Vital five points
Better late than never!!
On Wednesday we started our hectic run-in, caused by the atrocious weather, which saw GRFC needing to record a five point victory over visitors, Gateshead, who have an even more hectic run-in!
The lake had disappeared and John Tucker had the pitch looking its picturesque best as Gateshead kicked off on a sun-kissed evening. With a few players returning from injury, GRFC got off to the ideal start after only five minutes when centre, Ollie Stephenson, weaved his way through to score under the posts. Mark Anderson
's conversion gave GRFC a 7-0 lead. The score stayed that way, despite a missed penalty attempt by the visitors, until the twenty-second minute when Gateshead's centre scored again by the posts to level the scores. That was to get even worse for the hosts two minutes later, when Gateshead's fly-half held off some iffy tackles to score by the posts (again converted) gave them a 14-7 lead. However, GRFC responded with a try of their own, this time from a line-out from close-in, from kieran porter
, who was making his first appearance since joining us from Leeds Mods. The bulky prop ploughed over to score with Anderson again converting from quite wide out. 14-14. Having missed a long penalty attempt, Mark Anderson
created some space out wide for the powerful full-back, Mat Struthers, to race over from 50 metres. The missed conversion saw GRFC holding a 19-14 half-time lead.
The second-half started even more emphatically, when Tom Jones took a quickly taken tap penalty to race away to score. A good Anderson conversion saw GRFC's lead extended to 26-14 in the first minute. Things got even better five minutes later, when Ollie Stephenson repeated his cameo performance to score a second converted try. 33-21. Gateshead were not to lie down without a fight and scored three unanswered tries in twelve glorious minutes. One of these was converted to leave the score delicately balanced at 33-31 to GRFC. The next score would be vital - and so it proved! Fortunately for us, Liam Hawthorn
showed a fine turn of speed to score a converted try by Mark Anderson
.40-31. Liam was to repeat the feat following some excellently timed passes by skipper, Andy Black
and Andrew Camplejohn
. The missed conversion left the score at 45-31 with only three minutes remaining. Gateshead were still not done! They scored a last second try and refused the conversion attempt, leaving the score at 45-36, which turned out to be the final score.
On Saturday, we welcome high-flying Barnard Castle to Broadway West, with hopes of a miracle escape from relegation by Gosforth. Can we get another five league points? We can with a similarly committed performance!