What a win!
By Malcolm Stokoe
True team spirit wins the day.
With fifteen changes from last week's squad with fly-half, William Magowan
, making his debut and lock, Dan Farquhar
, his first appearance of the season Gosforth made their way down to Sedgefield to try to gain revenge for a 20-22 defeat earlier in the season. With several players also having to play out of position they were going to have to show a 100% improvement on last week's performance on a strange looking pitch! On six minutes the hosts were to take the lead, as a clearance kick was charged down by lock, Michael Reilly, who scored under the posts for Michael Shepherd to convert. (0-7). Some powerful defence by Gosforth kept the score at that until the twentieth minute, when one of many penalties against the visitors was converted again by Shepherd(0-10). Things did not bode well for us, but, on 28 minutes the side seemed to click and the reward was a try by the returning, Dan Tucker
, which wasn't converted by Ryan O'Hagan
(5-10). Shortly after that Gosforth's flanker, Ryan John
, fell foul of the referee and incurred a ten minute breather! Yet again Gos were to work their way down the steep slope until, on the 37th minute a neat grubber kick was gathered on the run by fullback, Jack Vening
, who crossed wide out. Ryan O'Hagan
converted really well to make the score 12-10,, which stayed the same until half-time.
As the weather closed in, the second half got under way. After six minutes another neat grubber kick through was fumbled by the home defenders for winger, Lewis Marshall
, to gather well and race over in the corner for another unconverted try (17-10). Keeping their combined foot on the gas, Gosforth again attacked the Sedgefield line for the ubiquitous, Kieron Locke
, to finish off a concerted team try on the right hand side (22-10). Sedgefield were not going to lie down lightly and another clearance kick on 16 minutes was charged down to land in hooker, James Watson's hands for him to score under the posts, converted by Shepherd (22-17). Some pressure on the visiting supporters' tickers was eased following an excellent period of interpassing, which saw No8/centre/lock/centre, Kieron Locke
, surge over this time in the left corner to restore the ten point advantage (27-17) on 23 minutes. A series of penalties against the visitors was to give Sedgefield a chance to narrow that gap, which, on 30 minutes, was rewarded again by Shepherd's penalty (27-20). Ten minutes to go and Gosforth continued to show tremendous team spirit to repel any home attacks and continue to mount their own to clinch a notable away victory and impart revenge on the hosts, who, I must say, were extremely generous in their hospitality. It was a good bonus point victory brought about by a disciplined display (despite a 20-6 penalty count against us!) - no quibbling and following skipper for the day, Andy Scott's, powerful lead. Well done to all seventeen, who took the pitch!
Quote of the day from Coach/replacement front row:" I wish Robbo would stop making surging runs down the field - he could pick up another injury!" Liam would have had to lace up his boots again after a 13 year rest period!!
Next Saturday sees us on the road again in the catch-up game at Hartlepool - 2.15 KO.