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Home > News > Gosforth 30 - Hartlepool Rovers 22
Your News Gosforth 30 - Hartlepool Rovers 22

TEAM NEWS AND CRAIC: those "3 Amigos", skipper Joe Woodhams, hooker David Bourne (luckily no repeat of the injury suffered whilst warming up at The Friarage) and Chris Morris formed the front row with the lofty athletic Reid Bros locking the scrum, Matt Gaynor having suffered an ankle injury whilst training, the powerful Chris Daly slotted in at no8 with Sam Stirling and Adam Bell, two hardworking flankers either side of him. Adam Falkner, our wily player/coach was scrumhalf with Mark Anderson, again kicking vital points, at flyhalf. The strong centre pairing of Andy Ushaw and Ben Debnam had speedy G Johnston on one wing and the hard working Rob Hoey on the other, T Leddy was a solid looking fullback. Another strong bench with Dan Tucker and Peter Hall both getting involved, whilst the experienced Aiden Marsh sat this game out.

Amongst the spectators ex player/ coach Tommy Cleghorn and ex prop Chris Raffo must have been pleased with the team's performance, those two are always welcome guests at Druid Park. Older readers may be interested to know that I visited Geoff Humble in South Shields on Saturday eve, where my wife and I enjoyed a meal prepared by his wife as well as some great craic; despite having suffered some health problems, the ex Gosforth Greyhounds flanker still has his dry sense of humour.

THE MATCH; Gosforth flyhalf Mark Anderson kicked off on a bright, chilly, still afternoon; within 4 minutes Mark had kicked a penalty goal to give the home side an early lead over a hustling, bustling Hartlepool side, who always posed a threat and put Gosforth on their defensive mettle. Winger "G" Johnston showed his pace, when he intercepted a pass and sprinted 40 metres to score a try, which Mark Anderson converted. However, at the close of the first quarter, Rovers' mobile flanker Lee Maddison went over for a try, following a lineout close to the Gosforth line, flyhalf Sainty's conversion made it 10-7.

Hooker, David Bourne was yellow carded, so Peter Hall had to take the field and hook, whilst flanker Sam Stirling retired for 10 minutes. Rovers attacked and put Gosforth under a lot of pressure, and this led to a try by their bulky prop Glen Wise, who plunged over the line from close range, giving the vistor's a 12-10 lead. But the Gosforth pack really "fronted up" with strong scrummaging and line out play. Number 8 Chris Daly scored what can best be described as an "All Blacks" style try, driving low and hard for the line in classic NZ fashion. Mark Anderson's conversion put Gosforth back in the lead at 17-12, and that was how the score remained when the referee blew the halftime whistle.

Gosforth continued to win and secure lineout possession at the start of the secondhalf, but it was an immense scrummage, which shunted Rovers off their own ball that created a try scoring opportunity for scrumhalf Adam Falkner, which he seized with aplomb, Mark's successful conversion giving Gosforth a 24-12 advantage. Within 4 minutes another Mark Anderson penalty increased the lead to 27-12. Rovers kept battling and earned a penalty, which Sainty converted to close the gap to 27-15.

A superb tackle by Ben Debnam epitomised Gosforth's defensive commitment, but Rovers had a lucky break of their own, when a Gosforth mistake led to a try by their replacement Adam Smith, Sainty's conversion making it 27-22 with nearly 15 minutes of the match remaining. The strength and drive of centre Andy Ushaw so nearly brought him a try, but it was the trusty boot of Anderson that slotted over a drop goal, increasing Gosforth's lead to 30-22. The visitor's played with spirit and commitment looking for a bonus losing point until the end, and to their credit they had contributed in full to an entertaining contest.

Next week we are away at Novos, who always give us a hard game on their home turf; they lost 39-13 at Horden this Saturday.

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