Stags 40 Barnie 1sts 7

By Old P - March 18 2008
Stags 40 Barnie 1sts 7
A Ches This friendly match was expected to be a serious test for West’s young Stags side with certain players being unavailable. This task was made much harder, by the loss of two, of the main lineout jumpers just before the kick off particularly last week’s man of the match Lloyd.
However, Barnard Castle also had their problems with many of their team going to different clubs in Hartlepool resulting in the match kicking off a couple of minutes late. Playing on the main brinkburn pitch on a bright and sunny day it was hoped that there would be some running rugby to watch and Stags did not disappoint.

This change of personnel particularly having a hooker playing in the second row seemed to have a negative effect upon the confidence of the Stags who after an unusual catalogue of errors and mistakes. Allowed the opposition to put them under immediate pressure resulting in them conceding a simple try for the Barnard Castle No 8 (converted) next to the posts at the clubhouse end after only 4 minutes (0 – 7).

This setback galvanised the Stags in action and two minutes later after some good rucking and some very quick, precise handling Hare was put in the clear on the right wing to sprint in from some twenty yards out converted by Wallis (7- 7).

As a result of some quick crisp handling by the Stags and the sheer pace of the back line in particular which was a feature of the whole team throughout the afternoon. Thomas was put in the clear down the right wing on the twenty minute mark to round two defenders and score under the posts converted by Wallis (14-7).

After a period of play when Barnard Castle started to exert some dominance upon the home eight in the scrum who despite begin forced back managed not only to control the ball but to regularly make ground through the driving play of Smart ably supported by Southern and Baggs. The Stags continued to move the ball out into open play at every opportunity which resulted in A. Cheslin being put in the clear down the left wing on the stroke of half time to score wide out, unconverted(19-7).

With the Stags having to make some changes at halftime, Barnard Castle restarted the game by putting the Stags scrum under tremendous pressure. However they were unable to turn this pressure into points.

After seven minutes of play the Stags then moved the ball up the right hand side of the field into the oppositions twenty two. Wallis then spotted Baggs loitering with intent on the left wing and put in a very good cross field kick where the flanker using his height to good effect and to everyone’s surprise caught the ball then promptly weaved his way through three defenders to score a very good try, converted by Wallis (26-7).

Whilst Barnard Castle continued to pile on the pressure in the scrums, the Stags lineout with Robson and Smart to the fore was very secure and continually upset the opposition ball. As a result of a turnover from a lineout some five minutes later A Cheslin was put in the clear to score near the posts converted by Wallis (33-7)

To round off the afternoon a poor clearance by Barnard Castle resulted in Thomas being given the ball on the opposition twenty two after a quick turnover and he set of on a mazy run through several defenders to cross under the posts, converted by Wallis (40-7).

Thomas (Cheslin C. 40), Hare (Swales 40), Robinson (Butcher 50), Edwards (Williamson 48), Cheslin A., Wallis, Williamson (Thomas 48) Greenwell, Norris (Wood 40), Coates (Geritz 40), Robson, Wood (Coates 40, Southern 52) Southern (Edwards 48), Smart, Baggs.