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1st XV - Match centre

Sat 22 Apr 15:00 - Northern Division - Durham & Northumerland 1 Full time


Score doesn't reflect match.

One change from selection with Matty Banning off ill so Martyn Heelbeck went back into the centre with Drew Carr in the back row. Once again we selected a good selection of our ‘bairns’. Stockton also had a sprinkling of youngsters as well. It is what we need to grow our clubs.
Stockton KO but not ten metres so scrum to Gateshead. Gateshead spent most of the next 20 minutes in the Stockton half with no reward. Two missed penalties were our only chances. Stockton defended well but we took wrong options and cut back inside far too much. Nathan Turner had one great break but I don’t think he got a pass for the rest of the game!
Eventually Scott Cartner was on the end of a move after good yards by Jack Johnson, where he dotted down in the corner and converted from the touchline. 7-0. Stockton again fluffed the kick off and Gateshead were on the attack again. However possession was lost and Stockton had their first really meaningful set of attacks in the Gateshead half. They scored, 7-7.
Gateshead again attacked but after a series of drives where it was looking promising the ball squirted out of the side of a ruck. It was scooped up by Stockton and out to their ‘experienced’ winger where he scooted off to score, converted 7-14.
Gateshead again attacked and after a series of drives the ball came out to Martyn Heelbeck who raced away to score, converted by Scott. 14-14. Half time. So for all the pressure and territory Gateshead had, 14-14 was not a reflection of the game and would it come back to bite our bum? You betcha!!
Gateshead must have been given tranquilisers at half time because they came out looking dazed and half asleep. They hardly touched the ball for the first 10 minutes whilst Stockton scored three tries. Gateshead ran out defence and their full back was given space out wide and he can shift and so he did! So 14-31!
Gateshead recovered the ball after the kick off and a series of runs and drives at the Stockton line saw a classic scrum half try from Ross Craig where he showed the ball and nipped in for his first try of many I am sure in the first team. 19-31.
Stockton continued to have the upper hand by now and their full back got his third & fourth tries to make it 19-41. Gateshead didn’t give up and scored after a series of drives saw Glenn Atkinson go over to make it 26-41 after Scott converted. Final score.
Stockton deserved their win because they took their chances and Gateshead didn’t. It was a good game to watch and played in a good spirit with both sides having young lads in their teams. Skipper Heelbeck made some cracking yardage throughout the game but often on his own when support was needed. Nathan Turner didn’t get one pass in the second half. As I said earlier we cut back inside far too much. I was told after the game that David Tate thought he was going on dummy runs half the time only to be given the ball time after time. We had pace out wide but didn’t use it.
The two young props did well as did Jack Johnson who had several bullocking runs and put in some good tackles as well. When he had to go off for a while we noticed the scum was not as solid. Robbie Greenwell came on for his debut as well and showed up very well whilst he was on. My MOM would have been Ross Craig. He is gutsy, got the ball away well, tackled well, made some good runs and even took a big hit when Alex Surrey gave him a hospital pass!! He must have got his talent from his mother! Talking of Alex Surrey he also put himself about with some strong running.
So can’t complain at the result. The score didn’t really reflect the game but it is what it is.
So Cup Final at Blaydon on Wednesday 3rd May v Barnard Castle. No doubt the boys will be stopping off the drink at the beer festival to prepare!!

Team selection

League round up

Other Durham & Northumerland 1 results



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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Northern 26 106
2. South Shields Westoe 26 100
3. Barnard Castle 26 94
4. Consett 26 78
5. Middlesbrough 26 74
6. Horden 26 72
7. Gateshead 26 67


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