By JGD - February 21 2016
TECH 3 - 18 SEDGEFIELD TECH welcomed third placed Sedgefield to John Howard Park on Saturday for their latest Durham/Northumberland 3 game. The visitors have been enjoying a successful season having won 12 and losing only 2 of their league games to date scoring 479 points in the process while conceding only 156. The clubs had in fact already met twice this season each time at Sedgefield, once in the league and once in a friendly. On each occasion the hosts were victorious but in each TECH had given a good account of themselves before conceding late tries which made the results look more convincing than they had in actual fact been.

Once again the TECH line up showed a number of changes from the previous week with players being unavailable for reasons such as work, injury etc. These changes resulted not only in changes of personnel but also positional switches particularly at half back where Marcus LLOYD moved up to scrum half to allow Antony LAWRENCE to switch to number 10 in place of the unavailable Paul MOSS.

The game started with the home side having the wind behind them and the slope in their favour. TECH started extremely brightly forcing the visitors back into their own 22. After just 5 minutes a quickly taken tap penalty saw TECH held up over the line. TECH continued to press but a knock on by Michael FOSTER allowed Sedgefield to kick clear. The home side were playing with confidence and their continued pressure was rewarded when after 15 minutes another penalty award saw LAWRENCE open the scoring.

Both sides were showing an inclination to attack but determined defence kept the score line the same until the 24th minute. On this occasion it was the visitors who were held up over the line. They were then awarded a penalty at the ruck which they kicked to tie the score at 3-3.

Both sides continued to take turns to press but there was no further score until the 35th minute when the visitors were awarded a kickable penalty when TECH were again penalised at a ruck. The successful kick took the score to 3-6 which is how it remained at half time.

The game continued to follow a similar pattern through the second period with neither side able to fashion a breakthrough until 15 minutes had elapsed when TECH gifted the visitors a try. After keeping their line intact TECH were awarded a 22 drop out. Instead of kicking it long they took a quick short tap which resulted in a tackle just outside the 22. When the ball emerged a visiting forward was on hand to pick up and cross for an unconverted try.

Undeterred by this reverse TECH went in search of a score of their own. With the forwards being well marshalled by acting skipper Andrew ROBSON they set up a number of driving mauls which saw them drive the much heavier visiting eight backwards on several occasions. The visitors though under pressure were determined not to concede and they managed to keep their line intact.

After 25 minutes TECH suffered another setback. A long kick deep into Sedgefield territory by Marcus LLOYD was well fielded by the defender who set off on a counter attack. The ball was switched wide allowing Sedgefield to break through the disorganised cover and score a converted try.

With referee, Mark WEST controlling the game in impressive style, both sides continued to attack whenever possible but good, resolute defence resulted in no further score as the game ended.

Despite the loss this was TECH’s best all round display for some time with every player involved turning in good, hard working performances. It was a pleasure to see all of the players totally committed to the cause and playing the game with a smile on their faces. Although every player deserved credit for their displays special mention should be made of Andrew ROBSON and also Anthony LAWRENCE who turned in his best display for some time.

Official West Hartlepool TDSOB (IP Logged)
21/02/2016 21:54
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