Students teach Westoe a lesson

ON THE MOVE ... Westoe's Ollie Steadman goes on the attack.
ON THE MOVE ... Westoe's Ollie Steadman goes on the attack.

A FIRST-HALF blitz spelt heavy defeat for Westoe when they travelled to runaway league leaders Loughborough Students.

A hat-trick of tries from full-back Craig Holland helped condemn Westoe to a 34-5 loss down in Leicestershire.

Further tries from fly-half Andy Hall and scrum-half Russell Weir completed a first half rout.

The only time the Shieldsmen troubled the scorers was when centre James Clark went over to give them a consolation and made it 31-5 at the interval.

The South Tynesiders did rally in the second half to cause the Students problems, but a penalty from Holland completed the scoring.

The result gives Loughborough a 17-point lead at the top of National League 2 North, with Westoe slipping to fifth.

The Shieldsmen now have a week off before their next game against Caldy on March 24.

Westoe Captain Gareth Nesbit felt his side gave away too many cheap points against their formidable opponents.

He said: “Loughborough absolutely deserved to win today. We made too many errors and gave the ball away very easily.

“We worked very hard defensively, but every time we got near their 22 it was back within our own in what seemed like no time at all.

“They have some very good players and you simply can’t give them the chances we gave them today.

“We showed a great amount of desire in the second half to restrict them to getting only the three points.

“But in all honesty, we had expended too much energy in the first half to make a difference.

“We were desperately searching for the bonus point, whether that would have been in terms of getting within seven points, but more than likely via getting four tries, but it never materialised.

Nesbit’s team were once again depleted through injuries and illness and felt it may have been a different story had they had their full quota.

He continued: “We had a lot of key players missing from the squad today.

“Players who you could definitely say would make a difference to the look of our side, like Bedders (Mark Bedworth), Juddy (Chris Judson) and (Richie) Thirkell to name some of them, were missing.

“But I still want to give the players who have came in and took their place a lot of credit as it would have been tough coming here no matter who we had available to us.

“We hustled them very well in the second half and gave them no time on the ball which really fragmented their play.

“Put that in comparison to the first half, when we gave them far too much time and the ball and they simply cut us up – scoring 31 points in the process.”