Vulcans Sign Off With a Ten Try Romp
Probably the best display of the season wasn't enough to prevent relegation from DN2
Everyone knew the score on Saturday, a bonus point was needed to give Winlaton any chance of surviving in DN2 and hoping our friends up at Ashington could do us a favour and beat Richmond. Winlaton did their part with a crackling display of running rugby but alas Richmond managed to pull off a narrow victory and have saved themselves condemning the Vulcans to at least one season in DN3.
The day was perfect, sunshine, little breeze and a pitch that had benefited from a dry, warm spell which meant any hope the visitors had of using their big pack and slowing the game down disappeared in the warm temperature.
Coach Rollie Wills had a strong squad to choose from, a few changes were made from the previous week and the late withdrawal of the influential Darren Cornwall due to injury, the additions though meant the team had every chance of getting the win they needed.
Winlaton won the toss and went up the hill against the breeze but this made no difference. Within 3 minutes they had ran in 2 tries from Jenkins and Baker with both converted by Houston, Happy Days! The game proceeded at a pace, Winlaton ran and ran at the visitors who couldn't cope, prominent players were Falcus, Baker, Jones and Urwin but when they rested others took the mantle and a mixture of forwards running tight and straight created space for the back line to cut holes in the visitors three quarters by the 25th minute the bonus point had been achieved and the win was in the bag.
The veteran prop Scott Urwin who is doing a good impression of the "Renaissance Man" burst through a small hole on the 22 to break a tackle and sprint to the line and another try was scored by Falcus making the score 26-0 and everyone was happy. Being a Winlaton supporter is never straight forward and this was a period in which the team lost it's shape and focus, they abandoned all the good, well drilled and trained work they were doing to become a team of individuals or 7's players and allowed Aycliffe to gain a bit of a foothold in the game and it became scrappy until halftime with neither team on top.
Injured stand in skipper David Lowes and Coach Wills gave the team a good talking to at half time and laid down the law and boy did it work, the second half started just like the first with a try.
Liam Jones knocking back three tacklers to barge over and score, then a great run from Walton who was now appearing more and more coming in from his right wing released John Lee to score under the posts. 40-0
Aycliffe at last managed to put some phases together and Winlaton helped conceding few silly penalties but encountered the sickening sight of Adam Houston putting his boot through every exit ball and sending it back where it came from with plenty of extra yardage so they struggle to gain ground but did manage a really good break from there 13 who rolled and ran and then offloaded to a teammate who went for the corner only to be tackled into touch by Seddon.
Changes were made and one of those scored from his first touch, a penalty was kicked to touch 7 metres out and from the reslutant catch and drive Chris Morton dotted down with the conversion missed. 45-0
Further tries were ran in from David Scott, Liam Jones and Dave Falcus all being converted to lift the score to a very pleasing 66-0 at the final whistle. However it was great to see them all play as a team from the very start, lots of players were prominent including Joesbury at 9 and Conor Dean who was everywhere without taking any of the plaudits.
From a club perspective it's obviously disappointing to be relegated but the 2nd half of the season produced some great results and a record in 2018 of seven wins and a draw from 13 games is a stark improvement on the first half of the season and maybe one or two more bonus points would have made the difference. My understanding is that most of the squad is remaining with us for next season with only one or two question marks to be overcome and with a few additions during the close season we can look forward to a strong season and hopefully an immediate return to DN2 next year.