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Home > News > Stockton 31 - Gosforth 20
Your News Stockton 31 - Gosforth 20

VENUE: Norton Sports and Social Club

CRAIC: The usual suspects Joe Woodhams (Captain), Peter Hall and Chris Morris started in the front row with the prospect of facing Stockton super sub prop Maurice Douthwaite, a durable 50 plus veteran with 30 county caps. Dan Tucker and Tom Kelbrick paired up in the second row with Adam Bell, Sam Stirling and number 8 Aiden Marsh forming an effective back row unit. Youngster Tim Deakin stepped into the scrumhalf berth, Mark Anderson was the fly half with a centre partnership of Andy Ushaw and Ronan Pressard. A back three of Adam Ainley, Colin Liddell (welcome back) and John Gamble completed the starting line up, with a strong bench of David Bourne, Ben Debnam and Mike McCleery, who all played their part in an encouraging, if ultimately losing team performance.

THE MATCH: It was more summer in San Antonio than autumn in Stockton with the temperature at 25 degrees and barely a cloud in the sky, but this was no package holiday idyll for the visitors.

Mark Anderson kicked off down the slight slope, and was unlucky to miss an early penalty kick from 30 metres out, soon taking advantage of another penalty scoring opportunity from 32 metres to give Gosforth an early 3-0 lead. A superb drop goal from Mark doubled the score with 13 minutes on the clock. However, pressure from Stockton following a strong run by their inside centre created a try for their outside centre Steve Thornton, fly half Jeremy Good kicked the conversion and the home side were 7-6 up at the close of the first quarter.

Gosforth were fronting up in the forwards and the team performance was much improved upon the previous week. Flanker Adam Bell ran a great line then his well timed pass to lock Tom Kelbrick paved the way for a try by the big forward, which Mark Anderson converted. Within 5 minutes another shrewd break by Adam Bell created a try for lock forward Dan Tucker, Marks successful conversion meant that the visitors had an encouraging 20 points on the board. But Stockton looked dangerous, their winger was tackled into touch, halting a threatening break. Then, despite courageous defence by Gosforth, Stockton scrumhalf Rob Green scored a try; the conversion attempt from a difficult angle failed, so the first half ended with Gosforth 20-12 ahead.

Stockton scrumhalf Rob Green grabbed his second try, when Stockton won a scrum, their no8 picked up and offloaded to Green who scored an excellent individual try, which Good converted to close the points gap to 20-19. Within 5 minutes Stocktons pace and directness opened up the Gosforth defence , and a timely pass inside sent their fullback Luke Tinkler scampering over for a try, which Good converted to put Stockton into 26-20 lead.

Gosforths forwards and backs played with plenty of spirit and commitment, launching attacks and counter attacks, securing lineout and scrum ball, but cruel luck and the whistle thwarted their considerable efforts.

The home sides fifth try robbed Gosforth of what would have been a deserved losing bonus point; it resulted from their winger Dan Phinn supporting a break by their number 8 and scoring in the corner to seal their victory. To their credit Gosforth battled away until the final whistle blew.

This Saturday we face another tough test at Hartlepool Rovers, who ran out 39-22 winners at Horden. Lets hope that Mal Stokoes verdict we deserved something, but got nowt on this weeks game is not repeated.

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