Bucks 18 Hartlepool II 14 (16/10/10)

By Craig Chapman - October 18 2010
This was a hard fought win for the Bucks extending their exceptional start to the season. The one certainty for West is that there is an abundance of talent coming into the senior teams providing strong competition for places.
West notched the first score when Hartlepool were penalised for handling on the floor Luke Mallinson kicking 3 points from in front of the posts 3 – 0.

From the restart West pilled on the pressure forcing Hartlepool onto the back foot and when the ball was spun wide Phil Wallace floated a pass out to Andrew Hare who straightened the line to draw two players before slipping the pass to Luke Mallinson to score wide out 8 – 0.

West went back on the attack with Lee Madison pilling on the pressure with some excellent tackling forcing Hartlepool to concede another penalty when they were caught killing the ball. A good kick to touch gave West a lineout just outside Hartlepool’s 5 meter line.

An excellent take by Gary Jackson at the front of the line released West’s backs and when the ever alert Scott Martin moved the ball quickly down the blindside from a ruck the hard working Andrew Turner was on hand to crash over for an unconverted try 13 – 0.

Hartlepool were not to be outdone forcing West deep into their own half as their pack started to dominate the forward exchanges. West’s defence held out for a long period but Hartlepool eventually forced their way over the line for a converted try 13 – 7.

West stretched their lead immediately from the restart with a good chase to force turnover ball. West’s Forwards and backs worked well together to stretch Hartlepool’s defence allowing Michael Charlton to bust into the line taking the ball at pace evading the final tackler to score wide out 18 – 7.

The second half was a much more mundane affair as West ended up on the wrong side of the referees whistle on far too many occasions.

Hartlepool played to their strengths in the second half as their forwards kept the ball tight and made maximum use of the set piece.

The only score of the second half came from a 5 meter scrum Hartlepool driving West back over their line and despite Peter Considine appearing to ground the ball before Hartlepool’s number 8 Tom Johnson could touch down the try was awarded 18 – 14.