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Home > News > Hull 27 - Westoe 25
Your News Hull 27 - Westoe 25

THIS was a humdinger of a game between two sides at the top of their form that neither deserved to lose.

It had everything; spirited and skilful open-play, a passionate and equal battle between the packs, spectacular tries, bone-jarring tackling and tons of aggression without an ounce of nastiness.

If the gods of rugby gave the nod to Hull, then surely only the churlish would complain. For this was the last match to be played after 57 years at Haworth Park before the clubs departure to a new ground - and there could hardly have been a finer finale.

It meant, of course, that Westoes avowed intention of winning all games after the turn of the year faltered at this twelfth and last hurdle.

After failing to wrest the North One runners-up place from Huddersfield - and with is the play-off chance of promotion - captain Gareth Nesbit dearly wanted to complete the winning run to give his side impetus for the season ahead.

But he need not be too disappointed, for there was certainly no disgrace in this defeat and the Shieldsmen can embark on the 2008-9 campaign in September with heads held high.

Indeed, so close was it that there was confusion as to whether Westoe had equalized when fly half Sam Rasch kicked a penalty in the 64th minute which, according to the scoreboard, made it 27-27.

This came about because one touch judge had raised his flag ten minutes earlier when the ball appeared to have been converted by Rasch after a flowing cross-field move had ended with winger Paul Alexander scoring - but unknown to the crowd referee Rowan Williams had ruled that it had just missed.

This confusion was heightened when he then wrongly declared that the score was, in fact, 27-24 - which meant for the last ten minutes of the game Beacon Electrical (NE) Ltd-sponsored Westoes tactical thinking was based on a false premise.

But none of this should detract from what was an excellent and hugely entertaining game which most neutral observers might feel the home team, supported on so sentimental a day by a host of ex-players, just about deserved to win.

A Rasch penalty gave the Shieldsmen an early lead and he converted both his sides two first half tries when centre Johan Saaiman intercepted a poor pass to run almost half the length of the field to score and then winger James Fitzpatrick covered about the same distance as he bulldozed his was through the defence.

But all this was interspersed by three fine Hull tries - one by number 8 Geoff Peak and two by full back Guy Martinson, one of which he converted himself - to level the scores 17-17 at the interval.

Hull went ahead soon after with a Martinson penalty and five minutes later converted a try by winger Alex Piercy.

Westoe fought back with vigour and, after a Fitzpatrick touch down had been disallowed because of a knock-on, came Alexanders try. Though they pressed hard in the dying minutes, Hull hung on resolutely to their narrow lead.

*Ollie Douthwaites Third XV beat Durham City 29-10 in the final of the Durham Cup to make it a triumphant hat-trick for the club after the success of the First and Fourth teams in their county competitions.

A penalty and a drive-over try by their opponents big, intimidating pack meant they were 10-nil down after 30 minutes, but their greater pace and creativity in the backs enabled them take the trophy with a five-try performance.

Winger Tom McNulty touched down to reduce the deficit before half-time after which, with the benefit of the wind on the West Hartlepool TDSOB ground, Westoe took command.

Further tries were scored by centre Dave Fairlamb, flanker Douthwaite, lock Steve Frewer and winger Kevin Ridley with fly half Richard Elliott converting twice.

*The Seconds lost their Northumberland League game at Northern by 15-5, their only success being a first half drive-over try from a lineout despite spending virtually all the last quarter in their opponents 22m area.

*A solid all round display by the Colts, also away at Northern, earned them a 27-7 victory.

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