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Home > News > Gosforth 20 - Sunderland 27
Your News Gosforth 20 - Sunderland 27

VENUE: Druid Park

WEATHER: Overcast, chilly wind

CRAIC: Thanks to Stu Campbell's dad and Matty Steel's mum for their positive comments

about the website. Let's hope their son's scoring efforts are featured again next

season. For those who play in less 'glamorous', more anonymous positions, thanks

for your efforts and achievements on the field since last September, without which

neither Stu nor Matty would enjoy holding ' The Gilbert' in their hands.


Sunderland were led onto the field by their 39 years young second row stalwart, Rob Stormont, playing his last game before retiring from scrum, ruck and maul. In contrast Gosforth were skippered by Dan Tucker, one of the more youthful scrummagers in the League.

Gosforth kicked off, fly-half Stu Campbell impressed his watching father with an early penalty kick success to give the home side a 3 - 0 lead.

Winger, Matt Steel, playing his 99th game for the 1st XV, added a try, ghosting through the Sunderland defence selling them a ' Stokoe style' dummy in the process. Campbell kicked the conversion to make the score 10 - 0.

Sunderland are a side who play open attacking rugby, and within 5 minutes, a dexterous move, that illustrated this, created a try for centre Goforth, which their full-back, Bellon, converted to close the points gap to 10 - 7, at the end of a lively opening quarter.

Winger, Matt Steel, got onto the score sheet again with an opportunistic try, when he capitalised on a Sunderland error and snapped up a loosely bouncing ball, then steamed over for a try, extending Gosforth's lead to 15 - 7.

Youthful scrum-half, Todd Harrison, was playing with confidence ad he made an eye catching jinking run.

A break by Stu Campbell almost resulted in a try for winger Rob Hearty, as Gosforth exhibited a willingness to open up, following a period of Sunderland pressure. The first half ended with the score 15 - 7 in the home side's favour.

Sunderland kicked off the second half; Stu Campbell had a couple of unsuccessful speculative drop goal attempts. The visitors exhibited their handling and running skills, contact with a corner flag ruling out one try scoring attempt.

An interception by Gosforth full back Johnson coupled with a penetrating run and well timed pass almost led to a try by centre, Merton.

Then Sunderland's centre Graham, also came close to scoring. This was followed by a period of scrummaging and driving forward play by the visitors, which saw them threaten the Gosforth try line. The organised Gosforth defence held firm and held up the attackers who tried to cross the line. But pressure can lead to penalties and points, and this proved to be the case' when Bellon stoked over a penalty kick to bring Sunderland back into contention at

15 - 10.

Matty Steel made a threatening trade mark run, Stu Campbell attempted another drop goal, but it was Sunderland flanker, Ed Britton, who, having got his hands on the ball at the tail of a line-out, broke through and grounded it for a try which Bellon converted to give the visitors a 17 - 15 lead.

Gosforth responded positively putting Sunderland under pressure and this lead to a Stu Campbell try, when the ball popped out from the forwards, and he dropped his shoulder, crossing for a try from close range to regain the lead at 20 - 17.

Sadly for the "Green and Whites", Sunderland had one more shot in their "locker" - replacement Fraser Kennedy found a gap and galloped over for a try, Bellon's successful conversion making it 24 - 20

It was left to Bellon to secure the result in Sunderland's favour with a late, late penalty goal just before the final whistle blew with Sunderland 27 - 20 ahead.

Stockton pushed Billingham, who won 10 - 9 at home and are automatically promoted.

Northern face a play off hurdle to promotion. Ashington, unbeaten champions of D & N 2 will be promoted to join us in Division One next season. Mal "Einstein" Bell is the only person who can unravel the "RFU code" and predict, who may be the other "movers and shakers" between the Leagues, watch this space and read his "Godfather" column......

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