HARD DAY AT WEST HARTLEPOOL!
By Paddy Douglas
Definitely came second but score flattered opposition.
Many cry offs especially in the forwards with far too many different reasons to list here!
At one stage we didn’t have a front row replacement but we managed in the end.
Adam Ridley was at 15 with the rest of the backs the same. Nyambega came in at prop, Daniel Fenwick in the 2nd row with Finlay Reah & Luke Hawkins helping out their Grandad TK in the back row! The bench was Matt Rawlinson, James Moore & Karl Nelson
Well we started off with possession but lost it and West stormed down to the Gateshead end and scored 0-5. A few minutes later same again 0-10.
We steadied the ship a bit and got stuck in because if we hadn’t we would have been steam rollered! West scored again after 20 minutes and then Daniel Fenwick was sin binned for bringing down a driving maul on his own! Some boy nearly as strong as his dad!! West promptly scored from the ensuing line out! 0-24. Cameron Nyambega was off with a shoulder injury so on came young James Moore AKA Welshy for a baptism of fire. A few minutes later Nathan Turner was off too with an arm injury that he thought was definitely broken! So on came Matt Rawlinson.
We then had a good spell with some great support work and determination and just after Dan Fenwick came back on he crashed over for a good score so at half time 5-24.
It was important that we came out fighting in the second half and so we did having a real go at them but couldn’t get a score. West got a couple more then attacked again. Scott Wilczek was binned for some innocuous offence. Also Ross Craig hurt his shoulder and was off and there must have been some divine intervention as Nathan Turner skipped back onto the pitch. Mickey Ewart hurt his neck in a collapsed scrum so on came Karl Nelson.
West attacked near the touch line and the TJ put his flag up and kept it up. Despite the whole world telling him that the flag was up he ignored it, awarded a penalty to West who took a quick one and scored. He continued to ignore the pleas! This is his prerogative of course but TJ’s are voluntary from the clubs and with that sort of attitude he might find he won’t have one to assist!
Gateshead bounced back with David Tate getting his customary try, converted by Adam Ridley. West finished off with a couple more to make the final score 12-53 to West.
West are a good side and even with our full side we would have found it hard to get points but we had a much weakened pack and it was always going to be hard. When I say much weakened I mean in experience and size but the guts and fight the lads(all 18) showed yesterday was great to see. I made a joke about Nathen & his ‘broken’ arm but he clearly was in pain but he didn’t want to let the side down so he went back on and got stuck in so well dome Nathan.
The score flattered West a bit but there is no doubt that they deserved to win comfortably. However with regards to the ref who seemed to award penalties to the side going forward and nothing to the defending side and did it for us on the few occasions we were on top. Penalties should be given for actual offences and not just because the side are going forward and putting the opposition under pressure. A side that is getting well beaten doesn’t need any extra pressure put on them and I feel the yellow cards lacked empathy for the game. But what do I know??
So despite the score we were proud of you all yesterday lads. Lets’ see if we can finish off with a win next Saturday at home to Stockton!