Great weather, great Rugby and a great result.
The games were 10 mins each half and first up were Bishop Auckland A, We get off to the perfect start, from our kick off Fez gathers and makes yards, on to Mav, back inside to Josh B and we are 5-0 with less than 30 seconds on the clock. We pretty much dominate affairs and tries from Ben L, Nath, Fez, Josh B, Robbie W and Jack Mac see us home comfortably 39-0.
Next up its Ripon and the early possession and territory is with them. We defend well and finally get the ball. A great passage of play sees us surge up field and Robbie W give us the lead. 5-0. We are now playing really well, great handling and support play, Fez scores three on the trot and we are 20-0. Further tries form Josh B and Duggers follow both with extras from Ben L 34-0. The final try goes to Belly, a powerful break from Lorcan deep in our half sees us surge into the opposition half, an offload to Josh B who makes it to a yard short of the line before a great covering chase and tackle brings him down, but the off load to Belly in support (yes – I did write Belly in support) sees him crash over and it finishes 41-0. This really shows how much Bellys fitness has come on this year and I can confirm that he did actually make the yards, contrary to the vicious rumours circulating suggesting that he was only up there because he hadn’t made it back yet from the previous score.
Old rivals Guisborough next and what a close game this ended up being. Having had a match break we should come back fresh but instead we come back a bit disjointed. Guis start the better and score a lovely try out wide which is superbly converted. We hit back with a great Jack Mac line 7-7. A great solo effort from Dan O sees us edge ahead 14-7, but Guis continue to play well and they are putting pressure on and we make mistakes. Another good move by them sees it back to 14-14 and on the stroke of halftime a very good individual score by their wing sees them lead 14-19 at half time. Some fatherly words of support by JH at halftime and we start marginally better in the second half. Good pressure by us sees Belly score and we regain the lead 21-19. Both sides have possession and chances and there is a sense of relief when Mav breaks clear to score under the posts. 28-19. Guis aren’t done yet mind and another good score and great conversion sees the final score at 28-26. All credit to Guis in this game, we didn’t play particularly well but to be fair they put us under pressure and that’s where the mistakes came from. They also played comfortably the best rugby of the day against us, but in the end we just about had enough.
Mowden Park next and tries from Fez, Lorcan, Duggers and Dan O see us take a comfortable 20-0 half time lead. We seem to ease up a bit in the second half and Mowden force their way back into the game with a score under the posts. 20-7. The rest of the half becomes a bit scrappy with neither side hitting the heights and it finishes 20-7.
Finally we play Bishop Auckland B and we surge into a 38-0 half time lead with tries from Josh B (3), Ben L, Belly and Nath. Bishop B stick with it and are rewarded with a score which arguably got the biggest cheer of the day, Lorcan adds one more for us and it finishes 43-5.
So we finish top of the group and unbeaten and will play Mowden again in the final.
We start well and a great move along the line sees Fez storm in to give us a 7-0 lead. Next up is a lovely Jack Mac score followed by a Lorcan try after some great team play. 17-0. Mowden keep themselves in it with a score but a final try of the half goes to Josh B in a flowing move starting from good line out ball, good back play and great handling. 24-5 at half time. We get the perfect start to the second half with another great move releasing Ben L to score. 31-5. We are now pretty much dominating and pressing but an intercept sees Mowden steal the ball and streak away for a score. 31-10. The final score fittingly for us goes to Lewis who ran a great line at pace to take the inside pass from Jack Mac and stormed in under the posts. 38-10 final score.
Overall – 6 games, 6 wins For 209 (35 tries) Against 48
This was a great days festival rugby, played in great conditions and in a great spirit by all sides. Very well organised by Bishop and a big thank you to all concerned for a thoroughly enjoyable day out. The Refs did exceptionally well to keep up with the pace of play all day!
As ever our travelling fan base did us proud with Bella thoroughly relishing her new role as assistant physio and purveyor of drinks to young men. (Non-alcoholic I would add).
Overall I think it would be hard to argue that we didn’t deserve the win and we played some really good stuff at times. Strong games from everyone really; Fez showed his finishing prowess with 6 tries, some good kicking from Ben L and Nath and some kicking from Belly. No official MoM awarded but it would be very hard not to give player of the day to Josh B. Seven tries and a quite frightening work rate all day.
Really nice to see Lewis pick up the silverware on behalf of the team although you could tell he was gutted to be handed a plate with no food on it – even if it was a silver one!
DoD was confirmed in absentia on JB for missing a great day out, although in his defence he did get to see Josh play in a great win for the Colts against Scunthorpe at Huddersfield.