Gateshead Storm 14-26 Woolston Rovers

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8th May 2017

Woolston Rovers produced a workmanlike performance to come away from the North East with a victory over Gateshead Storm in the Kingstone Press National Conference League Division Three on Saturday afternoon.

Rovers were looking to get some momentum going as it has been an indifferent start to the campaign and they managed to control the game for the most part to ensure that the long journey home was a good one with the two league points in the bag to move into the top six for the first time this season.

The opening quarter was scoreless with both sides' defence refusing to buckle but then Gateshead had substitute Ieuan Bodman sin binned for a high tackle and from the resulting penalty Rovers got the ball out to second row Cameron Davies and he put centre Lewis Hoarty over at the side of the posts and then nine minutes later a short ball from scrum half Conner Muir found substitute Henry Davies who forced his way over on the left. Full back Chris Twigg added the conversion.

Three minutes before the break a pass from Rovers stand off Will Chadwick found hooker Ryan Brown and he had Muir in support to score at the left of the posts. Twigg converted to make the half time score 16-0 to Rovers.

Rovers moved further ahead three minutes into the second half when a long looping ball out from Chadwick found centre Justin Becker who weaved in an out of the Storm defence to score under the posts. Twigg converted but then the home side got off the mark thirteen minutes later when centre Chris Parker Jnr broke through some weak tackling to score under the posts and he also added the conversion himself.

On the hour Gateshead scored again when centre Thomas Skidmore went over in the right corner and then seven minutes before time they gave themselves a glimmer of an unlikely comeback when Parker Jnr found full back James Pocklington who scored in the left corner.

Rovers refused to panic and they completed the scoring right on the final whistle when Brown found substitute Aaron Barber who managed to keep the ball alive by passing through his legs to C Davies and he put substitute Lewis Thorpe over in the right corner for a debut try to seal a hard fought 26-14 success.

The Man of the Match was awarded to Rovers loose forward Dan Fearnley. He was very well supported by prop forward Ryan Hickman, hooker Ryan Brown and second row Sean Conway.

After the game Rovers Head Coach John Fieldhouse said, “We controlled the game for the opening fifty minutes and built up a very commanding lead but then for twenty minutes we let Gateshead build up a bit of momentum and that allowed them to get some points on the board; we only had the ball for six sets in that time so we were doing plenty of defending. We didn’t feel at any stage we were in danger as our forwards really rose to the challenge and helped us to keep out of reach. Due to work and holidays we had five players missing from our last game and travelled with just sixteen but we showed tremendous character and team spirit to get the job done. I was really pleased for new signing Lewis Thorpe who came off the bench and got our final try; it was a just reward for a promising debut.

ROVERS

Chris Twigg, Alex Dunne, Justin Becker, Lewis Hoarty, Christian Taylor, Will Chadwick, Conner Muir, Jack Sherratt, Ryan Brown, Ryan Hickman, Callum Davies, Sean Conway, Dan Fearnley.

Subs: Aaron Barber, Henry Davies, Lewis Thorpe.

Gateshead Storm 14-26 Woolston Rovers ncl.rladmin.co.uk