GUISBOROUGH 17 DURHAM CITY 25
Durham City maintained their 4 point lead at the top of the Durham & Northumberland 1 League, generally controlling this hard game on a heavy pitch and building a 22 – 3 lead before being given a minor fright in the last 5 minutes as a spirited Guisbo
Durham City maintained their 4 point lead at the top of the Durham & Northumberland 1 League, generally controlling this hard game on a heavy pitch and building a 22 – 3 lead before being given a minor fright in the last 5 minutes as a spirited Guisborough side hit back to score two converted tries and, at 17 – 22, give themselves an outside chance of victory.
It was not to be however as City stand-off Paul Armstrong responded immediately by calmly kicking a 30 metre penalty to put his team out of reach again and they now march on to a re-arranged league match against Redcar on Saturday.
Early on, it was all City pressure as they created opportunities only to squander them or be thwarted by good defence. Confidence grew in the home ranks, centre James Clark broke and from a raking crossfield kick, only fine cover by City flanker Howard Johnson saving the day before Guisborough got their reward after 16 minutes when Clark kicked a penalty for a 3 – 0 lead.
The next 20 minutes was an even affair punctuated by penalties before City grabbed the advantage at
3 – 5 just before the interval, flanker Craig Dominick breaking strongly before the ball was re-cycled for centre Chris Metcalfe to score in the right corner.
From the start of the second-half, City piled the pressure on the Guisborough line and after a series of 5 metre scrums, which saw a home forward yellow-carded, got their reward with a pushover try through No.8 Peter Dent after 46 minutes.
The siege continued but mistakes still abounded before Dent repeated the pushover try process after 60 minutes when the home side were reduced to 14 men again. Armstrong converted and with 6 minutes to go, centre Brad Pears went over for the bonus-point try in the left corner after more pressure on the Guisborough line.
Armstrong hit the post with the conversion but, at 3 – 22, the outcome nevertheless seemed settled. However, having refused to lie down throughout the game, suddenly Guisborough came right back into it, Clark charging down a clearance kick and following up to score and convert and then from the re-start, winger Mark Ferguson going 35 metres down the left and skipper Rob Leggatt supporting well to run their second try.
Clark converted from the touchline to give the home supporters a faint hope at, but Armstrong’s penalty ended that and consolidated a victory City deserved overall.
CITY: Phil Stewart; Tom Elliott. Brad Pears, Chris Metcalfe, Josh White; Paul Armstrong, Will Paxton, Mike Hay, Mark Davison, Benny Parkinson, Kevin Showler, Dan Holden, Howard Johnson, Howard Johnson, Craig Dominick, Peter Dent.
Replacements: Kenny Reader, Tom Jones.