14/15 1st XV. West Hartlepool 3 - 9 1st XV

1st XV won 9 - 3 away at West Hartlepool. Match report thanks again to Walter Ritchie

With an icy wind blowing up the pitch and wet and sticky conditions underfoot the game was never going to be a classic. Northern had the advantage in the first half and were rewarded with 3 excellent penalties by Donal Collins one of which was set up by a fine break by James Crowther. The pack, heavily outweighed by West, managed to heel the ball due excellent work by number 8 Ed Cawthorn on his welcome back from injury and he was ably supported by scrum half Owen Clemett. West did not help themselves by frequently being penalised although they did kick a penalty on the stroke of half time.

With the wind in their favour West dominated the restart and in a 15 minute spell were camped on the Northern line but tigerish and disciplined defence kept them out. Northern’s defence was compared to that of Stalingrad by coach, Dave Guthrie!! As the game progressed West became more desperate and took wrong decisions which allowed Northern to hold out comfortably and secure the 4 points.

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