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First XV - Match centre

South Shields Westoe
Sat 13 Jan 14:15 - Northern Division - Durham & Northumberland 1 Full time

SS Westoe 31 Guis 31

Some Game ! By Tom Drysdale

Guisborough travelled to Wood Terrace to face South Shields Westoe RFC, last season’s play-off finalists.
The Priorymen opted to start the game attacking down the gradient, and a lively start saw the visitors rack up the first points with a try by Liam Corcoran, however Sam Whyman failed to convert , 0-5!
Keeping the pressure on, Guisborough were once again on the attack but with the ball in hands of the backs they were thwarted in the Westoe 22.
Westoe took the game back to the visitors, however the ball was turned over and a break by Tony Conway led to the ball being passed out to Mark Ferguson who touched down to score Guisborough’s second try, unfortunately not converted, 0-10.
The game was well contested and when Westoe had their first foray into the Visitors half they went on to score their first try of the day. This came from a line out on the right hand side, the ball was spun out along the Westoe line who had the advantage of an overlap and they touched down. The Westoe kicker made no mistake with the conversion, 7-10
Guisborough forced their way back into Westoe territory, and the home side gave away a kickable penalty in their 22 which was converted by Sam Whyman, 7-13.
It was end to end stuff as each team vied for territory, however Westoe got a further three points on the board as Guisborough gave a penalty away just five metres in their own half, this long range kick was easily converted by the Westoe kicker, 10-13.
Guisborough rallied on the attack and made gains to the Westoe 22 where the home side gave away a penalty which was converted by Sam Whyman, 10-16.
It was pretty much Nip and Tuck however , Westoe gained possession, they attacked into the Guisborough half, and a strong break break by their outside centre who dodged four Guisborough men and then fed the ball out right allowing a man to breach the Guisborough line and touch down for a second try, which was subsequently converted, 17-16!
Guisborough returned to back into the Westoe half , Alex Ruff broke away on the right hand side, though was brought down, Michael MacDougall recovered the ball which was fed to Sam Whyman who kicked it cross field and intercepted by Mark Ferguson who touched down near the left hand corner. Sam Whyman failed to convert, 17-21.
From the restart, Westoe put pressure on and gained territory to the outside of the Guisborough 22, and were awarded a penalty. The home side chose to kick for a line out instead of taking points, and attacked from the line out taking the ball within 5 meters of the Guisborough line in a rolling maul, however the visitors seized the ball, at this point the official blew for half time.
Guisborough led 17-21 at the break.
It was anticipated that the strong Westoe pack would lay siege to the Guisborough half, however , from the restart it was Guisborough were on the attack , Westoe gave a couple of penalties away but Guisborough failed to take advantage.
Guisborough were penalised and the ball was punted downhill for a line out on the right hand side, which the home team won and advanced on the Guisborough 22. Pressure from the home pack saw the ball passed out to the right winger who crossed the line and touched down in the right hand corner. The position for the conversion looked out of reach but the Westoe kicker made no mistake, and the home side took the lead for the first time in the game, 24-21.
Guisborough were back on the attack though lost the ball in the Westoe half, and a strong break out by Westoe led to a further try in the bottom right, which was converted, 31-21.
Play was up and down the park, with Westoe on the ascendancy, Guisborough gained the ball around the half way line, whereupon Sam Whyman ran through and the visitors charged to the Westoe line, Adam O’Malley crossed the line and touched down. James Clark stepped up to convert, 31-28!

From the restart Guisborough took the ball and headed back into the Westoe half, but lost the advantage when Westoe gained a penalty ; time was running out for visitors who were putting up spirited defence, however the game was now being played in their own half.
A few minutes from time Guisborough pushed back into Westoe territory and were awarded a penalty just inside the home half. Sam Whyman stepped up to go for the posts from ten metres inside the half and to the delight of the travelling support converted from distance, 31-31.
Westoe had a last foray into the Guisborough half and camped on the 5 metre line, but the Ref blew the full time whistle when they gave a penalty away, the full time score being 31-31,
It was a fantastic game where both sides put in a full shift and shared the points. This reporter does not do justice to the atmosphere and tensions that were abound for those watching and taking part.
Next up are Gosforth who should be worried on the strength of Guisborough’s current form. Onwards and upwards!

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Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

League table

# Team Pl Pts
8. Stockton 25 51
9. Novocastrians 24 50
10. Guisborough 24 49
11. Medicals 26 44
12. Ponteland 26 43
13. Gosforth 26 40
14. Redcar 26 23

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