Horden 22 Bucks 17

By Chris Harrison - March 11 2009
Horden 22 Bucks 17 The Bucks travelled upto Horden to take on their Horden compatriots in the Semi-Final of the County Cup. There was a stiff breeze blowing down the ground which the visitors had first use of.
After 10 minutes the backs were able to use the ball to free Mark Pearce on the left wing and he showed tremendous speed to beat his man and outpace the defence (5-0).
After 20 minutes Horden eventually got themselves into an attacking position and converted a penalty from an offside in the middle of the park (5-3).
On 27 minutes Horden were back on attack and some feeble defence by the visitors allowed Horden to crash over (5-8).
Again on 35 minutes an offside in the middle of the park gave the assured home kicker an easy opportunity (5-11).
The 2nd half got worse for the Bucks as they conceded a penalty and a drop goal to go (5-17) and they had a mountain to climb.
As the game wore on the Bucks had to become more adventurous with the ball they were securing although sometimes deep in their half.
Pearce once again demonstrated tremendous pace and elusiveness to go over and round behind the posts. Mallinson converted (12-17).
However back came Horden and the big No8 crashed over in the centres (12-22).
Again Pearce got the ball and finished off another well worked move from the West backs (17-22).
West now had a couple of opportunities to level and even win but when cool heads were required forced mistakes crept in and Horden held on to win.
Pearce was seriously injured when pulled down only metres from the line when going for his 4th try in this period and it looks like he will be out for the season. A cruel blow for a young player who has been improving rapidly this season.
Although West were outmuscled up front and unfortunately out competed their too often they still had chances to win and could easily have scored on a couple of occasions. The backs did not work well enough in midfield and must learn to take chances when they are few and far between.
Still all part of the learning curve as some of the West youngsters were introduced to the intimidating atmosphere that places like Horden can bring. An atmosphere they must learn to deal with if they are going to be considered for the Stags and 1sts.

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