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1st XV - Match centre

Gateshead
Medicals
Sat 2 Sep 15:00 - Northern Division - Durham & Northumberland 1 Full time

FIVE TRIES AND A BONUS POINT.

Good win in the end.

First league game with Medicals at home. This time of year you are not sure what team Medicals might get out but you know they will be young, fit and prepared to chuck the ball about.
One change in that Jack Johnson was off as he is going into the Navy and need to be fit for his medical so we all wish him luck for his future. So which of the back rows was it to be for the boiler house! Pluskal it was and you could see Surrey smiling a mile off!! Sukhi Sandhu came into the back row with Lewis Lacey on the bench. Time Clinton was making his first 1st team start at loose head.
Early first half Gateshead had most of the possession but due to poor passing and general cock ups it came to nothing. Medicals also defended well. First blood was to Medicals with a penalty 0-3. By this time Sukhi was also hurt with his shoulder problem and a crunching tackle made by him saw him off with Lewis Lacey on.
After pressure and good driving Alex Surrey scored, conversion missed 5-3. Gateshead continued with more possession but some of the passing was diabolical with well experienced players who don’t normally make such mistakes catching the crap passing bug! There is more skill seen at Old Man’s Touch on a Thursday night!
Still a good break by Scott Cartner after good pressure saw him put Matty Banning away for a score. 10-3.
Medicals finished off the half camped on the Gateshead line and some fantastic defence kept them out. I am told they scored in the far corner but the ref was unsighted so couldn’t give it. Half time 10-3.
Gateshead started the second half with more purpose and straight onto the attack and sniffer Glen Atkisnon got a trade mark try near the posts converted by Scott 17-3. There were some very good spells of play with good attacking skills shown. Medicals were playing their part and never gave up and were unlucky not to score. Chris Owen was on for Ross Craig and Johnny Thandi came on for the tiring Tim Clinton who put in a decent shift.
A few good runs down the stand side were unlucky not to come to anything but eventually Nathan Turner was sent away and a lovely step saw him score a cracking try again converted by Scott, 24-3.
Mistakes crept back in and on one occasion when it needed someone just to belt the ball down then park to give the forwards a rest up popped Alex Surrey who did just that. He normally gets a bollocking from me for kicking but somehow it was a good kick and just what was needed.
In an attempt to pick up a low pass from Chris Owen Scott hurt his ribs and was off so back on came Ross Craig with Chris Owen sent to the wing( not as a punishment I might add but the right thing to do!).
Medicals were having a last go when Martyn Heelbeck intercepted and raced away to score with David Tate dropkicking the conversion! 31-3.
So can’t really complain with a five try bonus point win but we must to improve! Pick of the forwards were Alex Surrey, Martin Pluskal & Tom McGowan. Alex put in a hard shift. A tip Alex it is much better to pick up from 8 and break right instead of running straight into their 9! Martin Pluskal had a good few runs in open space. More please? Tom continues to improve his mobility and we would never have thought he would get chucked up in the air at lineouts but there you go!
The backs always look dangerous and I am sure they will all be cured of the crap passing bug by next week! The backs defence was excellent so no complaints there.
Consett away next week.

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Barnard Castle 10 45
2. Durham City 10 43
3. Consett 10 40
4. Gateshead 10 39
5. South Shields Westoe 10 38
6. Guisborough 10 26
7. Hartlepool Rovers 10 24

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