Consett U14s travelled to Houghton on a bright, albeit chilly, morning for our third encounter against them this season. The previous meetings have both ended in Consett wins but Houghton posed us problems from their backs in the first game and the forwards in the second game, if this all came together we would have to be at our best. We lined up; 1.Connal Ruddick 2.Joe Hull 3.Ciaran Horgan 4.Scott Redshaw 5.Matthew Gunnion 6.Keiran Dover 7.Bradley Smith 8.Christy Wood 9.Nathan Williamson 10.Daniel Smith 11.John Brown 12.David Mitchell 13.Luke Clarke 14.Tommy Tennant 15.Dillan Telford with the replacements being Daniel Vine, Joe Hindmoor, Michael Justice and Josh Jelly.
Before kick-off we told the lads that they could not be complacent due to the previous wins against Houghton and that they would need to switched on from the start. They clearly took this message on board as we should our attacking intentions from the first whistle and we quickly went ahead following good work from the forwards before the backs were released to allow Dan over for the try. Dan also converted brilliantly from the right to make it 7-0. This set the tone for the rest of the half and we went in to the half time break leading 24-0 with two trys from Dover, who made one himself with a great interception and was set up nicely by Joe for his second, and one from Christy who showed his usual pace and power in going over the line.
The half time message was simple, keep up the good work. We made some changes at half time with Michael, Daniel V., Josh and Joe Hindmoor coming on for Tommy, Scott, Luke and Matthew. The changes didn’t make any difference to the level of performance and we carried on from where we left off in the first half with Brad getting our first points on the board in the second half. The ball came to him on the right hand side of the pitch and from just inside his own half he showed a good turn of pace to outrun the chasing Houghton defenders to go under the posts. Christy added to his first half try with a further two in the second half, both as a result of Consett going through some good phases of play before Christy powered over the line, one from just inside his own half and showing some nifty footwork as well. Whilst the game was out of Houghton’s reach they kept going in search of a try of their own and got their reward after getting the ball out wide. However, Consett got further points on the board straight from the restart when Dover chased down his own kick to collect the ball and go under the posts to give Consett a 48-5 win with Dan getting a total of four conversions.
One of the most pleasing aspects of this performance was the way we never let our tempo drop and kept our focus for the full 50 minutes. Whilst the majority of our trys were scored by forwards it was also pleasing to see that the trys came from good phases of play involving both the forwards and backs and not the pick and go type of try that the forwards have done so well with this season.
Man of the match was a difficult call again as all 19 lads played their part in a good team performance but we decided to give it Dan at fly half. Dan has developed a good understanding with Nathan at scrum half in the short space of time since he joined the club at the beginning of March and he is really starting to control the backs well which is allowing the link between the forwards and back to improve with every game. On top of this his kicking was excellent today, not just his conversions but he made some great kicks to touch getting good distance and direction on them.
We’ve got one game left this season away to Ryton so let’s keep up the hard work in training and try to finish the season on a high.