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1st XV - Match centre

South Shields Westoe
Redcar
Sat 10 Mar 14:15 - Northern Division - Durham & Northumberland 1 Full time

Heavy Going for Westoe's 50

Eight tries sink Redcar

Lookers sponsored South Shields Westoe entertained Redcar on a clarty pitch in a fine, consistent drizzle.

The conditions ran out winners in the early stages with both sides falling foul of inevitable handling errors and lost footings. It took eleven minutes for the first score, after an explosive run by Joe McKenzie bounced several tacklers off, before passing to Raymie Elliott who forced his way over for the score. 7-0

Westoe dominated the half and despite brave defending, a twenty metre maul followed by aggressive running from Derek Worthington led to a penalty. Opting for the scrum, Westoe attacked close; recycled ball from Joe McKenzie fed Sam Gaff, who chose to fly over the defence rather than through them. 14-0

The weather hampered any real expansive rugby; however Westoe controlled the tight, slowly working their way up the slope. Redcar defended with zeal and passion, but struggled to stay on the right side of the referee’s whistle, giving away fourteen penalties in the half.

Score number three came from a line-out infringement. Westoe opted for the scrum, Sam Gaff picked and ran laterally across the pitch, feeding Chris Judson who crossed for the score. 19-0

The bonus point score came on 35 minutes from another line-out, this time taken cleanly and driven across the line, Sam Gaff touching down for his second. 24-0

Straight from the restart, Westoe’s power came to the fore with Captain Andrew Kirton taking the ball and charging down the slope, offloading to John Younghusband who was stopped just short of the line, making 60m between them and looking akin to a pair of charging Hippos chasing a sandwich. Redcar killed the ball at the breakdown and the ensuing penalty was kicked to touch. Another clean take saw Ryan Lamb touching down for try number five. 31-0

Ten minutes into the half, Redcar’s sixteenth (and last) infringement gave Westoe another line-out and Redcar a yellow card. This time several close drives culminated in a Joe McKenzie touch down under the posts. 38-0

It was Westoe’s turn to fall fowl of the whistle; amazingly giving away ten penalties in a row, all in the visitors half and whilst in total control of the game. Redcar, however, managed to see out the last thirty minutes without a single penalty.

Westoe did manage to run in two further scores. The first came with a Jake Arnold break, gliding a full 60m down the hill. A long pass missed the target, but Luke Moffett grubbered the ball across the line for the score. 45-0

Redcar managed one last push against the home team, threatening a late score, but Westoe’s defence held firm. Rob Scorer picked and skittled several defenders in his path before being brought down. Quick recycled ball fed Richard Burrows who finished off with a solo, seventy metre run, bringing the final score to 52-0

Hats off to a Redcar side, who persevered throughout and competed every breakdown. Unfortunately for them, they couldn’t match Westoe’s power up front on the day. A big thanks go to those who worked on the pitch to clear standing water and allow the match to go ahead.

The win keeps Westoe in third spot in the table, with the three other contenders also winning today. Next week, Westoe face an away trip to Horden and Peterlee who will provide a sterner test for the side.

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Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Consett 26 111
2. Durham City 26 111
3. South Shields Westoe 26 108
4. Barnard Castle 25 103
5. Horden and Peterlee 26 71
6. Gateshead 24 60
7. Hartlepool Rovers 26 57

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