, all of whom played their part on debut.
Robbie Savage scored twice whilst the other two sixteen year olds, Zach Martin and Hayden Rae, acquitted themselves well in an excellent team performance.
Pirelli had made the better start, applying a bit of pressure on the home defence in the early stages, but they found Reds in a resilient mood. They did open the scoring on the half hour mark, though, when Liam Delaney headed home from close range following a corner.
They turned round with that one goal advantage.
The home side started the second half brightly and were soon into a rhythm which would pay dividends.
Martin was involved in the equaliser, making good progress from the back his shot was only parried by the ‘keeper and Savage was on hand to force home the rebound.
It was Savage (pictured) who then grabbed his, and Reds’, second, putting his side in front for the first time following some tidy football and good movement culminating in a good finish.
Pirelli were not out of it by any means but Scott Paden-Gale and Tom Skinner were inspirational keeping them at bay, defending heroically under pressure.
They obtained that vital bit of breathing space towards the end and Louis Webster rounded off a great performance when he fired home the third goal from outside the box to seal a morale boosting win.
Reds will now host Mirehouse in the next round next week.
Team: Scott Paden-Gale, Zach Martin, Dan Whitehead, Reuben Butterworth, Tom Skinner, Taylor Hambling, Elliot Lowrie, Jack Burns, Ciaran Booty, Robbie Savage, Louis Webster. Substitutes – Hayden Rae, Logan Bosward (both used).