Gosforth 54 v 12 Ryton
By Derek Reid
Gosforth score 10 tries against Ryton
Written Peter Skevington
CRAIC; thanks to Ryton for accommodating our request for an early 2pm kick off; the 140th Anniversary Dinner at The Falcons was a great success, many thanks to Mal Bell and others who planned and organised the event. One notable absentee was John Short, who underwent surgery on Thursday 20th, the news is positive, and the whole rugby family is rooting for his recovery. His induction into the Club Hall Of Fame is so well deserved, as is that of “Mr Gosforth” Malcolm Stokoe. Hopefully in 40 or 50 years time there are characters currently involved with the club who will be similarly honoured.
TEAM NEWS; 15 Mat Struthers 14 Ryan Gillespie 13 Mitch Ashman ( a very talented and versatile player, playing his last game for the club) 12 Kieron Locke 11 Liam Hawthorn 10 Peter Gillespie 9 Matty Marshall 1 Joe Woodhams 2 Chris Morris 3 Alex Dodds 4 Andy Scott (captain) 5 Dan Farquhar 6 Alex Cokeley 7 Darren Kelly 8 Andrew Camplejohn Replacements (all used) Matt Black, Mark Cumiskey, Paddy Smith
THE MATCH; Ryton kicked off. Promising young prop Alex Dodds made a determined early run; centre Mitch Ashman made a low, hard break that took him close to the visitor’s line. A Typical Ryan Gillespie burst then offload to centre Kieron Locke set up the latter for an early try. This was followed by a slick passing move that gave centre Mitch Ashman a clear run to the line; Mat Struthers’ conversion gave Gosforth a 12-0 lead with just 10 minutes on the clock. A determined Ryton fought back and grabbed a try at the other end of the pitch.
The sun broke through alleviating the effects of a chilly breeze; winger Liam Hawthorn shrugged off a Ryton tackle and his strong direct run took him over the line for a try. Irrepressible prop Joe Woodhams scored Gosforth’s fourth bonus point try following a classic lineout catch and drive.
Ryton’s pack battled, no lack of spirit or commitment, and this earned them a deserved second try, sheer determination driving their scorer over the line, a successful conversion kept them in touch with the score at 22-12. The power of Mat Struthers took him over the Ryton line, widening the points gap to 27-12, and that was how the score remained until halftime.
Gosforth kicked off the second half, and Ryton’s commendable commitment stopped the home side scoring, until, with nearly 20 minutes played, Mitch Ashman sneaked around the blindside of a powerful Gosforth scrummage and scored his second try. Ryton kept battling away, but Mitch Ashman featured again in a move that saw his fellow centre Kieron Locke cross for his second try. Ryton’s centre made a powerful, but , ultimately unsuccessful break, and they put Gosforth under some pressure. But, following up a chip kick, Kieron Locke bagged his third try, Darren Kelly’s conversion putting 44 points on the board for Gosforth. Darren Kelly scored the home side’s ninth try. The tenth and final try was a trademark Liam Hawthorn powerful run. It was an overwhelming and convincing victory against a Ryton team that has suffered a debilitating, injury riddled season, and will be relegated. We wish them well for 2017/18 and hope to see them back in D&N 1, a division that will be very hard and competitive next season with Barnard Castle still around, and some strong arrivals from D&N 2. Northern are promoted, whilst South Shields Westoe face West Leeds in a play off this Saturday, SSW have home advantage. Next season we hope to retain existing and recruit more players, one of the positives of this season has been the willingness of players to play in different positions, for example, Chris Morris who has hooked, locked and propped, no mean achievement. So we are looking forward to “forth to the field” next season with a team that has a strong core of players who have stuck together and are now the mature, experienced heads that any team needs.