With results going reasonably well this season this was a good opportunity to test ourselves against a historically strong side.
West started like a house on fire with a strong drive from a lineout, Matty Siddle coming up at the bottom of the pile of bodies with the 5 pointer.
Percy stormed back into the game immediately after. From an innocuous looking backs move some weak tackling allowed the Percy 12 (who was a handful all day) to stroll in untouched under the sticks. Easily converted 7-5 to Percy.
West struck next with Butcher, who had a fine game, finishing at the corner.
A feature of this Stags team this season has been the ability to play some structured phases and the next try came from exactly that. A training ground move which saw Butch bust up the middle to score under the posts for a brace inside 20 mins. Converted by Scott.
The second 20 of the hand was dominated by West who scored another through the Durham 18 star Foulds (pictured) after some good graft round the corner.
Moss finished the scoring with a penalty to take West 3 scores away.
Clearly the motivational talk went well at half time from the coaches when after half time Percy scored 2 very good tries in 10 minutes and had the momentum to go on and win the game. West eventually found their patterns and effort again and Foulds pulled another one back.
The last 5 mins were a nervous time and when Percy scored the final converted try the ref blew for no side.
It was a great contest overall played in the right spirit. Thanks to Percy for travelling and we have agreed to play them a couple more times before the season is out and will repay the favour by visiting them in North Shields.
Sadly there were serious injuries to Lewis Scott (clavical and rotator cuff) and Paul Moss (fractured thumb). Not so serious injury to Craig Hadwen suffering a recurrence of his pie valve rupture. Get well soon to all.
This week the Stags are at home again in the first round of the Durham County Second Teams Cup against Blaydon - 2.15 KO - please note new KO time.
West:- Angus, Mould, Hadwen, Tyers, Leighton, Simmo, Foulds, Miller (c) Siddle, Scott, Imran, Moss, Butcher, Jones, Dhillon
Reps: Hamilton, Bulmer, Flower, Blockhead
Man of the match: Matt Siddle
Food - Halloween Hot Dog Sausages 7/10 (relish option poor - no criticism of snags).
Ref - nice fellow from Bishop Auckland with a designer beard who allowed play to flow with minimum fuss.