Six weeks without a game contributes to disappointing display.
craic: First thoughts must go to our intrepid "Scoop" of over 20 years, Pete Skevington, who is having a well-earned rest, whilst recovering from some bouts of ill-health. Get back soon, Pete! Unfortunately, some of the regular players were also unavailable once again, giving an opportunity to shine in the 1st XV. It was a first start of the Season for Jack Vening; a debut for Fred Stubbs and a welcome return after being out for 18 months of Chris Raffo. Peter Knight and Ian Black came on from the bench, along with John Rooney.
game: Gos started off strongly against the League leaders on a typical early January day at Hollow Drift. On four minutes a long penalty attempt from Mat Struthers unfortunately struck the upright and fell wide. Gos continued to provide some enterprising rugby without quite adding the finishing touches. Indeed, the home side took the lead on 20 minutes, when a powerful run by home centre, Chris Metcalfe, saw him crossing the try line. Paul Armstrong converted. The score of 7-0 remained until half-time of a match evenly contested with the green and whites possibly edging the play, despite a couple of crucial ref decisions going against them.
Early in the second half the home team were awarded a penalty try along with a yellow card for the industrious, Darren Kelly, and two minutes later a forward knock-on was missed by the unsighted ref and City, through Josh White went over under the posts. Suddenly we were 21-0 down and heads dropped, allowing City to feel free to throw the ball around and put in some powerful runs. This resulted in a torrid last 25 minutes with the hosts scoring five more tries through Tim Mackay, Josh White, Tom Elliott and Dave Elliott. Paul Armstrong had the right boots on in converting all eight tries. Thus the hosts were rather flatteringly the 56-0 winners. Hopefully, our next home game against Hartlepool Rovers next Saturday will see a much needed turn for the better by GRFC!
Team: Liam Hawthorn, Jack Vening, Ollie Stephenson, Mat Struthers, James Heffernan, Chris Raffo, Tom Jones, Tom Kelly, Dave Robinson, Ben Vening, Andrew Camplejohn, Fred Stubbs, Kieron Locke, Richard Gavin, Darren Kelly. Subs (all used) Ian Black, John Rooney and Peter Knight.