Another "W" but only just!
By Derek Reid
Sometimes you win ugly!!
Gosforth 26 v 23 Hartlepool Weather: Breezy with Sunshine and Showers
It was back to Broadway West for our first home game of the D&N2 league season. Our visitors were Hartlepool, who were last here three years ago in D&N1. It was good to see two of our founder members, Dave Coghill and Jon Lill, visiting the modern day GRFC. Jon was one of the two instigators of our present set-up some 22 years ago along with our present Chairman, Neil Jamieson, without whom we may not even exist!! It was also good to see one of our ex-players, Adam Ainley, still turning out for Hartlepool.
In what was to be centre, Peter Gillespie's last game for us before his departure to Oz, Mat Struthers kicked off on a dull, drizzly afternoon. After 10 minutes Hartlepool converted a penalty by full-back, Antony Lawrence, to take an early three point lead. On 19 minutes, home full-back, Mathew Struthers
ran powerfully down the right wing, fending off three would-be tacklers to score under the posts for Mark Anderson
to convert. (7-3). This lead was extended on 25 minutes, when scrum-half, Mark Anderson
, stroked over a difficult penalty from 35 metres (10-3). The visitors were to reply with a try of their own on 35 minutes, when Liam Pope finished off a well taken move for an unconverted score (10-8). Another Gos penalty by Anderson on 38 minutes put us 13-8 up as half-time approached. That looked to be the likely HT score, but home No 8, Adam Barrass
, thought otherwise. Picking up from the base of a scrum on the home "22", he picked up, ran the remaining 80 metres to score a great individual try, which Ando again converted from wide-out. So the half-time score stood at 20-8 to Gos.
Turning round with the breeze at their backs, Hartlepool relentlessly clawed their way back into the game, benefiting from a serious of penalty offences awarded against Gos. On 43 minutes Lawrence scored a second penalty; Sam Kitching scored an uncoverted try on 51 mins; Michael Smalley also scored a try by the posts, which was converted by Lawrence. Suddenly, almost, the visitors were 23-20 up by the 60th minute. Gos needed this kick-up the proverbial to stir them into attacking the visitors' line. Despite a yellow card for Struthers, Gos were awarded a penalty, which was converted by Anderson to level the scores on 65 minutes. The score stayed the same until the 76th minute when another attack led to another home penalty. Unerringly, Ando called on his kicking experience to stroke over the winning three points from a non-too-easy spot (26-23). Sometimes you have to win ugly and this had been one of those occasions!
Next week sees us on the road again with the short trip to North Shields, who are not an easy side to beat these days. We'll need to be up for the game!