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1st XV - Match centre

Gosforth
South Shields Westoe
Sat 24 Feb 14:15 - Northern Division - Durham & Northumberland 1 Full time

Nineteen Try Spectacle sees Westoe score 123 points

Westoe too powerful for Visitors

Lookers sponsored South Shields Westoe ran riot against an under-strength Gosforth team on Saturday. It was unfortunate for Gosforth, who met Westoe on their very best form, on a day when they had many players unavailable.

The day commenced with a minutes silence in memory of Club player Glen Douglas and Gosforth’s Peter Skevington, who also previously played for Westoe. Both passed recently and will be missed by many from both clubs and around the county.

On a chilly, bright, but dry day, Westoe played uphill with the breeze at their backs for the first half.

A short kick-off gave Westoe a scrum on the halfway and the Westoe Steam-roller shoved the visitors back, allowing Andy Kirton to pick and go, Chris Judson linking with Jake Arnold, whose pace and arced run took him 40m to the line for the first score in less than two minutes. 7-0

Ten minutes into game and Westoe already had the four-try bonus point secured, following scores from Joe McKenzie, Luke Moffet and Richard Burrows. 24-0

Dominance in the set-piece from Westoe’s front five gave their back-row free range to cause mayhem in both defence and attack. The trio of Ramsay, McKenzie and Kirton snubbed out any early chances the visitors had and linked well with a back-line who had a field day in conditions well suited to their speed and skill-sets.

With both set-piece and loose play being secured by the Westoe pack, scrum half Chris Judson was afforded quick, clean ball that allowed his back-line to run the full gamut of moves available.

The first half saw a further seven tries taking the tally to eleven; predominately via the back-line through Derek Worthington, Louis Hagan, Jake Arnold (2) and Jamie Preston. The forwards did get a little look in with powerful drives leading to scores from Raymie Elliott and Anthony Rumis.

Half-time score 71-0

The second half commenced with a Gosforth scrum being shunted backwards over their line, where flanker Joe McKenzie pounced on untidy ball to resume the onslaught. 76-0

The half inevitably continued as before with the Gosforth side desperately trying to gain a foothold against a side too fast and slick for them on the day. Hats off to the visitors for never giving up and fighting throughout, unfortunately though it was a match they will probably hope to forget.

It was a good day for the speedsters out wide with Richard Burrows finishing his tally with four tries, only bettered by Full-back Jake Arnold whose elusive running bagged him five. Joe McKenzie also made a hat-trick after a Graeme Smith drive late in the match.

The final score came via Jamie Preston on the final whistle after another scrum against the head for the Westoe front-five.

It was good to see Westoe sticking to their plans throughout and not resorting to white-line fever often seen in one-sided affairs and hopefully they will take away more than the victory moving forwards. The side were clinical throughout and demonstrated the skills required to progress further up the table. Having only conceded one penalty in the first half, it was slightly concerning to see that increase to eight in the second half and they must look to adapting to the referee constantly.

In total Westoe scored nineteen tries and 123 points, the win moving them back up to third in the league.

Next week Westoe travel to Ponteland, which on paper should be an easy victory. They must however ensure that they perform to their best as previous matches have shown that all teams within the league are capable of beating the form and pulling off surprise results.

The three other contenders at the top all have difficult fixtures; Barnard Castle have to travel to Guisborough, and Durham travel to fourth spot Consett, so despite currently sitting in third Westoe are still well in the mix for the two promotion spots.

Gosforth have a home fixture against Gateshead and hopefully they can push on from this week and secure a well-deserved victory. Plaudits go to all those who stepped up this week. The side showed tremendous spirit throughout and are a credit to both Gosforth and the league.

The West Nautical Development Team beat Gateshead 19 – 5 in a re-arranged fixture.

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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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