Penrith 13 West 13

By Dave Picken - October 30 2016
Penrith 13 West 13 A much changed side had to dig deep to maintain our unbeaten record at third placed Penrith. The hosts had injury problems of their own - notably to their half backs - while we had a host of key players missing including skipper Dan Boatman, flanker Lee Maddison and top try scorer Liam Checksfield.

But after a rocky second quarter we got our act together in the second half - and looked the most likely to win the game. 

We had started well forcing Penrith back on their line from the kick off. Full back Zac Southern was unlucky when a kick through just went into touch at the corner flag as he chased it down - then Sam Miller was held up over the line as the pack pressed their  advantage. 

Penrith were forced to concede several penalties with Gav Painter finally slotting a kick from wide on the left – only the third penalty we have scored in the opening eight games. 

However, the home side used the restart to finally mount some pressure of their own, and their work rate at the breakdown had West backpedaling. They drew level when Michael Hogan was judged to have made a high tackle with fly half Matt Allinson converting from 40 metres. 

The home fly half had an easier kick just two minutes later after right winger James McNaughton collected a kick just outside his own 22. He promptly set off on a run, which left a series of despairing West tacklers in his wake, and was only caught just short or our posts. However, centre James Boustead was in support to touch down and to give his side a 10-3 lead.

That was stretched to ten points on the half hour when Gavin Painter was caught offside on his own 22. 

At that stage we were looking very likely to suffer our first defeat with a series of ineffectual clearance kicks allowing Penrith to counter attack. Fortunately, that all changed after the break thanks to the West set-piece which had been effective all afternoon, and we were to go on to have the lion's share of possession. 

First we had to withstand a series of Penrith attacks, which were relieved when referee Tom Hurdley sinbinned home scrum half Ed Swale who had been involved in a tussle with opposite number Ryan Painter. 

We seized the initiative with winger Joe Willis - returning from a long lay-off – making progress up the wing. As he cut inside the home defence was penalised on their own 22 for not releasing, however Painter's trusty right foot deserted him with the kick floating across the face of the posts. 

The forwards continued to batter away in the home 22, and with Referee Hurdley indicating a penalty Gav took the opportunity of the free go to land a drop goal  to put his side just one score behind.

That margin was finally neutralized with ten minutes to go. Pressure on the right saw quick ball moved left where lively 17 year old debutant Adam Brown fed Zac Southern with the full back drawing the cover to send Will Hilditch in at the corner. The winger had the presence of mind to evade two tacklers in the in-goal area as he ensured an easy conversion by touching down under the posts. 

Penrith were visibly tiring, and there was one last attempt at a winner when the home pack were driven back at a rate of knots into their own 22 where they were penalised. The kick was ten metres in from the left touchline with Gav's attempt just wide - much to the relief of the home crowd. 

There was time for Penrith to mount a rare second half attack, but we were able to hold out without too much trouble.

Penrith: J Wills, J McNaughton, P Armstrong, J Boustead, B Littleton, M Allinson, E Swale, A Sullivan, D Morgan, W Morgan, h Corrie, C Rowlandson, M Stephens, D Richardson, L Tunstall. 
Reps (all used):R Banks, T Broadhead, C Poulson. 
Tries: Boustead 
Cons Allinson 
Pens Allinson (2) 
Yellow: Swale. 

West: Z Southern, J Willis, P Youll, G Edwards, W Hilditch, G Painter, R Painter (captain), R Wood, A Rollins, M Hogan, J Corbett, J Rafferty, A Barker, J Bunter, S Miller. 
Reps (all used): A Coates, L Mallinson, A Brown. 
Tries: Hilditch 
Cons: G. Painter, 
Pens: G.Painter 
Drop goal: G. Painter. 
Referee T Hurdley (Northumberland)

Penrith 13 West 13
Official West Hartlepool RFC (IP Logged)
30/10/2016 11:31
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Re: Penrith 13 West 13
Denny Dixon (IP Logged)
30/10/2016 11:59
Sounds as if we could have won and maybe should of. However would have taken 2points before the game perhaps!! Alnwick only gained two points on us so all in all not a bad day.

Re: Penrith 13 West 13
LesterP (IP Logged)
30/10/2016 12:27
Great result away from home, never an easy place to play at - well done lads.

Good result for Stags too in what was a very exciting game to watch.

All looking good and Fortress Brinkburn is starting to look pretty impregnable just like Brierton Lane once was.

Fantastic stuff !

Re: Penrith 13 West 13
Parental Unit (IP Logged)
31/10/2016 10:15
Special well done to the lads who came in and helped to get a really good result.
Thought the Stags would struggle with so many away with the Firsts but they also did really well

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