West 12 B&B 20

By El Pedro - September 29 2019
West 12 B&B 20 Top marks for effort but we were on the wrong side of a tough game against undefeated Bradford & Bingley.

The table topping 'Bees' showed plenty of touches to indicate their early season form is no flash in the pan but a mixture of dogged defence and handling errors meant we were well in this game until the final 10 minutes. 

Missing player coach Stu Waites, we once again fielded a youthful side with 18 year old Ollie Connolly in for his first start at fly-half with Max Tennant on the wing and Luke Mallinson switching to full-back.

 Unlike in our first home game we got off to a solid start with early pressure in the 22 before Andrew Rollins opened the scoring when a kick ahead bounced high in the air, evading the initial chase but popping up perfectly for the hooker for the easiest of finishes.

 The Bees pulled 3 points back from the boot of Lance Taylor after a high tackle under the posts and no sooner had they opened their account they took the lead with a try from Simon Mitchell who profited from our mistake under a high ball and then a bustling break from centre Jamie Martin.

 Our defensive line was being tested to the full and it looked like the Bees would add a second try only for referee Gareth Foreman to rule a score out for a double (or perhaps triple!) movement.

 The defensive hold seemed to give us confidence and as the half drew to a close a superb straightening line from Zac Southern made some space before a perfect wide pass to Lewis Scott sent the pacey winger racing up the touchline and in at the corner. Southern added the tough conversion and we held on until half time with a 12-8 lead.

 In the second half our defensive effort continued to take its toll with most breaks in play seeing at least one player needing treatment. Our attack also stuttered with Bees number 7 Ali MacDonald, shifted to inside centre following an injury, shutting down pretty much everything in midfield.


But despite our difficulties we still led and continued to hold the visitors at arm's length until a crucial moment on 57 minutes. Liam Bailey, as ever at the forefront of both attack and defence, was yellow carded for a high tackle on half way and it would prove to be a hammer blow. With the openside off the field Bees added two tries to effectively put the game beyond our reach. First a rolling maul was unstoppable and then full-back Adm Sutcliffe won the chase to a chip ahead from Taylor.

 At 12-13 down we did have a penalty to go back in front but Southern's attempt was wide and, having struggled to secure clean lineout ball all afternoon we probably should have opted for another shot at goal in the final 5 minutes instead of kicking for the corner as it could have at least secured a deserved bonus point.

 Instead we have to lick our wounds after a committed display but one which failed to secure any league points at home, something we can't afford to repeat too often. The Bees look like mounting a push at promotion and clearly valued the win highly, content not to seek a 4 try bonus point and kick the ball dead as time expires and begin their celebrations. 

Our trip to Cleckheaton next week is followed by the visit of Scarborough and hopefully we will see the positive performances we have been displaying rewarded with points. 

West: Mallinson, Tennant, Southern, Youll, Scott, Connolly, Painter, Coates, Rollins, Pennick, Bunter, Linighan, Barker, Bailey, Atkins. 

Reps: Joe Willis, Aidan Jackson-Smith, Ethan Ledington 

 Tries: Rollins, Scott

Con: Southern

YC: Bailey 

B&B: Sutcliife, Wilson, Hamard,, Martin, Magee,  Taylor, Hockenhull, Raper, Bentley, Wederell, Mitchell, Svagusa,Booth,  MacDonald, Cummins.

Reps: Smith, Daley, Booth

Referee: Gareth Foreman [Durham Society]



West 12 B&B 20
Official West Hartlepool RFC (IP Logged)
29/09/2019 09:59
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