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County Cup Delight For Pool

County Cup Delight For Pool

Official HRFC30 Apr - 13:37
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Hartlepool claimed the Durham Intermediate Cup for the first time in their history in late dramatic fashion against local rivals Rovers on Saturday.

Rovers had home advantage in this final but it was Pool who broke the deadlock inside the opening three minutes.

Scrum-half Chris Williamson caught a loose ball inside the hosts 22 and looked certain to score under the posts. However, he was hauled back around the neck by a scrambling Rovers defender just feet away from the line.

Bizarrely, and to the bemusement of the Pool faithful, a penalty try was not awarded but the player received a yellow card for the infringement. The visitors elected to scrum and moved the ball wide to Harry Mayes who finished in the corner. Ben Clarke added the extras from the touchline. 0-7

Despite the perfect start Pool failed to capitalise and it was the hosts who enjoyed a purple patch scoring three unconverted tries inside 12 minutes to give them a 15-7 lead.

With 10 minutes remaining of the first half Hartlepool began to assert themselves and gain a foothold in the game, particularly at scrum time where they were strong all afternoon.

Having laid siege inside the Rovers 22, Prop Anthony Harvey burrowed his way over from a metre out to get his side back on track. 15-12

The hosts would have the last say of the half though when a penalty was converted to extend the arrears. HT 18-12

When Rovers claimed the first try of the second half on 50 minutes Pool were faced with an uphill task and a 13 point deficit. 25-12

However, this served to spark the visitors into life and for the first time in the game they found some rhythm and structure to their play as they looked to finish strongly.

Ben Clarke dummied through the Rovers backline and broke into the 22 where he passed to the excellent Max Filby who finished under the posts. Clarke's conversion was true. 25-19

Pool continued to push for the converted try that would see them take the lead. Filby scored again, this time out wide, but the tricky conversion attempt was off target. 25-24

The game was poised for a grandstand finish and that's exactly what the large crowd got.

Following the restart Rovers were awarded a penalty in front of the posts that was duly despatched with just 4 minutes left on the clock. 28-24

Hartlepool's luck appeared to be out but they were able to summon the never say die attitude that served them so well in the earlier parts of this season.

A knock on from the kick off gave Pool the opportunity to once again assert their dominance at the scrum and it was rewarded with a penalty.

Captain Jon Carney elected to kick to the corner with one last roll of the dice. The line out was claimed and a despite some staunch Rovers defence, Tom Stead crashed over from close range on the short side. The conversion was missed and with a one point lead Pool still had the restart to deal with. 28-29

The kick off was caught by Filby and stand in scrum half Keagen Thomas cleared the ball off the field to seal a memorable win.

The referees whistle sparked celebrations on the pitch and in the stands, as Hartlepool secured their first ever Intermediate Cup and first County Cup of any kind for 22 years.

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