Back to winning ways - just!
By Malcolm Stokoe
Win over weather, injuries and a doughty opponent in Redcar.
On a day that had Mark Anderson
and Dan Tucker
making their 250th 1st XV appearance for GRFC the former kicked off into a very stiff breeze. Thankfully the heavy rain and sleet had just cleared prior to the kick-off, but the wind was biting!! Gos were without their talisman, Andy "Smiler" Scott, who had suffered an horrific hand injury in training. It was good to see him out of hospital and up supporting the lads.
Redcar were to be the first to bother the scorer, as a strong passage of play saw winger, Gabriel Holmes, cross out wide for an unconverted score on 9 minutes. Gos' cause was not helped five minutes later as centre, Adam McGarry
, had to leave the field with a shoulder injury. Will Magowan took his place with an ensuing backs' re-shuffle. Unfortunately, he was soon to be joined on the touchline by skipper-of the-day, Mark Anderson
, with a rib injury, which caused another re-jig with prop, Alex Miller
, coming on and the ubiquitous Peter Knight
, moving out to the wing. An even more serious head knock received by co-centre, James Weaver
, saw his having to leave the field followed by a trip to the RVI with dad, Dave! Fortunately tests showed no damage and they were both back at BW for the "apres-ski"! Debutant, Greg Holder, took the field. Despite the disruptions Gos managed to withstand tremendous Redcar pressure until the last minute of the half, when the visitors full-back, Dan Addison, crossed in the left-hand corner for a second unconverted try. This left the half-time score at 0-10 to the visitors.
The hope was that the second-half would be easier for Gos with the wind at their backs. It was, but it was only in the 24th minute that Gos were at last able to string a few passes together with the now returned Mark Anderson
scoring wide-out on the right to bring the score back to 5-10. A draw looked likely to be the most obvious result in the windy conditions, but a pick up from the base of the now uncontested scrum (Redcar had suffered their own spate of injuries and ran out of front-row cover ) by Marc Burton
saw "play anywhere", Kieron Locke
, force his way over for the levelling score close enough to the posts for the reliable, Mark Anderson
, to convert and pinch the match with only five minutes to go. A close, hard game in very trying conditions had just gone our way!!
Next week we hope to try to play our three-time postponed game down at Hartlepool.