South Shields Westoe face Hartlepool test

Dom Connolly

Dom Connolly

Durham Northumberland 1 league action is back at Wood Terrace tomorrow, where South Shields Westoe entertain Hartlepool RFC.

Westoe will look to put last week’s Durham County Senior Cup defeat to Billingham RFC behind them when they were forced to field an inexperienced side due to a number of regular first team players being unavailable.

The 47-7 defeat didn’t reflect the match were Billingham had scored most of their points in the first half.

The second half was a different affair with Westoe picking themselves up and taking the game to the visitors.

Although, the match was overshadowed by two season-ending injuries to Dom Howe and Graeme Smith.

Westoe will be hoping to add to their last league match where they beat league leaders Northern 38-28.

The win followed victories over Gosforth and Horden & Peterlee, which sent a notice of intent to the rest of the teams in the league.

Hartlepool themselves also come into the game with a five-match winning streak.

Both teams are only separated by three points in the league with Hartlepool in fifth place on 21, only a solitary point behind the league leaders.

There is only four points separating Westoe, in eighth, from Northern at the summit, so the top half of DN1 is evenly matched with games being won or lost by only a few points.

The moral in the team is high and the likes of Joe McKenzie and Dom Connolly are starting to flourish and produce the types of performances that the coaching staff are looking for.

Also, young Jake Arnold is starting to mature into his pivotal role of fly half with some mature displays.

It is also testament to the fact that there is plenty of local talent about the borough, that most have come through the club’s very successful junior academy.