Sat 28
Winlaton Vulcans
1st XV
J Carney (2), M Smalley, Z Ivey, A Winter
K Thomas (2)
Hartlepool Pipped At The Post As Vulcans Launch Late Comeback

Hartlepool Pipped At The Post As Vulcans Launch Late Comeback

By Stewart Hind
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Hartlepool will have woken up on Sunday morning with the feeling that two bonus points were scant consolation having held a healthy lead.

Matches between the sides at Axwell View are normally close encounters and this followed suit with five tries a piece in a thrilling encounter.

Winlaton won the toss and elected to play up the slope first half half.

After 5 minutes on the clock, Pool created the first meaningful scoring opportunity , from a line out five metres from the Winlaton try line, Jon Carney caught Andy Small line out throw and the forwards drove him on . The referee then penalised the home team for being off site at break down and Pool elected for the scrum. Tom Johnson and Liam Pape combined with Pape diving over the try line however in grounding the ball he made a double movement and the penalty was awarded to Winlaton.

Five minutes later, Pool took the lead, quick line ball from Jon Carney saw Taz Pelser feed Tom Johnson charging down the middle which saw several players tie up, the direction of play was then changed with Pool attacking the blind side and Andy Small passed to Jon Carney who skipped past the full back for great finish. 5-0. Keagen Thomas was wide with the conversion kick.

Pool were reduced to 14 players when Jon Carney was yellow carded for a deliberate knock on.

This allowed Winlaton to launch a barrage of attacks on the Hartlepool defence which involved both forwards and three-quarters and after sustained pressure against a desperate defence , resulted in try for the home side. 5-5.

On the half hour mark, Pool were dealt a further blow when Number 8 Tom Johnson was yellow carded for taking the player without the ball which left Pool with 13 players.

Pool were now back to a full compliment of players and came back into the game deep into injury team, a quickly taken penalty by Tazz Pelser saw Michael Smalley in support who finished well from 15 metres out. Keagen Thomas conversion was successful for a half time lead of 5-12.

With Pool playing up the bank , Dave Chester made a searing run which caused confusion in the home defence. When he was eventually stopped , Dylan Thomas made a great break to create a 2 v 1 situation but unfortunately the final pass to Alex Winter was thrown forward and a guilt edged opportunity was lost.

However Pool extended the lead in the next play, a scrum on the blindside saw the direction of play changed and Dylan Thomas astute kick through saw Zac Ivey beat his opposite number to ball and great turn of play saw him speed past the last defender to score in the corner. 5-17

The away side were forced to make a tactical change with Tom Johnson limping off with an ankle injury. Simon Bird replaced Johnson for his seasonal debut.

The change in the line up unsettled Pool and Winlaton enjoyed five minutes of dominance which resulted in a converted try. 12-17.

The score seemed to galvanise the visitors and they mounted a series of attacks and with the home team hanging on, a home forward was yellow carded for a deliberate knock on.

Winlaton’ s defence were under pressure for a long periods and a great run by Suliano Tubuna saw him make inroads into the home defence, Adam Williamson, Michael Smalley and Andrew Small then drove the ball forward taking the play 10 metres from the try line. Adam Ainley at stand off then flipped the ball inside to Jon Carney who scored under the post. With Keagen Thomas conversion kicked Pool led 12-24 with 15 minutes to go.

Winlaton were not finished and following a lineout on the halfway, the ball was spun wide to the centre who went on great run and barged his way past two defenders to score under the posts for a great individual try. 19-24

In an entertaining game , the home team took the lead after poor defending let a try in .With the conversion kicked Winlaton led 26-24.

With 10 minutes remaining , Pool hit back to retake the lead , Taz Pelser took a quick penalty before Jon Carney surged forward , the ball was then driven forward by Andy Small and Dave Carson White before Alex Winter came off his wing to score in the right hand corner .26-29

Pool were now hanging on as the home side applied wave after wave of attacks, Pool were penalised at the break down and Liam Pape was yellow carded for being off side at the ruck.

As the clock entered the last embers of the game, the home side scored their fifth try with a great run from the second row who attacked the blind side to score in the corner. 31-29 .

This was a game that Pool should have comfortably won, with the away side leading by 12 points on two separate occasions but credit to Winlaton who showed great determination to finish the stronger of the two teams.

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Match details

Match date

Sat 28, Sep 2019




Durham/Northumberland Two

League position

Winlaton Vulcans