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Home > News > Sunderland 35 - Gosforth 14
Your News Sunderland 35 - Gosforth 14

TEAM NEWS AND CRAIC; David Bourne returned from injury to hook between those Pillars of Hercules, Joe Woodhams(Captain) and Chris Morris. Dan Tucker was joined in the second row by Tom Reid a rangey, athletic lock promoted from the 2nd XV, Aiden Marsh started at number 8 flanked by Sam Stirling and Chris Daley. Coach Adam Falkner and Mark Anderson continued their half back partnership. In the centre Colin Liddell joined Andy Ushaw. Gordon Johnston winged it with 2nd XV promotee Tom Leddy on the opposite wing, and another 2nd XV promotee Rian Hoey at fullback. Tom's brother, George Reid, benched alongside the very experienced Matt Gaynor and Adam Bell. All played their part in what was to prove a tough encounter under overcast sky on a muddy, heavy pitch. Dan Tucker and Aiden Marsh were replaced by George Reid and Adam Bell, Sam Stirling moved to centre when Colin Liddell moved to scrumhalf in place of Adam F, Matt Gaynor replaced him in the back row

Sunderland skipper and No8 Martin Watt has his own page in their programme, and in effect he also "wrote this match report" by scoring a hat trick of tries in the second half as well as providing the slick blindside pass that created a try for their winger Mark Henry.

THE MATCH; Mark Anderson kicked off, and it is fair to say that the opening exchanges were fairly even, but Sunderland's experienced outside centre Sean Bellon pounced on a kick through the Gosforth defence to score a try, and the home side went 5-0 up within 10 minutes.Gosforth's equalising try was the result of a shrewd chip kick by Adam Falkner which Andy Ushaw got his hands on and crossed for a well worked score.Gosforth forwards battled and competed with a useful looking Sunderland pack, Aiden Marsh getting through a lot of hard, unglamorous work. Sunderland's full back Littlechild eased them ahead with an easy penalty kick, but two converted penalties from Mark Anderson gave the visitors an 11-8 half time advantage.

Sunderland kicked off the second half, Gosforth were playing strongly and confidently; hooker David Bourne made a telling upfield burst, then strong play by new fullback Rian Hoey caught the eye. A quickly taken tap penalty resulted in Sunderland No 8 Watt scoring the first of his three tries; full back Littlechild converted to put the home side 15-11 up within 5 minutes. Mark Anderson narrowed the deficit with a 25 metre penalty, so Gosforth were well in touch with just over 30 minutes of the half remaining. But the remainder of the half belonged to Sunderland, and, at times, Gosforth defended with great spirit and commitment. The pressure from the Sunderland pack told when that man Watt picked up the ball and drove over from close range at a scrummage to increase their lead to 20-14. Gosforth were frustrated by penalty awards to Sunderland, Littlechild stroking over a successful kick from close range to give the home side a 23-14 lead.

The referee found his "yellow card" and Matt Gaynor departed the increasingly murky field of play for 10 minutes; he returned only for Adam Bell to exit stage left as the penalty and card count did Gosforth no favours. Watt's third try came courtesy of another powerful push by the Sunderland forwards, he dropped on the ball over the line, then Littlechild converted to make it 30-14 with little time remaining. Matt Gaynors tackle on a Sunderland prop picking him up and forcing him backwards was a highlight in the gloom. Having secured a bonus point and with Gosforth on the receiving end of penalty decisions, Sunderland scored a late last minute fifth try from a scrummage, when Martin Watt picked up and passed to winger Mark Henry, who sped over on the blindside to cross the line and score; Littlechild's conversion attempt failed. Next week we entertain Medicals at Druid Park, they gave notice of their credentials by defeating Horden 32-0.

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