It was a lovely day at Brinkburn with a moderate to strong wind running from end to end. The Stags had the best of the early exchanges and were unlucky not to score, with forward passes being adjudged when a certain score was there for the taking in a couple of instances. Billingham to their credit also defended well to keep the home team at bay. Billingham were against the wind and so were running the ball at every opportunity and as a result turnover ball came Wests way after 16mins and after going through a few phases Paul Moss crossed the line for Wests first try, Zac Southern notching the conversion: 7 - 0.
From the ensuing kick off the ball went straight into touch and from the scrum centre of the field Ryan Painter broke blind and after making a telling break fed Zac Southern who cut inside for the try on 18mins, which he also converted: 14 - 0.
Billingham came back into the game a little with a penalty on 22min; 14 - 3. They were, however, stopped from getting back into the game when West were the next to score. From within their own twenty-two Billingham tried to run the ball, still conscious of the strong wind, but as they moved the ball along the back line Paul Moss anticipated the pass and intercepted to score under the posts on 24mins, Southern again converting; 21 - 3.
With the cushion of a few points West began to run the ball more and moved the ball through the phases and after a few strong forward runs from Alex Barker and Chris Atkins the ball was spun along to the back line for Tom Wilson to cross, Southern again getting the conversion; 28 - 3.
West continued to push and Marty Boatman, on for Ryan Painter, was unlucky not to score after a nice break by Zac Southern fed the winger who was tackle just short of the line. West had the bit between their teeth and Andy Robson found himself on the end of a fine flowing move to score Wests next try, Southern unable to make the conversion on this occasion; 33 - 3. There was no stopping West as they began to play the type of rugby that was the trade mark of last season, good open running rugby, moving through phases quick ruck ball releasing the backs.
West were next to score when Chris Forrest found himself receiving the final pass from a running attack to cross the line out wide on 37mins, Southern missing the conversion; 38 - 3. On 40mins good work at the line by Chris Young saw him pounce on scrappy Billingham ball, kicked through from the half way line with a good chase and when the defender didn't read the bounce of the ball Young gathered and dived over for a well deserved try; Southern converting; 45 - 3 and that's how the half finished.
The start of the second half was a bit scrappy, with both teams making errors with knock-ons the order of the dy. West were the first to get back into their stride a with a scrum on the half way line Ryan Painter broke blind and showing good speed and strength, beat of a number of would be tacklers and to power his way over in the corner on 48mins, Southern missing the conversion from wide out; 50 - 3.
Billingham were the next to score with a try and conversion on 53 mins; 52 - 10. West were quick to respond to this when they gathered from the kick of and after a number of phases of play the backs ran the ball and some fine running and support play allowed Paul Moss to cross on 56mins for his hat trick try, Southern again kicking the conversion; 57 - 10. West were now totally in control, running the ball at every opportunity and it was not long before Alex Barker scored after some good running attacking play, Southern converting; 64 - 10.
Marty Boatman rounded off a fine performance coming of the bench again this time for Tom Wilson, with a strong run and try in the corner on 61mins, which Southern again converted; 71 - 10. Wests final try of the game came through Peter Hodgson, when he picked a good line and cut through the defence to score under the posts, Southern finishing of a fine display of place kicking with West's final conversion. West slackened off a little towards to end and to Billingham's credit they came back with a try and conversion after 78mins, making the final score 78 - 17.
This was the Stags biggest margin of victory so far this season and they are continuing to improve with each game. Next week sees the Stags visit Morpeth, who always offer a stern test at their own ground.
Z Southern, T Wilson, P Moss, P Hodgson, S Butcher, D Tighe, R Painter, A Cameron, C Young, A Barker, A Robson, C Atkins, C Robinson, A Dixon, C Forrest
Res: N Myers, G Southern, M Boatman