Gosforth leave it late
By Derek Reid
Late try seals it for Gosforth
Written by Peter Skevington
CRAIC; please spare some time in your thoughts to remember a young, local rugby player called Stu Ridley of Tynedale RFC, who, with great courage and dignity, is battling a very serious health problem. I understand that he has a facebook page and is on twitter, so please use social media positively to support him.
TEAM NEWS; the fullback berth was filled by James Middlebrook, who was winged by Liam Hawthorn and Tom Jones with a centre pairing of Peter Gillespie and Patrick Smith. Adam Berry and Mark Anderson were the halfbacks. The front row union consisted of Joe Woodhams, Dave Robinson and Jon Coffey with the support of locks Dan Farquhar and Andy Scott. Skipper and no8 Chris Daly was flanked by the versatile Peter Hall, a new and worthy member of the "Centurion Club", with Adam Bell alongside him. Replacements were Chris Morris, Ryan Gillespie and Nick Axup, all of whom played their part in what can best be described as a "D****d close run thing".
THE MATCH; Ryton kicked off at 3pm, as a biting, blustery,chilly wind battered Bullocksteads. The visitors made a strong start doing some battering of their own as they tested the Gosforth defence. Soon their powerful no8, Chris Coulson made a determined run; then his big frame crossed the Gosforth line to score an early try, assisted by an impressive drive by his fellow forwards. So with just 5 minutes on the Rolex, the hosts were 5-0 down. Gosforth responded positively; hard working skipper and no8, Chris Daly, may be of a more compact physique, but he picked up from the base of a scrum, then forced his way over the Ryton line to score an equalising try.Ryton kept driving low, hard and aggressively; Chris Daly ran a penalty and speedy winger Liam Hawthorn got his hands on the ball, but was halted in full flight by a strong Ryton tackle. Ryton held firm in defence, as the home side kept moving and passing, but they were unable to find a gap through which to score, so the score remained tied at 5-5 when the youthful referee blew for half time.
The sun broke through a previously overcast sky as Gosforth got the second half underway. Skipper, Chris Daly continued to work hard with ball in hand, and scrumhalf, Mark Anderson, succeeded with a difficult penalty kick to give Gosforth an early, narrow 8-5 lead; going close with another penalty kick attempt soon afterwards. Ryan Gillespie came off the bench, and, showing pace and elusiveness, scored a try as bright as his boots; Mark Anderson's conversion gave Gosforth a more comfortable looking 15-5 lead with some 20 minutes of playing time remaining. However, a Gosforth error allowed Ryton back into their "22", where the visitors ran a penalty that resulted in a second try for their no8, Chris Coulson; fly half Lewis Barr's conversion hit the post but the ball "popped over the bar", thus narrowing the points gap to 15-12. A "yellow" card for Andy Scott weakened the Gosforth pack, Ryton had a try scoring effort disallowed. However, their constant pressure resulted in a try for Andrew Oxley that Barr converted to give them a 19-15 lead. A lead that was to prove inadequate, when, in the dying seconds, a trademark Gosforth lineout catch and drive resulted in a try for prop Chris Morris, and disappointment for the visiting team and supporters. On the 21st we travel to Blyth, who, despite their problems this season, always provide a stern test.