City 46 West 10

By Dave Picken - December 8 2019
City 46 West 10 Once again it was the young lads who answered the call as injuries and unavailability led to a much changed side from the one who which gave leaders York a tough game last time out.

Second rows Jake Linighan (work) and John Bunter (knee injury) were notably missing with Adam Brown and Aidan Jackson-Smith proving an unlikely pairing.

So we  took to the pitch at Hollow Drift with the youngest and lightest pack we have possibly ever fielded and including six of last season’s Academy squad.

One of those was No.8 James Borthwick who came on in the second half for his first team debut – in the second row. In doing so he became the 40th player to have featured for the first team in just 12 league games. The experience gained by these lads could well prove to be a bonus in seasons to come when, hopefully, they will warmly remember their baptism of fire.

By comparison the experienced home side had been able to target this game and their opportunity to go 16 points clear of the team immediately below them. They set off from the blocks with a try from right winger Ellis Hook as the ball was whipped along the backs after we infringed outside their own 22.
The kick was missed, but the lead was extended to eight points from an offside in front of the posts.

We went further behind after a line out in the corner saw powerful centre Craig Dominick crash over with Paul Armstrong adding the conversion.

Our makeshift pack was struggling in the line-out, but bravely more than holding its own against a much bigger set of forwards in the scrum and as a result they began to get more possession.

But it was from an interception thatwe reduced the arrears. Ever alert centre Will Hilditch gratefully taking the ball just inside his own half and outpacing the opposition in a straight run under the posts to set up Stu Waites with an easy conversion.

The score boosted the young West side - pressure eventually telling with a penalty in front of the posts to reduce the arrears to just five points.

We continued to attack with No. 8 Chris Akins outstanding as he led his junior colleagues from the front. He took clean ball as we kicked a penalty to the corner but City managed to stifle the attack, and as the half wound down they had several chances to score despite having No.8 Peter Dent in the sin-bin.

A knock-on prevented them scoring in the left corner, however a missed tackle on fly half Charlie Scott saw him weave his way towards the line to set up Dominick for his second try to give his side a 22-10 lead at the break.

Playing into the strengthening wind in the second half it looked like mission impossible but we managed to pin City in their own half for the first 15 minutes.

The forwards mounted attack after attack on the home line with front rows Adam Coates, Andrew Rollins and Liam Pennick all stopped just inches short. Eventually the ball did go out wide with Zac Southern coming in to the line and creating space for winger Lewis Scott to go in at the corner.

He was tackled as he dived for the line with our players claiming he had downward pressure on the ball before it squirted away - without the benefit of VAR referee Mark Harrington decided otherwise.

After weathering the storm, and with a gathering one at their backs, City regrouped and used their big forwards to effect.

A series of popped balls saw them crash their way towards the line eventually opening up space for full back Nathan Bushnell to glide over. As our plucky pack tired he crossed again in the corner to give his side a 34-10 lead with ten minutes left.

With their tails up City scored twice more thanks to a pushover try from Dent and Dominck completing his hat trick with a run in under the posts.

The season reaches its half-way stage next with the visit of Driffield. Hopefully life will be easier for the coaches as they face the weekly daunting task of having to perm any 18 from 40.

City: Nathan Bushnell, Ellis Hook, David Elliott, Craig Dominick, Tom Elliott, Charlie Scott, Paul Armstrong (capt), Ben Parkinson, Richie Thirkell, Will Elliott, Chris Metcalfe, Kevin Showler, Howard Johnson, Simon Ord, Peter dent.
Res (all used); Kenny Reader, Will Jewitt, Josh Cotton.
Tries: Dominick (3), Hook, Dent, Bushnell (2)
Cons: Armstrong (4)
Pens: Armstrong (1).
Yellow: Dent.

West: Zac Southern Ollie Connolly, Will Hilditch, Peter Youll, Lewis Scott, Stu Waites, Ryan Painter (capt), Lee Pennick, Andrew Rollins, Adam Coates, Adam Brown, Aidan Jackson-Smith, Ben Armstrong , Ethan Ledington, Chris Atkins..
Res (all used): Max Tennant James Borthwick, Harry Mayes.
Tries: Hilditch.
Con: Waites.
Pen: Waites
Yellow: Youll, Jackson-Smith.

Referee: Mark Harrington (Durham Society).

City 46 West 10
Official West Hartlepool RFC (IP Logged)
08/12/2019 12:02
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