Bucks 17 Northallerton 11

By Chris Harrison - September 23 2008
Bucks 17 Northallerton 11
Charlton The Bucks entertained Northallerton II's in the Tees Valley Merit League at a very warm & sunny Brinkburn. A fact appreciated by some of the Bucks debutants as they look to shed those unwanted pounds.
West started very well and played some good rugby in patches in the first half.
After 10 minutes Mike Charlton was to prove unstoppable from a 5 yard scrum and Luke Mallinson converted (7 - 0).

7 minutes later Charlton was again on hand to score when a great passage of play was finished off by the No8. The ball was moved across the pitch several times with excellent recycling ensuring continuity. Ian Wilson showed well in the centre to straighten the attack on a couple of occasions during the play. Mallinson again converted (14 - 0).

However West were to allow Northallerton right back into the game when the kick off was allowed to bounce by the home defence. There then followed some shocking attempts at tackles which allowed the visitors to take play to the West line. From a 5 metre scrum they worked themselves over the line (14 - 5).

Northallerton were then able to drop a goal just before half time (14 - 8).
A penalty 15 minutes into the second half brought them even closer (14 - 11).
West were creating opportunities but poor basic skills were letting them down but to their credit they kept Northallerton at bay even though sometimes it was by the skin of their teeth!

Toward the end of the match fly half Stu Waites dropped a goal to give West a little more breathing space (17 - 11).

West played the best rugby in the match but it was too infrequent to have any impact on the scoreboard. Basic mistakes and lack of fitness also took its toll. However their first league points for the season are secured and things will get better as the team gels and plays to the patterns laid down by the coaching team.
Mike Siddle had a good run out at scrum half with his abrasive style benefitting the pack. Mike Charlton also showed in patches his ability before severe lack of oxygen led to his substitution after 60 minutes.

In the 2nd row Ant Kemp got himself around the pitch showing the benefits of a summer of training. But special mention for the front row of Mark Cholmondeley, Ryan O'Connor and Pete Considine who worked really hard and showed their all round skills throughout the match