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26
OCT

Bishop were at home to Hartlepool on a fine autumn afternoon for rugby. Bishop made a couple of changes to the team with Gareth Edwards returning after injury to the forwards and Tom Burn returning after knee surgery to the backs at outside centre with Lance Oliver moving out to the wing. Bishop started the game brightly and were rewarded with a penalty for their early pressure which was confidently despatched by Tombling 3-0.

Hartlepool immediately came back at Bishop and some sloppy tackling cost Bishop a try in the corner which Hartlepool failed to convert 3-5. With neither team really dominating the first half was a pretty even affair both sides were guilty of conceding too many penalties nor was there any real flow to the game. Bishop were able to add a further penalty before half time to nose in front 6-5.

A stern talk at half time by Coach Steve Colwell saw the Bishop players come out with renewed vigour and the Bishop forwards began to dominate in the scrum driving forward and gaining some good hard yards. This was not interrupted when a change of props was made due to injury to Alex Fraser who was replaced by Chris Marsden.

Bishop were about 10 metres inside Hartlepool's half and won a penalty. A few eyebrows were raised when Tombling decided to go for the posts but he converted with the sweetest of strikes with distance to spare to increase Bishop's lead 9-5. Bishop now looked the more likely team to score and with second row partnership of Fletcher and Victory making some good carries Bishop were stepping it up a gear. The next move saw the try of the game following a line out the ball was passed out to the ever industrious Burn who drew his man and passed to winger Andy Brown who took the ball at pace and was able to offload inside to flanker Edwards to score near the corner 14-5.

This is where Bishop should have controlled the game but did not and let Hartlepool back in. Following a scrum in Bishop's 22 the No 8 peeled off and offloaded to their inside centre through whom all of Hartlepool's moves were played, to break tackles and score 14-10. With Hartlepool right back in it the game was finely balanced. Some sensible kicking by Tombling put Hartlepool back into their own half and were kept pinned in their by Bishop. With the clock ticking down Bishop relieved the pressure with Centre Taff Evans using good strength and aggression wrestling the ball from the Hartlepool player and spinning round to score the decisive try which Tombling converted to take the full time score to 21-10.

A much needed and I would say deserved win for Bishop who always showed more industry and flair however there was a lot of missed tackles and still far too many penalties being conceded which I'm sure will be worked on in training.

Michael Hole 24 Oct 11

Under 15s Battling in Defeat

Darlington U15s 36 Bishop Auckland U15s 5

Bishop Auckland Rugby Club's Under 15 team travelled to Darlington with 15 players after three weeks without a game. Dylan Winfindale made his debut, while Matthew Borrowdale played at stand-off for the first time.

Bishop proved to be rusty in the first 20 minutes of the match and this showed as they conceded four tries to a well-drilled Darlington team. The Bishop players finally pulled themselves together and fought back. Josh Leonard was in the thick of the action as usual. Unfortunately, Bishop's attacks produced no result before the break. At half-time, the score was 24 - 0 to Darlington.

Bishop further improved in the second half; a number of quick penalties gave Rob Hill the chance to batter the opposition and he came close to scoring with a 50 metre run, but was pulled down just short of the line. Anth Young then came close with an interception attempt before succeeding with a second one just afterwards. He was able to run half the length of the pitch to score. Macaulay Barker looked likely to score after a searing run through the defence, but the full-back was able to tackle him and, despite good support from Liam Higgins, the danger was cleared. Darlington finished the game with two quick tries as Bishop tired in the closing stages to win 36 - 5.

Apart from the opening 15 minutes, this was a good performance from the Bishop team and they now know how much work will be involved as more difficult games approach.

Team: Michael Dunn, Sonny Maan, Tom Clarke, Jordan McCabe, Dylan Winfindale, Jordan Day, Josh Leonard, Rob Hill, Sam McIvor, Matthew Borrowdale, Anth Young, Matthew Mitchell, Macaulay Barker, Liam Higgins, Aiden Mounsey,

Stuart McIvor 25 Oct 11

Bishop Auckland Under 10's v Sunderland

Another great morning of rugby for Bishops U10's as they hosted a well supported and strong Sunderland team at home. The game started with Bishop standing half a sleep waiting for the whistle that had already gone, a few shouts from the sideline soon had some of the Bishop players more focussed. A break on from Sunderland saw Will and Jack stand their ground with good solid defensive tackles put in by both. The game seemed to be played in the centre of the field with neither team making any ground in the scrums then as if by magic Bishop came to life, a break on from Jack dragging players with him soon had Luke who was in support on the attack and the tryline. Heads lifted smiles on their faces and eager to start the initial hard work had paid off.

All players were now keen to find the tryline and gave their all James was tackling player after player, Luke was trying to run through everyone as if he was invisible, Jack and Will were the hard hitters in the middle, with Liam and Nathan waiting for the ball on the wings. Bishop were really starting to spread themselves out, passing the ball along the nicely formed line and using the whole pitch to the delight of the coach. Liam and Nathan were working well together stopping the Sunderland players attacking down the sidelines.

With further tries from Luke, James, Will and Jack the team seemed to go from strength to strength, then all their hard work wasn't as rewarding as it should have been as Sunderland pulled tries back, it was all end to end stuff. The only disappointment was Bishop conceeded two tries in the last few minutes of play. The final score 45 v 25 in Bishops favour.

WELL DONE: LUKE, WILL, JACK, JAMES, NATHAN, and LIAM an excellent all round performance at home by both teams played in very good spirit and sportsmanship.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: JACK WIFFEN for his outstanding play and sheer defensive determination in the centre of the pitch.

See you all on Wednesday 6pm for training

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