West 19 Billingham 29

By Dave Picken - August 30 2015
West 19 Billingham 29 Our defence of the Durham Senior Cup is over but there were plenty of positives on show against a strong running Billingham side in what proved to be a hard fought encounter where we refused to lie down ....

The West pack held an advantage throughout, but whenever Billingham threw the ball out wide they looked dangerous thanks to speedsters Elliot Husband and Martin Hopley.

The visitors held sway for most of the first half helped by the loss of our line-out target man John Bunter after just 12 minutes to an ankle injury. Worst was to come with two yellow cards in quick succession for skipper Dan Boatman and fellow flanker Liam Bailey - both saying too much to referee Carl Hall.

By this time we were already trailing to a sharp finish from an overlap by Hopley with man of the match Peter Evans converting.

Somehow we held on when down to 13 thanks to some heroic tackling, but ironically as soon as we were back to the full 15 we conceded.

The elusive Peter Evans was the scorer as he evaded three tackles and raced in from 20 metres to set up an easy conversion for himself.

It looked like Billingham would coast to an easy victory, however we finally managed to gain some territory.

Our reward was a penalty try when Eldon Myers was tackled off the ball as Peter Youll was about to send him over from five metres.

Gavin Painter, back from a long lay off after knee surgery, slotted the conversion and we turned round just one score behind.

However, it was Billingham who extended their lead seven minutes into the half with Husband finishing of another flowing move along the backs with a smart finish in the left hand corner.

Evans failed with the conversion, and we came back strongly from the restart with Ryan Painter seizing on a loose ball to fly hack up the wing with Dan Boatman in support. The West skipper was taken out off the ball but Painter collected to go over only for play to be brought back for a foot in touch.

With the wind at their backs the home team were now putting pressure on the side from the league above only to fall to a sucker punch after 55 minutes.

The  backs were making inroads inside the Billingham 22 when a pass from Youll to Myers was spilled with full back Luke Wilson the first to react – he raced the full length of the pitch to score to make it 24-7 to the visitors.

The West pack continued to grind away earning a succession of penalties which led to the award of their second penalty try by referee Carl Hall.

It came as we drove the Billingham scrum back towards the line with two Billingham players breaking to kill the ball as Sam Miller was about to touch down.

Painter converted to put the home side just ten points behind - but once again Billingham had the answer.

Replacement Liam Armstrong was the man to go over- neat footwork keeping him just inside the field of play as Scott Butcher despairingly tried to force him into touch .

We were to have the last word as Ryan Painter finished off some pressure on the visiting line by diving over through a mass of bodies. Brother Gavin hit the post with his conversion from wide on the left and in the face of some heckling from the crowd – the last play of the game.











West 19 Billingham 29
Official West Hartlepool RFC (IP Logged)
30/08/2015 10:21
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Re: West 19 Billingham 29
Dave Picken (IP Logged)
30/08/2015 10:29
The Colts also put in a decent performance against a strong Middlesbrough side going down 29-10 (I think)

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