south Shields collapse to hand victory to North Shields

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Sorry South Shields suffered an agonising 22-17 defeat at home to North Shields on Saturday.

The Hedworth Hall sponsored side rushed into a 10-0 lead in the first 10 minutes, with tries from Alex Welland and James Pocklington.

However, the lead so early seemed to change Shields’ play as they took the foot off the gas, allowing North to come back into the game.

North Shields added a penalty midway through the first half and that was the last score of a frantic half.

South never got going in the second half. They were being dominated in the scrum and this allowed North to get a grip of the game and take control.

The away side added a score when the South players seemed to switch off as Matt Bengston was down with a head injury, but the match official failed to stop the game.

South Shields were under intense pressure at the scrum for the majority of the second half, and North took full advantage of this scoring from the back of a scrum after a number of penalties in which North kept opting for the scrum.

It seemed as if South Shields were imploding and North added another try rushing into a 22-10 lead.

Mark Walker added a score for Shields after a quick tap from a penalty caught the North players off guard. Gary Bates added the conversion.

South were on the attack with their tails up with North under pressure and looking nervous.

However, a knock on in front of the posts followed by the referee’s whistle saw the away side taking the points.

Stuart Robson was bitterly disappointed at the full time whistle. He said, “This was a game we felt we should have won.

“We started well and had North Shields exactly where we wanted them, however, the lads just stopped playing.

“We were schooled in the scrum, something that has never happened to us as this is usually a strong side of our game.

“That’s something we need to work on this week.

“Our handling as a team was awful and it needs to be better. These things are key in success and we need to be better.

“I feel it’s one of those games we need to look at, sit down as a group and work out what we need to do to improve.”

Shields now have a free weekend next week followed by a tough game at Bishop Auckland on January 28.

South Shields Mariners’ game at Westoe was abandoned with 15 minutes remaining as debutant Adam Whitfield was seriously injured.

The big ball carrier was taken to hospital and it was established that he had broken his tibia.