Barnard Castle IIs 29 Stags 31

By James Tyers - November 20 2018
Barnard Castle IIs 29 Stags 31 The changing room pregame was reminiscent of the close of 300. Never had the 12 men who ventured through to Barnard Castle expected to be outnumbered so. Thankfully of these 12 men we had the likes of Tom Shaw and Jack Angus returning from their respective rugby sabbaticals to compliment old heads such as Coley and younger ones returning from farther afield, Bangkok to be precise, namely Aiden Jackson-Smith.

The game kicked off and Barnard Castle were keen to test out the West defence, which stood resolute, only succumbing to the first score out wide as Barney utilised their extra numbers.

West were able to assert some pressure following this though, and following a clearance from the Barnard Castle backs, the experience John Cole was able to hoist a beauty of a kick into the air which wasn't read well by them, but instead expertly by Lewis Scott who ran onto the ball to score under the posts adding the extra a la droppy.

Coley was again involved after a beautiful line was hit by the young Aidan Jackson-Smith, playing out of position at outside-centre, before popping the ball off to allow Cole to stretch his legs and run in Wests second of the afternoon.

The stags were unlucky not to have a 3rd as with the half running down James Tyers found himself in the middle of the park, and with playing out of position in the 2 shirt, must have thought he could do the role of a 10. Stabbing through a kick in truly unorthodox fashion, the result of which was spilled forward by Hadwen.

12 - 12 HT

After the restart some great interplay in the backs allowed AJS to again pop to the returning Matthew Tyers who raced away, admittedly with a caravan in tow compared to his earlier days, from the half way.

The next Stag on the scoreboard was Adam Simpson, who against the standard of the day was a cry-on. He crashed over after a strong series of drives from the forwards. He was then unfortunate enough to get the first yellow card of the afternoon when he was deemed to have broken his bind when sacking the ball carrier from a dangerous Barnard Castle maul in our 22. Barnard would make this count.

When Simmo returned the game bore witness to a remarkable sight. Danny Quinn, on the day before his 27th birthday (Happy birthday Quinny!) saw a gap from a penalty on our own 5. He tapped, passed it to Craig Hadwen, who broke two tackles before out pacing men left, right and centre before being hauled down deep in the Barney 22. He would not be stopped a few plays later, despite the best efforts of one Barney player whose attempted tackle was deemed enough of a clothesline to cause a spot of handbags between himself and Jack Angus. Both were sent to the bin.

Deep into the game Tom Shaw, who had carried well and smashed anything that dared to run near him all game, continued to do so, complimented by the work of Steven Clayton and Will Rich, both grafting tirelessly around the ruck.

Barney were able to score a couple before Jack returned making the last 2 minutes a tense affair indeed.

The restart was lost forward allowing West to close out the game by keeping the ball up their jumpers with a series of pick and go's before a bout of white line fever hit every forward on the pitch.

The ball wormed free from a ruck, somehow, but when it was spilled forward by the Barnard Castle backs, that signified the end of the game.

West Stags 31 - 29 Barnard Castle II

A fantastic shift from all concerned 1 through 12...

1. Angus
2. J Tyers
3. Hadwen
4. Clayton
5. Simpson
6/7. Rich
7/8. Shaw
9. Quinn
10. L . Scott
11. N/A
12. M. Tyers
13. Jackson-Smith
14. N/A
15. Cole

Tries; L.Scott, Cole, M. Tyers, Simpson, Hadwen
Man of the Match - Shaw

Scran - A nice hearty chicken casserole type thing. Just want you want with winter rolling in!