Willer's Wanderings - S.S. Westoe

By Tony Wilson - October 3 2016
Willer's Wanderings - S.S. Westoe South Shields Westoe, a change of name but the same old Westoe warm welcome and hospitality. On arrival we were met by Suzanne Etchells who seemed to be at the centre of everything that was happening in the club house. So busy was Suzanne that we were pasted into the care of club Vice Chairman Stuart Ashman and his family

The micro climate that seems to descend on South Shields on the first day of October was so warm that we elected to take our pre-lunch drinks in the sunshine on the veranda.

Lunch for us and the sponsors guest was a plate of fish chips and mushy peas or soggy peas as the locals called them, from an award winning local fish shop.

The match was preceded by a minutes silence in honour of Terry Parsons who sadly collapsed and died while playing for Newton Aycliffe last week.

The visiting team today were Gosforth.

Westoe had the advantage of playing down the steep slope with the wind at their backs in the first half.

A combination of driving mauls and slick handling in the backs soon had Westoe scoring freely. Twice in the first fifteen minutes the ball was worked to the left for the winger to score in the corner. Ten minutes later the same tactic was use to feed the right wing for two further tries.

A penalty kick between the third and fourth try gave Westoe a 23 – 0 lead at half time.

The second half got off to a stuttering start. After eight minutes play, the last of the match balls was kicked out of the ground. We then had a six minute stoppage while non-other than Suzanne Etchells was dispatched to retrieve the balls.

Willer Westoe 2

On the re start Westoe pressed Gosforth back I to their twenty two. From a quickly taken tap penalty the ball was worked to man of the match Westoe prop Don Connolly who crashed over under the posts leaving a simple conversion. 30 -0

Gosforth gradually gained the upper hand after this and adopted the tactic that had been successful in the first half for Westoe, working the ball to the wingers. This resulted in three tries for the Gosforth left wing, two of which were converted. Final score 30 = 19.

Back in the club house, chairman Ian Etchells insisted that everyone celebrate the victory with a shot of potcheen. A drink that brought back memories of away trips with Phil Quinn, grandfather of current West player Danny Quinn.

My wife Brenda was asked to draw the raffle and drew the ticket of club treasurer Paul White which caused some leg pulling and cries of fix.

In the kitchen Suzanne had been assisted by Eleanor Peggy a recently recruited volunteer.

Eleanor has become an integral part of the club taking on several roles. Her work has attracted the interest of the local press and RFU web site where articles had dubbed her The Angel of the North. A name that is now used the tease her.



Willer's Wanderings - S.S. Westoe
Official West Hartlepool RFC (IP Logged)
03/10/2016 12:24
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