Apologies initially to Stockton as we could not raise a competitive front row so the game was uncontested from the start.
The day was very windy but this did not hamper the Bucks as they started very brightly, into the elements, with lots of attacking intent. This led to a free kick in the visitors 22 which was taken quickly by scrum half Paul Williamson. The ball was moved into the centres where Paul Miller received, straightened and ploughed through several would be tacklers to touch down. Fly Half Brendan Baggs converted(7-0).
However the Bucks new found game plan of letting their opponents build a sizeable lead now clicked into gear
On 6 minutes Stockton crossed the line from their first attack West got themselves turned over at a ruck and the visitors went over under the posts(7-7).
On 24 minutes West turned the ball over in a maul. It was moved into the Saracens backs and a centre cut through the midfield to score under the posts(7-14).
To be fair to the visitors they had come to play and were throwing the ball about at every opportunity and on 32 minutes added to their points haul with another converted score(7-21).
It was important now that West scored next, not only because ½ time approached but also to avoid letting the visitors too far ahead.
This they managed to do when they at last got themselves into a decent position in the Saracens half. Baggs made a half break and fed centre Martin Todd who jinked over to complete the score(12-21).
So West turned round with the wind now in their favour. However the gods were not and they were to incur a steady stream of injuries during the half.
5 minutes in and West were playing very intelligently with the wind kicking and running the ball into the corner to pin Stockton back.
Baggs was eventually released blind very close to the line from a ruck and he was able to dive over(17-21).
West now huffed and puffed but failed to blow the visitors house down until 2 minutes from time.
They lost backrow Blades, centre Miller and the other centre Todd finished on the wing nursing a dead arm but still they kept plugging away. Big winger Foster, now in the centre, made lots of powerful bursts.
Eventually they got a line out in the visitors 22 and drove the ensuing maul to the line, the ball was wrestled free by No8 Cookland who fought his way over the line to touchdown(22-21).
There was enough time for a restart but the Bucks played out time without any problems.
Another good win for the Bucks, they played for the full 80 minutes once again but are leaving themselves lots to do. Problems from last week were still present this week as they turned over too much ball and didn’t work hard enough in defence. But, a wins a win is the old adage!
West started the match with the back 5 of the pack all U18’s and this led to our looseness at times in contact situations but it also helped us in the fitness stakes and of course was invaluable as they gain senior experience.
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