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Home > News > Acklam 23 - Gosforth 17
Your News Acklam 23 - Gosforth 17

Craic; Gosforth picked a team with plenty of familiar faces to represent the club in the first league game of the 2011/12 season played on the same day that World War 2 was declared 72 years ago. Joe Woodhams, David Bourne and Chris Morris formed the front row, newcomer Tom Kelbrick joined Graham Hall at lock with returnee Dan Tucker at blindside flanker alongside Aidan Marsh at No8 and converted centre Sam Stirling at open side.

Tom Jones and Mark Anderson kept selection continuity going at halfback. A centre pairing of Ed Dufrois and newcomer Andy Ushaw looked strong, with Mike Jurowski and Gordon Johnson winging it alongside Adam Ainley at fullback. Coach Adam Falkner benched along with Peter Hall and Team Manager Tim Lloyd. Both Peter and Adam came off the bench to face newly promoted Acklam.

The Match; Fly-half Mark Anderson kicked off after the holding of a minutes silence for a deceased member of the home club. The sky was overcast with a slight breeze and occasional drizzle in the air.

Hard grafting No8 Aidan Marsh crossed for an early try, which Mark Anderson converted giving the visitors an encouraging 7-0 lead. However, Acklam fly-half Danny Ashton countered with an excellent 40 metres penalty kick. But Gosforth were, at that stage, exhibiting their confident pre season form and a slick passing move led to their second try from centre Ed Dufrois. The first quarter ended with Gosforth 12-3 up. Acklam had a try disallowed, but flyhalf Ashton kicked another penalty to narrow the gap to 12-6. Obstruction of an Acklam player led to the award of a penalty try by the referee, Ashtons conversion nosed the home side ahead by 13-12. Acklam went on the offensive and Chris Lynch squeezed over in the corner for a try, which gave them an 18-12 lead at halftime. Gosforths cause was not helped by the yellow carding of the influential Aidan Marsh.

Acklam spent the halftime break in the changing rooms, then reappeared to get the second half underway and maintain the pressure on the Gosforth defence. A spirited break by fly-half Mark Anderson followed by a cross field passing move created a try scoring opportunity for winger Gordon Johnson, which he took, and it was just 18-17 to Acklam with the second half only 10 minutes old.

Acklam lost a player who was yellow carded but they engineered a try for Dean Roberts after a skilful handling move. Coach Adam Falkner (replacement scrumhalf) flipped a pass to Dan Tucker who almost drove over the Acklam line from close range, so the half ended with Acklam 23-17 victors, but with the visitors pack setting up some characteristically strong drives after lineout wins but finding themselves being countered by the experienced and beefy Acklam pack. So it was a disappointing journey down the A19 for the Gosforth faithful, but, as the coaching staff said, perhaps a necessary kick up the backside following our preseason whitewash of wins.

Next week we face Sunderland at Druid Park, and they will be keen to erase the memory of an opening 19-7 home defeat by Horden.

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