1st XV won 36 – 31 away to South Shields Westoe. Match report thanks to Walter Ritchie:
For the second week running Northern succeeded in winning an extremely tight game against doughty opponents. Playing down the slope Northern soon went ahead with a try after a quick penalty tap and controlled drive by Tom (Chalky) White converted by Donal Collins. For ten minutes or so Westoe controlled the game and scored 2 tries which critically were not converted! Northern's line out, with Laurence Annis in great form, proved a constant source of ball supply and the backs created space which first allowed Harrison Clark to score a try followed by a cheeky try from Donal (Cipriani) Collins who chipped over the Westoe fullback and put Northern ahead 21-10 at half time.
Now playing up the slope Northern stunned Westoe by going further ahead when Chris Malley scored in the corner. A penalty by Collins increased the lead but Westoe interchanged their very well built props with 2 other very well built props and were able to put Northern under severe pressure, especially in the tight and it was no surprise when they scored a converted try. However in their eagerness to dominate Westoe gave away penalties and from a long clearance by Collins, Shane Wright (sadly playing his final game for the club) followed up and stunned the Westoe defence by launching himself over the line to touch down. From the touch line Collins converted to give Northern a 17 – 36 lead with just 12 minutes left. Westoe replied immediately with a converted try and in the final minute of the game, Westoe's undoubted scrum advantage resulted in them being awarded a penalty try which reduced the deficit to 5 points. Northern were determined that the excellent performance would not be wasted, tackled and tackled, and turned the ball over and cleared their lines with the 5 point win in the bag.
We now have a week off before we resume hostilities against our old friends from Novocastrians so come and support the boys after 2 very hard games in County Durham.
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