South Shields Westoe net fine cup victory to tee-up intriguing tie
South Shields Westoe secured a fine 45-17 victory over Yorkshire side, Old Rishworthians, in their National Intermediate cup-tie on Saturday.
Westoe started lively, putting in a strong defensive shift against some early pressure from Old Rish.
West attacked the scrum, won against the head and playing with the penalty advantage, Sam Seymour set up breaks from Luke Moffett, Sam Hughes and Joe McKenzie; eventually finding Hamish White in support to cross for the first converted score after only four minutes.
Rish started to find space in the wide channels where winger, Cockcroft stepped the defender to sprint to the corner and touch down.
In a fast paced game, Westoe hit hard around the edges, with John Younghusband and Andy Kirton gaining ground, followed by Jamie Preston and Mikel Tate coming close to the score.
Seymour fed Moffett with quick ball, who broke through the Rish defence, offloading to Joe McKenzie to finish the job (converted).
Gaining a penalty, Westoe kicked long and the line-out was thrown to the back, with Sam Gaff breaking free and finding Kirton on the support run to score with ten to play in the half.
The last play of the half came from a long Gaff pass to Jamie Preston and on to Joe McKenzie, who cut back inside to touch down under the posts (converted).
Now playing down the slope and needing to score next for any realistic comeback, Rish upped the tempo and launched early attacks at Westoe.
With an injury to Ryan Lamb, they must have hoped their scrummage rewards would improve, however, were met with Haydn Richards, who caused no end of problems to his opposite number.
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Minutes in and Westoe’s scrum shunted their opponents back, Seymour fed Derek Worthington, who crashed through the defence finding Gaff in support to touch down and potentially seal the result with 25 minutes to play (converted).
With Westoe again penetrating deep with a series of drives, Rish dislodged the ball and centre Kelly spotted the space, kicking long for Wright to collect and give a glimmer of hope to the visitors.
Westoe struck immediately with a Richard’s steal and drives from Sam Hughes and Raymie Elliott, passing the ball wide to Luke Moffett to sneak into the corner.
Rish were rewarded with a consolation score when a dropped Westoe pass was pounced on by flanker, Pollard who had the pace to go all the way to the line (converted).
The visitors took the restart and attacked from deep; however Moffett read the play well and intercepted the ball to end the match, converting his own score for a 45-17 victory.
This was a solid effort from the home side, showing some brutal defensive skills and varying the point of attack throughout.
The win sets up an intriguing encounter with local rivals Novocastrians in two weeks, the winners progressing to the next round of the Intermediate National Cup.
Next week it is back to the league against old friends Gateshead.