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Home > News > Gosforth 27 - Darlington 24
Your News Gosforth 27 - Darlington 24

Venue: Druid Park

TEAM NEWS AND CRAIC: Unfortunately I had to miss the Mal Bell invitation pre match lunch, having attended a funeral in the morning, but I am sure that the luncheon attendees, no matter which team they supported, could not have predicted the historic result of this nail biting match. The unholy trinity started in the front row with Graham Hall and Dan Tucker locking the scrum; the back row was Mike McCleery, Aiden Marsh and Sam Stirling. Adam F and Mark Anderson were at halfback with a centre pairing of Andy Ushaw and Ben Debnam, wingers were Nathan Bailey and Gordon Johnston with Colin Liddell at full back. Replacements Tom Kelbrick and Chris Daley were both used Tom replaced Dan Tucker at lock, when Dan moved up to prop in place of Chris Morris, who, like Joe Woodhams and Peter Hall, his fellow front rowers, has been a stalwart performer during these 11 opening games. Unfortunately, flanker Mike McCleery picked up an injury, so Chris Daley replaced him. Dan Farquhar remained on the bench. The depth and quality of the squad was reflected in the number of injured players, such as Adam Ainley and Matt Steel spectators from the sidelines along with David Bourne, Tom Jones and Mike Jurowski. Hopefully, they, along with any others not already mentioned, will soon be back in contention.

THE MATCH: A one minute silence was held to mark the fact that it was Remembrance Weekend, then Gosforth fly-half Mark Anderson kicked off on a cool, dry, cloudy, but still afternoon. Marks kicking skills were soon in evidence when he struck with an early penalty goal to give the home side a 3-0 lead. Darlingtons attacking qualities and offloading ability brought an early try for their fly-half Henry Carver, who crossed from relatively close range. But, within 2 minutes, Mark Anderson restored Gosforths lead with a successful penalty kick, only for another slick handling move by Darlington to create a try scoring opportunity for their hooker Goddard, which Carver converted to give them a 12-6 advantage with only 10 minutes on the clock. Gosforth defended well and earned some penalties against a strong looking Darlington attack, eventually the driving power of the Gosforth pack shunted prop and skipper Joe Woodhams over for a trademark try to close the points gap to 12-11, this was how the first half ended, Gosforth having competed in scrum and lineout, as well as defending courageously.

The visitors got the second half underway. Gosforth continued defending well, rattling Darlington in the process. A series of successful and invaluable Mark Anderson penalties , including one from 35 metres, netted the home side 9 points and stretched their lead to 20-12 by the 25th minute of the second half. Further cause for celebration was a try from the youthful Nathan Bailey, who, supporting intelligently and capitalised on Gosforth pressure to score, once again Mark Anderson struck with his boot and converted giving the green and whites a 27-12 lead. But league leaders Darlington are a dangerous attacking orientated side, and, despite the loss of a red carded player, they showed their mettle. Firstly, fly-half Henry Carver scored a superb individual try with a strong run, making it 27-17. Gosforth continued to match the Darlington forwards and defend strongly, but, towards the end of the half the visitors put Gosforth under a sustained period of pressure in their 22 metre zone, running penalty after penalty until eventually their centre OLeary found a small gap in the home sides defence and forced his way over from close range to score their fourth try, Carvers conversion closing the points difference to 27-24, and earning his side 2 bonus points. That takes nothing away from a mature and committed Gosforth performance, earning accolades such as fantastic and awesome, coupled with Mal Stokoes comment I cannot wait to read the full match report; Mal having been a spectator at the Falcons v Lyon game, where John Shorts son Chris was playing for the French Club. THIS WEEK we are away at Ashington, who will be only to keen to lower our colours after this superb victory; they lost 44-21 at Horden this week.

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