Well Fought Fight
Durham City at home for a return to rugby. Table toppers City would have been a hard game at the best of times but when coach Kell told me of the unavailabilities on Thursday night it would be even more difficult. Just about a full pack of forwards & one or two backs missing.
So I said to him all we can ask is that they do their best & get stuck in and that’s what they did.
City are a well experienced side and from the comments of their twitter supporters in language that I won’t repeat on a family site that we were going to get slaughtered!
First blood to City from a driving lineout but after 13 minutes Gateshead scored a cracking try when Martyn Heelbeck was there to take the pass and score, converted by Scott Cartner.
Gateshead tackled very well indeed but pressure will tell and City got another three tries but followed by another excellent try from Gateshead. Scott Cartner took a kick in defence and surrounded by a number of City players decided to have a go and beat them all and off he went. Looking like the Scott of old he beat a few more and just like the Scott of old had Louis Arthur on his outside with a 2 on 1 and didn’t pass. Scott’s rationale was that they recycled the ball and Adam Ridley broke to send in David Tate for a try nearer the post so he could convert it easier!
Second half was much the same with Gateshead having a go and tackling City with gusto but as I said earlier pressure does tell and City got a number of tries. Gateshead got another when David Tate ghosted through to score near the posts and Sam Hall dropped the conversion.
So the score at 21-56 flattered City in a way. They certainly deserved their win and were a much more powerful and experienced side but Gateshead battled well and played with a good spirit and never gave up. Adam Ridley(or his alter ego Andrew!) put in a huge amount of tackles. Mickey Ewart played at blind side and got well stuck in. A new second row pairing of Akar Omar & Dan Fenwick helped keep a steady scrum & Ollie O’Conner looked the promising player we saw last season aided and abetted by Paul bate at hooker with Mario on the other side. Matty Cooper made a nuisance of himself and Alex Surrey put in a huge shift. The backs tackled well and always had a go.
So they did as asked. Got stuck in and never gave up. Can’t complain at that!