Westoe IIs 19 Stags 20

By Old P - January 5 2009
Westoe IIs 19 Stags 20
Edwards - Flanker This was an interesting fixture for the Stags having to travel to: Wood Lane for their first game of 2009 in the CANDY league. This was a game that was seen as being a tough test for the young Stags squad, one which was made even tougher by the late withdrawal of four players through flu.
The Stags kicked off down the slope in a very cold breezy but bright day and immediately put the home side under pressure particularly in the set pieces where the Stags back row of: Young Edwards and Cameron showed their experience, (surprising as G. Edwards has not played there since he was 16).

On the 11th minute mark a quick turnover ball from a maul on the half way allowed the Stags backs to have a run at their opposition and some good handling by the backs allowed full back S. Jordan to round the defence wide on the right from twenty metres out to score under the posts, converted by Waites (0-7).

Two minutes later Westoe were penalised as they were deemed to be killing the ball some twenty metres from their line which was kicked by Waites (0-10).

Westoe then began to drive the ball up field into the stags half and after some good defence by the visitors the ball was cleared to the halfway line on the 27th minute mark. A mistake by one of the home team at a ruck allowed the stags to move the ball quickly to left wing J. Cole who ran in under the posts from forty metres out, converted by Waites (0-17).

The rest of the half was played out in midfield with both sides struggling to obtain any good quick ball from the breakdown area.

From the kickoff the home team took the game to the Stags and put them under tremendous pressure after a period of resolute defence the home team managed to score some ten metres to the left of the posts, converted (7-17).

From the kick off the Stags stormed up field and forced the Westoe backs to be caught offside right under their posts the resultant penalty was kicked by Waites (7-20).

Westoe than began to apply considerable pressure on the stags and managed to score wide out on the right as a result of some missed tackles on the 58 minute mark, unconverted (12-20).

Four minutes later the home team again breach the stags defence and scored on the left of the posts converted (19-20).

The Stags were then hit with what seemed a bitter blow when they lost second row and lineout specialist B Lloyd with a suspected broken figure, with no other substitutes manager G. Southern was forced to play the remainder of the game out as his replacement. Whist the Stags lost some options in the lineout the pack managed to put Westoe under great pressure in the scrums repeatedly driving them back considerable distances.

After what seemed a long period of defensive play by the Stags they managed to work the ball up into the Westoe twenty two and for the last ten minutes of the game they looked the team more likely to score.

This result was a tremendous boost for the whole squad and should stand them in good stead for their next fixture against Morpeth next Saturday.

Stags: A. Coates R. Wood, J. Greenwell, B. Lloyd (G Southern 64), M. Kemp, G. Edwards, C. Young A. Cameron, P. Williamson, J. Cole, S. Cavey, S. Butcher, T. Armstrong, S. Jordan (A. Hare 40). Referee, P Candlish Durham Referees Society