Guis 28 Gosforth 26
Report By Tom Drysdale
It’s not often that a home game is played over thirty miles away, but yesterday saw a first for Guisborough, to my recollection.
With three inches of snow sat on the Belmangate pitches, a lot of hard work and negotiation went on behind the scenes to enable the game to go ahead, albeit at Seaton Carew, Hartlepool.
Thanks must firstly go to those involved to make the game happen, and mainly to Seaton Carew RFC for hosting the game.
There were four changes to the Guisborough pack, which included the return of Owen Edwards, the backline in essence remained the same from the encounter at South Shields Westoe.
The conditions were ideal for the game to go ahead, and following a minutes silence in respect to the loss of Durham County Society Referee Tony Jenkins; Gosforth kicked of the game.
Guisborough secured the ball and immediately headed into Gosforth territory. It wasn’t long before Gosforth were penalised and the home side opted to kick for touch.
From the line out, Guisborough secured the ball, however Gosforth again infringed and a scrum was awarded to Guisborough.
The Guisborough scrum dominated from the start and the ball was fed out to the line on the left hand side where Mark Ferguson took the ball and made a run to the Gosforth line but was stopped approximately two yards out. The ball was then recycled out to the centre of the pitch, and to Owen Edwards who forced himself over the Gosforth line for the first try of the game.
James Clark converted, 7 – 0!
From the restart, Gosforth hoofed the ball into the Guisborough half, the ball was secured but a stray pass led to Gosforth taking the ball and scoring in the left hand corner. This was not converted, 7 – 5!
An early injury to Adam O’Malley forced a change to the pack with Connor McFarland deputizing as Guisborough headed back towards the Gosforth line. A spell of good flowing rugby led to pressure in the Gosforth 22 and to James Clark going over for a second try, which he converted, 14 – 5!
Gosforth as shown in the previous game in Newcastle were going to compete for every ball, and took the ball into Guisborough half.
The ball was being fought for in the Guisborough 22, the advancing visitors were penalised and a scrum awarded to Guisborough, the referee then penalised in front of the posts and Gosforth converted easily, 14 – 8!
Owen Edwards who was injured earlier was replaced by Gareth Lodge.
Gosforth who were in the ascendancy at this spell were camped in our 22 and gained a further three points from a drop goal, 14 – 11!
They continued with pressure as the end of the half approached and were again awarded a penalty, but not converted.
The game was nip and tuck at this stage and play was mainly in the centre of the field, Guisborough were awarded a penalty but James Clark failed to put the home side further ahead.
Play once again was concentrated in the Guisborough half as Gosforth continued to press; another drop goal was attempted though it failed to go between the sticks and the official blew for half time.
What had been a tight game in the first half resumed with Gosforth on the attack, and controlling play; Guisborough were penalised and pushed back, Gosforth spun the ball out to their left winger who touched down, the try was not converted, 14 – 16 and Gosforth took the lead!
Guisborough rallied and attacked in their 22 with a rolling maul but the ball was dropped and Gosforth headed back into the home half! This led to a scrum in the 22 and from this Gosforth extended their lead, with an unconverted try, 14 – 21.
Guisborough’s New Year resurgence was looking to go off the rails at this stage as Gosforth pressured but they were not getting their own way.
Guisborough attacked and were on the Gosforth 5 metre line and the ball was chipped forward, Liam Corcoran ran through to intercept it but was held back. The referee made no hesitation in awarding a penalty try to the relief of the travelling supporters and the game was now level, 21 – 21!
This spurred the home side and they continued to put pressure on in the Gosforth 22.
At this time with Guisborough on the attack, mistakes were made and Gosforth were awarded a scrum and cleared the ball.
Guisborough continued to force play and again forced their way to the Gosforth 5 metre line and as time seemed to be running out it appeared to be a last chance to put the game to bed.
A try by Owen Edwards who had returned to the field earlier seemed to finish the game off. James Clark converted, 28 – 21.
The game went into overtime; Gosforth with the bit between their teeth, were spurred on to attack the Guisborough line, and were intent on replying.
Gosforth were awarded a penalty in our 22 and chose to go for territory, kicking out for a line out which they won and headed to the line, whereupon every Gosforth man went into the ruck with a view to forcing the ball over the line.
Guisborough were penalised and from a further Gosforth line out the ball was fed across the field where the Gosforth backs penetrated the Guisborough line to touch down for their fourth try.
The game seemed to have gone on for some time past the 80 minute mark and the game hinged on the result of the conversion.
The ball position was well over to the right hand side of the pitch making it difficult for the visiting kicker, and to the delight of the “travelling “home support, the conversion was missed and the official blew for time.
The game ended 28 – 26, and a bonus point win for Guisborough; although it could it could have gone either way.
The nuetrals would suggest that a draw would have been fair, as both sides had played well !
Onwards and upwards, we look forward to a trip to Novocastrians next and hope that the weather improves.
Thanks again to Seaton Carew and all those who worked to make this game happen.