Billingham IIs 5 Stags 10

By Old P - December 15 2008
Billingham IIs 5 Stags 10
Armstrong try winner Due to the cancellation of their CANDY league fixture against Westoe on Thursday night the Stags travelled to Billingham for a friendly game.
Because of the inclement weather the home pitches were unplayable so the match was played at a local school. Where parts of the field: were in reasonable condition although some were quite wet.

The match began in driving rain which never stopped throughout. Neither team really mastered the conditions: as passes went astray and there were several knock-onís, along with various other errors mistakes which prevented either side getting any fluency in the game. As a result of which the first half consisted of a considerable number of scrums and lineoutís but with neither side being able to gain the upper hand, the half finished (0-0).

Billingham kicked off the second-half and as a result of some poor handling and slopping back passing by the Stags they were able to set up two quick rucks on the Stags twenty two and set their number 14 over for the games first score with only three minutes on the clock, unconverted (5-0).

This galvanised the Stags forwards as they began to pressurise the home pack particularly in the scrum where they began to gain ascendancy, which meant that the backs began to see more of the ball. On the 14 minute mark after an astute kick by Edwards through the opposition defence on the home twenty two he won the race to the ball to sore wide out on the right, unconverted (5-5).

5 minutes later Billingham concede a penalty just inside their twenty two and the Stags took a quick tap and following some quick handling Armstrong was put into space to dive over, unconverted (10-5).

The rest of the game was played out mainly in the Billingham half but neither side were able to score. It was a credit to the players that they actually managed to play any rugby at all with the poor weather.

But a mention must go to Scott Jordan the Stags full back making his senior debut on his seventeenth birthday, who had an excellent game and was certainly not fazed by playing at this level and indeed was unlucky not to get on the score sheet.

Stags: A. Coates R. Wood, J. Greenwell, B. Lloyd, M. Kemp, J. Baggs, C. Young ( T Barff), S. Smart, D. Thomas, P. Williamson, J. Cole, G. Edwards, S. Butcher, T. Armstrong, S. Jordan. Referee, J. Denham Durham Referees Society