Hartlepool Rovers 32 Medicals 10
Hartlepool Rovers bounced back from their defeat at Northern to secure a 32-10 bonus point win over Medicals at the New Friarage on Saturday.
The result and the Whites’ five points gives them ninth spot in Durham Northumberland One ahead of Saturday’s trip across town to face West Hartlepool.
After an excellent pre-season and a Durham Intermediate Cup win over Horden and Peterlee, Rovers looked to maybe just start as favourites but West’s wins over Novocastrians and South Shields Westoe has seen the momentum switch to the Brinkburn men.
Medicals went 7-0 ahead after five minutes when Tom Rickards sped up the left wing to cross at the corner flag, Joe Battlew kicking an excellent touchline conversion.
The hosts were level on 12 minutes when Andrew Dring managed to get the ball down against the right hand post under pressure, Ryan Foreman converting.
Dring turned provider after 34 minutes when he broke from the base of a scrum and Neil Stead peeled off a breakdown to touchdown, Kevin Maguire adding the extra points for a 14-7 lead.
The interval score was probably light but Rovers had spurned a couple of chances and both Foreman and Maguire had gone wide with penalty attempts.
Foreman increased the lead to 17-7 when he kicked a 47 metre penalty on 41 minutes.
A break by Dylan Langley after 46 minutes was finished off by Foreman who also added the extra points with a touchline conversion and the Friaragemen led 24-7.
Medicals pulled three points back when Battlew slotted a 37 metre penalty on 49 minutes but Rovers’ lead stretched to 27-10 on the hour with a 25 metre penalty from Foreman.
The White Shirts desperately needed a fourth try to give them a bonus point and it came after 73 minutes when, after going close on two occasions, Mark Burnside was on the end of a passing move after a strong run by Stephen Railton to make the final score 32-10.
Man of the match was Steven Barnfield, who receives a voucher from our home game sponsors, Napoli Woodfired Pizza.
Rovers: Foreman, Maguire, Gunn, Austwicke, S Railton, S Barnfield, S Smith, T Stead, N Stead, Langley (sin bin 53), D Smith, Little, O’Callaghan, Dring (c). Subs used: Armstrong, Burnside, Pelser
Medicals: Kitchen, Horrocks, Brookes, Sagar, Rickards, Battlew (c), McDowell, Clegg (sin bin 71), Bath, Jones, Swan, Urwin, Dickinson, Irons, Haigh. Subs used: Cleaver, Hawe, Shaw
Referee: Ray Sutherland (Durham)
Report: Ian Kelly