14/15 Wanderers. Horden II 36 - 50 Wanderers

Sat. 11th April 2015. Northern Wanderers vs Horden IICandy League 1 - away.

A bright, sunny afternoon at Horden with the usual strong wind blowing downhill towards the sea was the backdrop to an entertaining last league game for the Wanderers. With just 15 players on the pitch including Connor Chamberlain in a non-tackling role due to a shoulder injury and coach Alan Belford on the bench, Northern started the game playing up the slope into the wind with the intention of playing open, 15 man rugby. Within 3 minutes a fine kick and chase saw centre Dan Kerr almost score but an unkind bounce just before the line resulted in a knock on. Undeterred, Northern continued to press and from a 5 metre line out lock Finn Healy scored an unconverted try out wide. Horden then came back and from an attacking scrum in the 22 after Northern knocked on the re-start, their number 8 showed good pace to pick up and drive blind, passing on for the support player to touch down for a converted try on 9 minutes. Horden scored a converted try on 11 minutes when another kick was fumbled and the same result came from an attacking Horden scrum. Northern then scored an exceptional try on 20 minutes when back row Lawrence Annis managed to steal a Horden line out 10 metres from the line. Showing good pace he sped out of the 22 and passed on to his support players. Good hands moved the ball to the left wing where Connor Chamberlain showed his serious pace to race in for an unconverted try in the corner.Horden then kicked a penalty on 24 minutes after a Northern infringement but this was their last score of the half. Northern upped the tempo and from a scrum in the Horden 22 the ball was moved quickly to centre Harry Clark who swatted away a couple of defenders before touching down under the posts for a try converted by scrum half Tommy Williams on 30 minutes. Northern continued to press and on 37 minutes, from another good scrum, the ball was recycled and moved right to Harry Clark who again showed strength and power to beat the defenders and score his second try under the posts. The conversion by Tommy Williams was good. Half time score: Horden II 17 – Northern Wanderers 24.

Northern were soon on the score-sheet again when on 43 minutes from a good driving scrum the ball was moved blind to full back Dan Matthews who’s fine run was supported by Tommy Williams who took the inside pass to score then convert his own try. Northern managed another try on 57 minutes when wing Connor Chamberlain chased and claimed a kick in the Horden 22 then passed to the supporting Harry Clark who dotted down under the posts for his hat trick. The conversion was good by Tommy Williams after a short delay when the Horden centre lost it with the referee after he believed the Northern players were laughing at him (they were actually laughing at Connor Chamberlain for giving Harry Clark another try when Connor was tied on trys scored in the season with Harry). The referee deserves great credit for getting the Horden coach to replace the player instead of taking the easy option and red carding him. This delay unsettled Northern and fired up Horden who capitalised on some defensive uncertainty when from a 5 metre scrum their number 8 picked up and blasted over for a converted try on 63 minutes. Northern scored another fine try on 70 minutes when following a good break out of the Northern half the ball was taken on by back row Lawrence Annis who passed on to supporting fly half Spike Strang who touched down out wide. The conversion was made by Tommy Williams. Horden to their credit refused to lie down and scored an unconverted try on 72 minutes with a catch and drive from a 5 metre penalty line out. Horden scored a final try on 77 minutes when their outstanding number 8 drove through some poor Northern tackling to race in. Their fly half converted with a great kick into the wind. Northern came back and following a great turnover by hooker Lloyd Holmes, the ball was taken on by prop Duncan Arnold who gave a slick offload to the supporting Tommy Williams who scored an unconverted try on time. Final score: Horden II 36 – Northern Wanderers 50.

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