REDCAR 1ST XV VERSES WINLATON VULCANS 1ST XV.
Due to injury and unavailability Winlaton were forced into several late changes seeing new signing 6'5" tall Alex Pearson in the second row, Scott Taylor on the wing and John Kelly filling in at scrum half.
On an almost spring like day giving perfect Rugby conditions Redcar kicked off and after an early bout of pressure by Winlaton the hosts took the game to the visitors and when ball was won in mid field Redcar on 10MINS spread the ball wide and their winger looked certain to score in the corner but a try saving tackle by full back Mark SEDDON saved the day and Winlaton cleared their lines.
At this stage Winlaton started to play some good rugby moving the ball through all phases with Connor SHERIDAN dictating play at fly half but over elaboration and silly mistakes were leading to good moves breaking down. On 15MINS from a counter ruck on the half way line the ball was won by Scott SCULLION who fed SHERIDAN and then onto Jamie HOPKINSON who sprinted 50 Metres to score under the posts (5PTS) + (2PTS) the conversion kicked by SEDDON. Redcar responded but Winlaton's defence were able prevent a score.
On 25MINS SHERIDAN again made a great break and when the move broke down in the Redcar 22 the Vulcans won the resulting scrum against the head and John Kelly and Scott Taylor attacked down the blindside and after a clever series of interpassing between the two saw KELLY touchdown in the corner(5PTS) with the difficult conversion being missed. It was all Winlaton at this stage and after a good break on 34MINS by HOPKINSON resulted in Redcar transgressing the kick was drilled in the corner. The lineout was won by Alex Pearson again but as the forward drive rumbled towards the line KELLY gave a needless penalty away and as a result was 'Yellow Carded' and the danger was cleared by Redcar who then attacked the Winlaton defence.
On 37MINS the hosts were attacking in the Winlaton 22 but spilled the ball and with the referee allowing advantage David FALCUS hacked the ball on and exquisite foot ball skills took him the whole length of the field and when the ball kindly bounced up he caught it and crashed over(5PTS) + (2PTS) the easy kick converted by SEDDON.
HALF TIME 0PTS-19PTS.
Winlaton made the best start of the second half looking for the fourth bonus point try with Redcar seen to be out on their feet. With Stephen IVERS making some great runs but just failing to convert the pressure into points. For the first 15MINS the Vulcans were prominent with FALCUS and HOPKINSON making strong runs supported by the forwards with DENHAM and HENDERSON leading the way.
On 55MINS the game changed with Winlaton having played some superb rugby for much of the afternoon were bedevilled by the occasional lapse and perhaps infected by their own ambition and skill they began to loose momentum and seemed to take their foot off the gas. As a result they allowed Redcar to gain confidence and after a fluid three quarter movement they scored under the post (5PTS) + (2PTS) the easy kick being converted. At this stage Winlaton were further disrupted with what seemed to be a serious arm injury to SEDDON who left the field.
On 20MINS Club Captain Glenn PAGE came on after a long term injury to make his comeback which unfortunately did not last long as he attempted to win the Club record of 55 seconds held by Gareth BARRON for the fastest Yellow Card of the season but just failed when he was given 10 mins enforced rest after a silly foul only being on the field for a minute and a half.
For the last quarter of the game it was all Redcar and they started to move the ball along the three quarters continuously and they scored again 62MINS (5PTS) in the corner .Again they broke through again on 68MINS to score under the post (5PTS) + (2PTS) the try being converted to draw level.
For the last 5MINS it was Custer's last stand for the Vulcans and they defended for their lives and as the final whistle went it was Winlaton who were the most relieved to hang on to what at first had appeared to be a potential comfortable win but were grateful for the draw against the 'draw specialists' of the league who fought back to gain their fourth home draw of the season.
FINAL SCORE 19PTS-19PTS
Man of the Match Alex Pearson.