Willer's Wanderings - Gateshead

By Tony Wilson - September 13 2016
Willer's Wanderings - Gateshead The Durham President finds two clubs from opposite ends of the County in good nick on the pitch ....

This week’s visit was to Gateshead for the clash with fellow unbeaten side Barnard Castle.

After the usual problem finding a parking spot close the ground, my duty driver (wife Brenda) and I were made most welcome by a Gateshead committee that included ex West and North of England scrum half Steve Havery.

There was lots of activity in the club as Gateshead run three teams regularly and had home fixtures for first and third team. In the thick of the activity was Dave Thompson who as well as his many county roles acts as team manager and touch judge for the home club.

On leaving the club house to watch match the first person we encountered was Archie, who had been our host barman on the visit to Jarrovians. He assured us that he was not stalking us, or looking for revenge for my comments about him in previous edition of Willers Wanderings, but was there to watch his son who plays at 9 for Gateshead.

We elected to stand on the terracing as the weather was bright a sunny. Sat on a bench close by was Gateshead former County President Brian Dodds and in the true spirit of rugby sat beside Brian was the father of Barnard Castle second row Ben Potts. Both men appreciating good play by both teams.
The match lived up to expectations.

Willer gateshead 2

There were exchanges of early scores, twice Gateshead scored tries only for Barnard Castle to reply in kind.
Midway through the first half Gateshead gained the upper hand through their dominance in the scrum and back row areas and built a 31-12 lead.

Early in the second half the momentum was taken by Barnard Castle. Gateshead lost two of their influential back row players and Barnard Castle made changes that included moving full back Chris McTurk to fly half.

Barnard Castle now sensed a possible victory with McTurk running the mid-field and the forwards winning lots of line out ball closed the score to 31-26., With 8 minutes of injury time being played by referee Les Cash, his first match at this level, Gateshead hung on for the narrow win. I suspect both of these teams will be there or there about at the end of the season.

No report next week as I am off for a weekend’s golf in Northumberland.

Willer's Wanderings - Gateshead
Official West Hartlepool RFC (IP Logged)
13/09/2016 08:25
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