Hartlepool Rovers 15 Consett 36
Hartlepool Rovers slumped to another heavy defeat at the New Friarage on Saturday, going down 36-15 to promotion-chasing Consett.
The Whites conceded a 31-0 half time lead to leave themselves with the proverbial mountain to climb-they ‘won’ the second half 15-5 but didn’t do enough to claim a try-scoring bonus point.
Rovers were unrecognisable from the side that had put in an excellent display in winning 18-7 at Gateshead last time out and had three players sent to the sin bin inside four minutes late in the first half that were followed by two further tries for Consett before the interval.
Playing for a spell with only 12 men isn’t clever and Rovers then had to play the final 13 minutes of the match with 14 men after Danny Cookland was sent off.
Consett took an eighth minute lead when Dan Patchcott was first to a Nick Cook kick to the line, Cook converting.
Forward pressure in the home 22 eventually told with prop Graison Dale barging over from close range for a 12-0 lead that stayed unchanged after Ryan Foreman missed a 34 metre penalty after 24 minutes.
A Consett steal at a Rovers’ lineout on 28 minutes saw Jonathan Hames break from the set piece to cross and the lead had increased to 17-0.
Yellow cards for Michael Railton, Liam Wood and skipper Callum Whitehead in quick succession wasn’t going to help Rovers’ cause and Consett made their numerical advantage count with two converted tries before half time.
Jack Clark touched down from a five metre scrum and Dale then got a second try with Cook’s successful conversions making the half time score 31-0 to Consett.
Foreman kicked a good 38 metre penalty two minutes into the second half to get his side off the mark only for Consett to then fashion a two man overlap, Henry Race squeezing in at the left hand corner flag after 48 minutes.
Trailing 36-0, the Friaragemen pulled seven points back when Wood scored in the Steetley Corner on 53 minutes after inter-play by Alex Rochester and Kevin Maguire and Foreman slotted the touchline conversion.
Rovers then fluffed two clear chances near the Consett line and were then reduced to 14 men on 67 minutes with Cookland’s red card.
The White Shirts hammered away at the away line from then on forcing Consett to concede a succession of penalties, one of which saw Dale receive a yellow card.
A consolation try came Rovers’ way two minutes into added time when Steven Railton scored in the Railway Corner to cut the deficit to 36-15.
Rovers now have a free week before hitting the road to visit Stockton and Medicals in successive weeks.
Rovers: M Railton (sin bin 33), Rochester, S Railton, Gunn, Coutts, Foreman, M Stephenson, S Smith, Maguire, Lloyd, Langley, Little, Wood (sin bin 34), Church, Whitehead (c)(sin bin 37). Subs used: Cookland (sent off 67), Burnside, Mulvihill
Consett: Race, Patchcott, Herdman, H Petch, Patchcott, Cook, Trott, Sadler (c), C Petch, Dale (sin bin 71), Gray, Hames, Tetley, Sotheran, Clark. Subs used: McQueen, Jackson, Lonsdale
Referee: Tom Boyle (Yorkshire Society)