City 30 West 27

By Dave Picken - March 31 2019
City 30 West 27 City have developed a neat trick of winning games with a last minute kick and it's one which will almost certainly see them go up as champions this season ...

The successful penalty from replacement Charlie Scott added insult to injury for the Brinkburn faithful, who outnumbered the home support, and who had witnessed exactly the same outcome when City snatched the first game back in December.

Unbelievably, City did the same to Northern when they met at Hollow Drift a few weeks ago, and in their first game at McCracken Park Northern had a simple last ditch conversion in front of the posts to dent City's promotion ambitions - and missed.

City will argue, of course, that you make your own luck, and if  you can stay in a game you always have a chance. We will rue not taking ours in the first half despite  battling back after just about weathering a storm when down to 12 men.

With two games still to go there’s still hope that we can clinch the play-off place in Durham and Northumberland One, but matters are no longer in our hands as Northern moved back into second place. If City and Northern win their final two games we will be consigned to third place.

We started this game as though we would be the ones to end the day at the top of the table.
We went ahead in the first minute courtesy of a flowing move through the backs which saw full back Will Hilditch come into the line and young winger Max Tennant go in at the corner.
Player coach Stu Waites was wide with his conversion, but stretched the lead to 11-0 with two successful penalties as we dominated the first ten minutes.
He almost turned provider after breaking through the middle, but his pass out wide to the left was intercepted, and then centre Peter Youll almost made it to the line one but spilled the ball as he was tackled.
City finally got into the game with a penalty from a scrum, and then their powerful midfield runners broke through as the ball was spun left with centre Craig Dominick crashing over with Paul Armstrong’s conversion kick rebounding off the post.
Our response was to force a series of penalties in the home 22 with Waites opting to kick for line-outs. It paid dividends on the half hour when the impressive Jake Linighan dived over after a catch and drive (pictured) with Waites once again just wide with the conversion.
West looked to build on their eight-point lead with Linighan powering up the left to set up some concerted pressure on the City line.
The home side lost second row Austin Anderson to the sin-bin as the pressure mounted only for a knock-on to give City the chance to get the ball upfield.
Our failure to add to the tally was to cost us dear as a relieved City turned down only eight points adrift.
Their response was to set up camp in the same comer where we had failed to capitalize and this proved to be the game’s turning point..
We lost back-rows Scott Butcher and Alex Barker to the bin within a minute of each other - inevitably No 8 Peter Dent taking advantage to finish a push-over and bring his side to within one point.
Down to 13 men worse was to come as skipper Ryan Painter was also sent to the bin after a discussion with referee Simon Williams over interpretation of the breakdown.
We were inevitably stretched and full-back Josh White finished off a slick move to give his side the lead for the first time.
However, we refused to buckle with Waites pulling three points back with a penalty on the 22.
With West fully restored it was nip and tuck. However, it was City who got their bonus point try through winger Nathan Bushnell who went in at the corner after another strong run by Dominick had opened up the space.
The conversion was wide and with the score at 27-19 we bravely set about trying to rescue the season.
We were given an opportunity when back row Will Jewitt was yellow carded as City defended desperately in their 22.
Waites took the three points and then two minutes later his side were level. Tennant made good ground up the left and when the ball was moved quickly right Luke Mallinson was able to cut inside two defenders and force his way over to bring the scores level.
Unfortunately, it was too wide out for Waites to add the extras, and he had another pot at goal with just five minutes left after City were penalised for a no-arms tackle some 35 metres out.
Once again his kick was agonizingly close. He wasn’t to get another chance as City’s ball carriers forced their way back into the visiting 22.
We defended heroically, but a stray hand knocked the ball forward as City went to spin the ball out and there were jubilant scenes as the penalty was awarded in front of the posts. It also led to a fracas which saw Ryan Painter red-carded.
Scott’s Groundhog Day kick was the last play of the game.
We now go into the last two games at home to Gateshead and away to Novocastrians knowing we must get maximum points from both and hope either City or Northern slip-up.

Durham City: Josh White, Gary Izomor, Brad Pears, Craig Dominick, Nathan Bushnell. Paul Armstrong (captain), Ben Parkinson, Kenny Reader, Graham Herbert, Kevin Showler Austin Anderson, Howard Johnson, Will Jewitt, Peter Dent.
Replacements (all used): Charlie Scott, Matt Ward, Colin Hogg.
Tries: Dominick, Dent, Bushnell, White.
Cons Armstrong (2)
Pens: Armstrong (1), Scott (1)
Yellow: Anderson, Jewitt.

West: Will Hilditch, Max Tennant, Davy Heckles, Peter Youll, Luke Mallinson, Stu Waites, Ryan Painter (captain), Adam Coates, Andrew Rollins, Adam Brown, Jake Linighan, Chris Atkins, Alex Barker, Scott Butcher, Jay Corbett.
Reps used: Danny Cookland, Isaac Robinson. Not used: Zac Southern
Tries: Tennant, Linighan, Mallinson.
Pens: Waites (4).
Yellow: Butcher, Barker, Painter.
Red card: Painter.
Referee: Simon Williams (Durham)

City 30 West 27
Official West Hartlepool RFC (IP Logged)
31/03/2019 11:01
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Re: City 30 West 27
Rozzy 1 (IP Logged)
31/03/2019 11:21
Whatever players and supporters might think of the way the game was refereed, this was not so much a case of Durham winning a match, more a case of West losing it. Our discipline has caused intermittent problems all season, and it looks like it's now provided the killer blow.
We looked much the better team in the first half and should have had the game won with a bonus point by half-time. But we lack a killer punch and look like paying the price, barring Westoe doing us a favour and winning at Northern next weekend.

Re: City 30 West 27
El Pedro (IP Logged)
31/03/2019 13:21
Cruel way to lose it but credit to all the team for a great effort, especially coming back into the game in the 2nd half and for the opening 15 minutes when we played some great stuff. Also great to see such a large travelling support.

We all like a good moan at the referee from the sidelines, but I think the vast majority of decisions were fine. I don't think discipline was that bad despite the number of cards suggesting otherwise - 2 of the yellows were from scrum penalties when we were under pressure on the line and looking like being pushed over. They were just as a result of pressure rather than cynical play.
We needed that third try at the end of the first half and in the same way as the first game, were never quite far enough in front.

The teams at the top are clearly very evenly matched and the results reflect it. Hopefully we can still finish well and then see what happens in the other games.

Re: City 30 West 27
Giraffe (IP Logged)
31/03/2019 15:04
Tough to take to put it mildy. Heads up. So much to be proud of at the club on and off the field.

Re: City 30 West 27
LesterP (IP Logged)
31/03/2019 20:44
Westoe's big physical pack & tight head will strangle Northern next week and pave the way for a Westoe win - in the last minute - all will be well.

Stand Fast Boys - No Surrender !

Re: City 30 West 27
Rozzy 1 (IP Logged)
01/04/2019 14:20
I’ll have a pint of what you’re on LesterP.

Re: City 30 West 27
LesterP (IP Logged)
01/04/2019 20:45
Bluebird Bitter from Coniston Brewery - lovely

Re: City 30 West 27
Hardwick Man (IP Logged)
02/04/2019 09:01
Les has got th right attitude.....indefatigable

Re: City 30 West 27
LesterP (IP Logged)
02/04/2019 13:37
Thank You HH :-)

As my Dad used to say - "You are never finished 'till you think you are Son" :-)

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