Too little - too late?
A well earned point could be just not enough.
On another gloriously sunny day, Gosforth kicked off against visitors, who have been within sight of promotion all season. Barnard Castle very quickly showed just why they are towards the top of D&N1, when a telling break amongst the backs saw a supporting forward crash over in the corner after only three minutes. It wasn't the start the home side desperately needed! However, showing the fighting spirit from last Wednesday's win over Gateshead, Gos worked their way upfield and were rewarded with a penalty by the posts, easily converted by Mark Anderson
(fresh from his winning of the Hilton Placekicking Competition on Thursday evening). Ten minutes gone and the score stood at 3-5 - this was soon increased to 3-12, when a defensive kick was deflected high into the air off a Barney forward, who gathered to score a converted try under the posts! After a period of ebb and flow rugby, the visitors were to increase their lead to 3-17 after 21 minutes. Things weren't looking too promising for the home side. but a purple patch was just lying ahead! On 27 minutes winger, James Weaver
, was to receive a rare pass to score right in the corner after beating the covering fullback. Mark Anderson
produced an outstanding conversion to leave the score more evenly balanced at 10-17. Gosforth tails were well up now and on 34 minutes the ubiquitous lock, Andrew Camplejohn
, forced his way over for an unconverted try. 15-17. Three minutes later a quick bit of opportunism from a tap penalty saw scrum-half, Tom Jones, scorch over from 30 metres out. The kick from under the posts was again converted by Mark Anderson
to give Gosforth a valuable third try and an unexpected half-time lead of 22-17.
Barnard Castle kicked off the second-half with a steady breeze at their backs. They quickly restored their lead with a try wide out, which was excellently converted to give the score of 22-24. If Gosforth had struck a purple patch then "Castle" struck a golden one with a series of five unanswered tries (two converted) mainly from fleet-footed backs and powerful forward drives. The score during a 14 minute period went up to an unassailable 22-53, with Gosforth still looking for that elusive bonus point try. This was to arrive in the 39th minute, when a period of sustained pick-up-and-goes saw prop, David Robinson
, score a well-earned try. 27-53. With the clock in the red, there was still time for Barney to score once again with a converted try to leave the final score 27-60.
Unfortunately, Gosforth's vital bonus point loss was soon to be negated when the results from Medicals and Ponteland showed two home wins. Gosforth have two games to go and seven points to make-up. The first game is at home to the high-flying South Shields Westoe this Wednesday (KO 6.30pm) and the last game of the season at home on Saturday to old rivals, Novos. It is still in our hands!!