First of many - we hope!
By Malcolm Stokoe
Hard earned away win
As we started our quest to get back into D&N1 with a difficult away game at Bishop Auckland, the sun shone down on a picturesque setting. We expected a hard game and certainly got one in an end-to-end encounter.
Our great clubman, David Robinson
, trotted onto the pitch for his 100th League and Cup appearance.
Bishop Auckland kicked off with the sun and breeze behind them and after eight minutes they took an early 3-0 lead with a close-in penalty. The lead was to change on 16 minutes, when Marc Burton
crashed over by the posts, after a concentrated period of attack, but the conversion was missed! Four minutes later Bishop were to retake the lead with a forward driven,unconverted try to leave the score at 5-8. This lead was to increase to 5-11 on 28 minutes with a further close-in penalty. Things looked a little ominous for Gos, but, at last their attacking play brought rewards, when, after 35 minutes and an excellent break and offload from centre, Mathew Struthers
, wing, James Weaver
, ran strongly to cut inside and crash over in the corner.(10-11). There was still time for Gos to score another try by the posts after skipper, Ollie Stephenson, wisely chose to tap and run the penalty. Andrew Camplejohn
was to brush aside several defenders to score the try, which was converted by Mathew Struthers
, leaving the half-time score at 17-11 to us.
After kicking off for the second half, Mathew Struthers
stroked over another penalty on 46 minutes to stretch the lead to 20-11. The home side were to wipe this out a few minutes later with another penalty by their fly-half. A yellow card, issued to Gos No 8, Adam Barrass
, gave the hosts another advantage for them to score a second converted try, for them to retake the lead at 20-21 with 20 minutes to go. Again Gos were to mount a successful attack on 63 minutes, culminating in Marc Burton
crashing over for a second unconverted try (25-21). Still Bishop weren't finished, as they scored a third converted try to lead 25-28 with 13 minutes remaining. The score stayed the same, despite several snipes at the home line by Gos. It was fitting that skipper, Ollie Stephenson, was to sprint over for the winning score under the posts, converted by Mathew Struthers
. Mighty defence by Gos for the ten minutes of added time saw them clinch an excellent win. It was a real team effort, where the lads, literally, put their bodies on the line for the Club!
Next week sees us hosting Hartlepool with a 3pm KO.
Thanks go to Sally Evans for the Photos https://www.sallyje.co.uk/photography