West 25 Old Crossleyans 22

By El Pedro - December 7 2013
West 25 Old Crossleyans 22
Try We scraped home in this one thanks to a try in the final minute having trailed for most of the game.

If anyone had been keeping territory stats they would have been well in our favour - we spent long periods in both halves inside the visitors 22 but struggled to come away with points. To their credit Crocs defended resolutely and in contrast to us, took every opportunity inside our half, largely thanks to reliable kicker Chris Vine.

Despite scoring three tries to one we never looked comfortable and only in the final 10 minutes, possibly as the defensive effort put in by Crocs began to take its toll, did we start to look capable of coming back to win.

We had all the play in the opening fifteen minutes, Stu Waites pushed a penalty wide after just 3 minutes but we kept the pressure on the visitors. Three consecutive advantages in the 22 led to Tony Oxley receiving an early yellow card but despite the pressure we failed to score and eventually Crocs cleared.

No sooner were they into our half they won a penalty which Vine duly slotted. He followed it with another after 20 minutes for a 6-0 lead.

We went in-front on the half hour when Ian Pinchen dove over from short range after Sam Miller was stopped just short having broken from the base of a scrum, and Waites added the conversion.

Vine and Waites exchanged penalties before Vine put Crocs back ahead with the last kick of the half after Jon Boatman was yellow-carded for handling in the ruck.

Crocs began the second half with a bang, straight on the attack with a couple of tackle-busting runs. They worked a big overlap on the right but somehow didn’t score with a pass going behind the intended man and into touch. It didn’t take long for them to get across the line though, as moments later Gareth Ott side-stepped the defence for a try under the posts.

Waites pegged the score back to 13-19 on 48 minutes but once again Vine replied, thanks in part to two lots of extra 10 metres for backchat.

Going into the last quarter we were getting increasingly frustrated but a bit of good fortune would change momentum in our favour. With an advantage being played inside the 22 Waites tried a speculative chip towards the in-goal area. It wasn’t taken cleanly and Luke Mallinson was on hand to dive on the loose ball and score.

The try brought us back to just a four point deficit with 13 minutes to play and despite attacking for all of that time it took until the final minute of the game for us to take the lead. Minutes earlier it looked like we had scored after a few lunges for the line but referee Carl Hall was unsighted and didn’t award the try. We kept going and eventually worked another opportunity on the right and this time Andrew Rollins dove over the ruck and got the ball down.

Waites’ conversion stretched the lead to 3 but there was still action to come in the few minutes of injury time left. We were straight back on the attack, now in the hunt not only for a bonus point but also to deny Crocs theirs. Our scrum 10 metres out was won against the head and, not content with a single point, Crocs looked to counter from their own line. Caught in the in-goal area they tried an offload which rolled loose and was almost seized upon by a West player but the referee judged a Crocs player was first to it and blew the final whistle.

This was far from our best performance of the season but encouraging that we still managed to come through with a win. A try at the end would have been a nice extra but it would have been harsh on Crocs who certainly deserved their bonus point having led for such a long period in the game.

West: C Cheslin, Mallinson, A Cheslin, Edwards, Butcher, Waites, Painter, Pinchen, Rollins, Coates, Hogan, Bennett, D Boatman, J Boatman, Miller.

Reps: Carr, Turner, Tighe

Tries: Pinchen, Mallinson, J Boatman

Cons: Waites 2

Pens: Waites 2

YC: J Boatman

Old Crossleyans: Vine, Seymour, Hammond, Richardson, Baker, Ott, Travis, N Sembi, Wheale, Day, McGill, Wood, Oxley, Wainwright, Hammond.

Reps: Sweeney, Robinson,R Sembi

Try: Ott

Con: Vine

Pens: Vine 5

YC: Oxley, Seymour, McGill

Referee: Carl Hall [Durham Society]

West 25 Old Crossleyans 22
Official West Hartlepool RFC (IP Logged)
08/12/2013 08:26
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Re: West 25 Old Crossleyans 22
Rozzy 1 (IP Logged)
08/12/2013 10:12
Not the best game of the season, and not the best performance either. But winning games like that is a good sign and the team did well in the last quarter.
The league table doesn't look bad as we go into the second half of the season.

Re: West 25 Old Crossleyans 22
08/12/2013 14:26
Frustrating game in many respects but credit to Crocs for a backs to the wall display.
Their No 8 was very fortunate not to have a penalty try awarded against him in the closing stages but justice was eventually done .

Re: West 25 Old Crossleyans 22
Stan the Camel (IP Logged)
08/12/2013 20:26
I agree with you, WPA, Crocs fought hard and it is tough that all their efforts were in vain. That long haired lad had an outstanding game.

I know we were perhaps not at our best but I thought it was a fantastic contest.

And Stu Waites' long passing was brilliant - that lad could probably get a game for the U17s!

Re: West 25 Old Crossleyans 22
Dave Picken (IP Logged)
09/12/2013 14:14
Video now added [despite requests from the lads]

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