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Home > News > Westoe 22 - Loughborough Students 40
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17
APR

WESTOE deserve much credit for fighting a good and gallant fight.

But on the day the Students were just too swift and slick in the sunshine on a firm surface that suited their game perfectly.

It means that they have jumped over Gareth Nesbits men into third place and, with games in hand, must now be regarded as favourites to snatch the runners-up spot in National 2 North and the play-off chance of promotion - a rampant Fylde clinching the title with a 118-0 massacre of rock bottom Manchester.

Nes conceded as much when he said afterwards: The Students played very well and fully deserved their win which, realistically, has put them in pole position.

But we certainly have not given up and will continue to go at it hammer and tongs in the hope that there are slip-ups that bring us bring us back strongly into contention.

It didnt help that Leicester Lions, currently second top but with fewer games remaining, beat visitors Kendal 40-34 in a closely-contested clash.

The Dunes Adventure Island-sponsored Shieldsmen had as much if not more possession and their pack held the upper hand throughout.

But there was menace every time the ball was in the hands of their lithesome, long-striding backs no matter how deep in their own territory they were.

Determined tackling managed to curb them to an extent in the first half and, indeed, the hosts were leading 15-14 at the break.

But the biggest crowd of the season at Wood Terrace knew in their heart of hearts that it was never going to be enough, and so it transpired.

It was Westoe who took the lead in the 5th minute when Scott Jordan sped over from the 22, fly half Mark Bedworth, who had swivelled between two defenders to deliver the crucial off-load, converting.

Soon after, and within the space of four minutes, the visitors winger Craig Holland, scored twice, the first after the ball had flashed across the backs - Matt Keville kicking the first of his five conversions - and then when he followed up his own kick ahead to spurt over.

The hosts came storming back, winger Scott Jordan speeding 30m down the left flank to score after which a Bedworth penalty gave them that solitary point lead.

Within a minute of the turn around, and with the Students now having the benefit of the slope, centre Will Simpson grabbed a loose ball and broke through three tackles to score.

Westoe were now keeping the ball tight and successfully putting pressure on the Loughborough line, but a breakaway ended with winger Callum Wilson going over and so clinching the bonus point.

And when Holland completed his hat-trick on the hour it was effectively all over, lock Charlie Matthews barging his way through the defence soon after to add to Westoes woe.

Several times their forwards had battled to the line only to be thwarted by a rugged Loughborough defence, but nobody would have denied them a consolation try when hooker Richie Thirkell burst over in the final minute, Bedworth making it seven points.

Nesbit said: One aspect that pleased me so much was the spirited way we battled on even after the game had gone in the hope of salvaging a four-try bonus point - and we came close to doing it.

*A Westoe XV beat a touring side from AAC Amsterdam 38-12 in an earlier match on the ground - but it was a close run thing in the drinking stakes afterwards.

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