Another difficult afternoon.
Well beaten by a powerful Stockton side.
Good to see the return to the field of Club Captain, Joe Woodhams, and the experienced Andy Scott after long-term injuries. Both went off with the Phoenix side to play Houghton-le-Spring. Also the re-appearence of Dan Farquhar
in the green and white for his first game of the season. On a sadder note, we are still missing our regular "Scoop", Peter Skevington, and wish him well.
On a sunny (for a change) February afternoon, visitors Stockton kicked off and immediately exerted early pressure on the home defence, which resulted in a series of penalties awarded against Gosforth. Fortunately none of these were fruitful until in the 16th minute, when referee, Sam O'Neill, issued a yellow card to scrum-half, John Rooney
. A lmost immediately Stockton scored their first try close in with the successful conversion to follow. 0-7 to Stockton. The pressure on the home defence continued and after 29 minutes a series of poor clearance kicks was punished by a second try for the visitors, which was not converted this time. 0-12 to Stockton.Straight from the kick-off some weak tackling allowed Stockton to score another converted try. 0-19 to Stockton. It was in the 37th minute that the home team finally reached Stockton's 22 but came away pointless. The half-time score remained 0-19.
Second-half changes saw the introduction of Kieron Locke
and Dan Farquhar
and, kicking off down the slope, Gosforth did look a little more committed to the cause, but, once more, some handling errors gifted possession to Stockton, which led to their crossing for their fourth (and bonus point) try. Again converted to leave the score 0-26 to Stockton. Replacement, James Weaver
, did some good work to thwart any further score. Gosforth continued to exert more pressure, but weren't able to breach the determined tackling from the visitors, even when they were temporarily down to 13 men. Indeed, it was in the 79th minute that skipper, Andy Black
, finally scrambled over in the corner to record the first GRFC points in February! Mark Anderson
failed with the difficult conversion attempt leaving the full-time score at 5-26 to Stockton.
Next week sees our visiting the powerful South Shields Westoe side in a catch-up game, the game having been switched at their request. The Calcutta Cup is a further distraction!