Stags Win Pyman Cup

By Dave Picken - April 27 2006
Stags Win Pyman Cup
Garside The Stags waited until 100th minute of this pulsating Pyman Cup Final to retain the trophy. Colts skipper Tom Dixon made the break and superbly set up second row Dave Garside to power over in the very last move of extra time to defeat a shattered Horden IIs who had never been behind in the game.
Horden had dominated for much of the game thanks to their massive pack. Our young hopefuls were giving away an average of 15 years per man and 30lbs in weight and were on the back foot for most of the first half.
But the defence of both sides was the main feature of the game and all Horden had for their pressure was a 15th minute try by flanker Steve Eckles. He crashed over from ten metres after a rolling maul.
We had three penalties but Phil Wallis was struggling with a hamstring strain and narrowly missed all three.
Inevitably, Hordenís veterans tired in the second half and the Stags ran the ball at every opportunity. They started to win line-out ball with the departure of second row Steve Black for Horden and the arrival for West of Tom Dixon, son of John.
But it was the son of another West stalwart, John Painter, who dealt the first blow to Horden. Right on the 80th minute mark Gav Painter received on the right wing and had three defenders between him and the line. Somehow the 17 year old forced his way through and touched down in the corner to level the scores but give kicker James Masshedar little chance of the conversion.
But his team-mates relished the chance to put the pressure on the older legs in the final 20 minutes of extra time.
However, it was Horden who took the lead once again. This time Painter was the villain, handling on the floor and giving kicker Craig Jones an easy penalty from in front of the posts.
But with Hordenís many supporters baying for the final whistle it was the Stags who battled up he slope to set up the last chance.
Andy Robson, another 17 year old, was the man who set it all up rather fortuitously. He failed to catch pass on the left wing but it bounced off his shins and Horden ran the ball out for a line-out. West secured the ball and it was Dixon who broke for the line offloading in the tackle to send Garside steaming over to finally beat the resilient Horden defence just seconds before the whistle. Mash missed the kick but it was all over bar the celebrations.