West 21 Durham City 23

By El Pedro - December 2 2018
West 21 Durham City 23 As cruel a defeat as they come with promotion contenders Durham City snatching victory with the final kick of the game, seven minutes into stoppage time after we had led the whole game.

We started the game strongly with the intensity levels clearly raised since last week’s lacklustre showing at Acklam. Jay Corbett bounced off a few tacklers with some trademark carrying and a scrum penalty allowed Stu Waites to give us a 3-0 lead.

Zac Southern chipped nicely in behind the City defence to set up a line-out deep in the 22 after 10 minutes and Corbett crashed over the line after the maul had rolled to within 5 metres.

We struggled to cleanly deal with restarts all afternoon and having just scored a try the kick-off was knocked-on and quickly followed up by a penalty for offside which visiting skipper Paul Armstrong knocked over to pull three points back.

Despite the setback we continued to dominate possession and were over for a second try after just 14 minutes. An almost identical chip over the top to the left corner found no-one covering for City and Callum Johnston won the foot race to hack on and touch down just before the ball reached the touchline.

The pressure continued to come and although Gav Painter’s long range penalty fell short on 18 minutes we grabbed a third try with only 22 minutes played. This time a solid scrum in the 22 set the foundation for a break on the blind side and although initially looking outnumbered, Ryan Painter outpaced the defence to go over untouched.

Our blistering start was checked by a City try 5 minutes later, finishing off their best spell of pressure in the match. Our defence on the line had initially held up well but big number eight Howard Johnson somehow got the ball down despite seemingly being forced into touch by Johnston by the right corner flag.

Waites stretched the lead further with another penalty for offside but City would have the final word in the half with a well taken try from dangerous centre David Elliott. He initially burst through a combined tackle of Peter Youll and Gav Painter on halfway before interchanging passes and finishing off the try himself.

Motivated by the score toward the end of the first half the visitors started the second on top and it was Elliott again who shook off a number of tackles to crash over just 3 minutes into the half. Armstrong added the simple conversion to cut the lead to just a point.

After the free scoring first half the rest of the second period became more of a stalemate although City enjoyed greater dominance with our defence holding out but beginning to tire. However, despite the visitors carrying the ball well there were few scoring opportunities and as the half wore on we built some pressure of our own.

With just two minutes to play a clearance kick from City wasn’t dealt with and turned possession back to the visitors. As they worked the ball upfield a penalty was awarded but Armstrong’s effort sailed wide.

It appeared City’s chance had gone and with the clock deep into stoppage time we just looked to retain possession and run down the seconds. It was initially successful and the pick and go gave City little chance of regaining the ball but after seven minutes of added time referee Mackinder adjudged the ball carrier to have held on to the ball and it gave Armstrong the chance to win the game with the last kick of the match, albeit from a tougher position than the one he had missed minutes earlier. The scrum-half had saved his best for last though and struck the kick nervelessly through the posts to cue wild celebrations from his teammates.

A tough result to swallow after leading for so long and playing so well in the first half but failing to add a single point in the second period ultimately proved costly, even in the cruellest of circumstances.   

West: Southern, Hilditch, G Painter, Youll, Johnston, Waites, R Painter, Coates, Rollins, Brown, Atkins, Linighan, Turner, Robinson, Corbett.

Reps: Hunter, Rafferty, Barker

Tries: Corbett, Johnston, R Painter

Pens: Waites 2


Durham City: Pears, Bushnell, D Elliott, Dominick, T Elliott, Coxon, Armstrong, Amir, Kenny Reader, Parkinson, Kyle Reader, Cotton, Metcalfe, Jewitt, Johnson.
Reps: Hogg, Stevenson, White

Tries: Johnson, D Elliott 2

Con: Armstrong

Pens: Armstrong 2


Referee: Alex Mackinder [Durham Society]



West 21 Durham City 23
Official West Hartlepool RFC (IP Logged)
02/12/2018 09:34
What do you think? You can have your say by posting below.
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Re: West 21 Durham City 23
oseander (IP Logged)
02/12/2018 12:47
sounds like the tackling was up to its usual standard

Re: West 21 Durham City 23
Kathryn 😊 (IP Logged)
02/12/2018 12:52
First half tacking was outstanding - especially Coatesy and Jay on their line. We started the game really well but City started the 2nd half better.

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