The Stags welcomed back Craig Gilmour returning after injury, with Matty Tyres and Peter Youll coming into the back line and the ever-reliable Graeme Southern coming into the front row. It was another lovely sunny day at Brinkburn with a moderate to strong wind blowing from end to end, which West opted to kick into in the first half.
West were the first to go on the attack putting Westoe under some good pressure in the scrum. It was not long before they got their first try on 4mins when Westoe moved the ball from a ruck in their own half Paul Moss anticipated the pass and intercepted well to score under the posts, he then converted his own try with a drop goal, after the Stags Assistant Coach (Cam) neglected to bring the kicking tee out of the changing room; 7 - 0. From the resulting kick off West gathered and mounted another attack, the ball went to the left wing where Marty Boatman made a telling break to feed Peter Hodgson who ran in for West’s second try on 6mins, Moss again converting with the assistance of the now retrieved kicking tee; 14 - 0.
Westoe responded well after conceding the two early tries and mounted their own attacking play. West defended well, but after they kicked away possession Westoe ran it back and scored their first try on 11mins, but were unable to make the conversion; 14 - 5. Westoe were again the next to score when West were penalised for holding on they converted the penalty; 14 - 8. West continued to attack, but some good defence and a little indiscipline by West allowed Westoe to clear their lines.
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There was some strong running by the backs with Moss, Hodgson and Boatman causing the defence problems and as West began to move the ball through phases only a resolute Westoe defence enabled further scores being added. Eventually, however, something had to give and after West took a couple of quick tap penalties the ball found it's way to winger Matty Tyres who ran a try in on 35mins, Moss missing the resulting conversion; 19 - 8.
West kept the pressure on and the domination in the scrum was emphasised when the impressive Andy Dixon won the ball against the head, Chris Atkins broke from the back of the scrum to feed Paul Moss who straightened nicely to score under the posts on 38mins, converting his own try and the half ended 26 - 8.
With the wind at their backs in the second half West were able to play the game deep in the Westoe half. Westoe were forced to run the ball from deep and on one occasion when they did this the ball was turned over and was then spun quickly along the back line for Marty Boatman to cross in the corner for his second try, Moss was unable to kick the conversion from wide out; 31 - 8.
The next try was very much route one, reminiscent of tactics adopted by Wimbledon in the 1988 FA Cup Final. From a ruck in the West twenty-two Davey Tighe stood in at scrum half and kicked long with the wind. Matty Tyres showed good pace on the chase, before picking the ball up a couple of yards from the Westoe line to artistically dive over for the try on 50mins, Moss making the conversion; 38 - 8.
On 64mins West won yet anther scrum against the head, the lively Ryan Painter made a break from the scrum, Marty Boatman was running the support lines and after receiving the offload from Painter ran in for the try, Moss was unable to convert; 43 - 8.
With a healthy lead West took their eye off the ball a little and let Westoe back into the game and they were the next to score with three tries in succession on 60mins, 70mins and 73mins, with one conversion out of the three; 43 - 25. West worked their way back into the game and the next score came from the boot of Phil Wallis with a nicely struck drop goal on 75mins from just outside the visitors twenty-two; 46 - 25. West would then get a further two tries in the next five minutes, Chris Atkins was on the end of an attacking move to cross for the try, Moss converting; 53 - 25. The final try went to Paul Moss to make up his hat trick from a five metre scrum the ball went out the backs and a switch in the centre left him with a clear run to the line, Moss again converting his own try making the final score 60 - 25.
All in all a good performance, there were few late changes and the lads who came in all did very well. Additional thanks to Sos for coming into the front row and putting in a good shift on the loose head.
Next week sees the Stags visit Billingham for what promises to be another difficult away trip.
P Youll, M Tyres, P Moss, P Hodgson, M Boatman, D Tighe, R Painter, C Atkins, C Young, A Barker, C Gilmour, A Robson, C Forrest, A Dixon, G Southern
Reps: A Cameron, P Wallis, N Myers, Karlos