Westoe looking to build on season’s best performance

MISSING ... Matthew Mellish.
MISSING ... Matthew Mellish.

WESTOE chairman Dave Arundel was still buzzing after their win last weekend and is hoping that they can replicate the performance away to Cleckheaton.

The JML-sponsored side recorded a fantastic 41-12 victory over Rossendale last week but it was the manner of the performance that left the regulars at Wood Terrace purring with delight – and Arundel was no different.

He said: “It was the best performance of the season by a country mile. They came without their kit and seemed a bit unprepared but I also think they came thinking that had to turn up and win.

“But we managed to pin them in their own 22 for the first 10 minutes, got a penalty try and the lads just played out of their skin after that.

“They played to the patterns, defended really well and everybody had a good game, there were no weak links. It was a real pleasure to see.”

The coaching staff at Westoe had been asking for such a performance for a number of weeks but Arundel was at a loss as to why everything clicked for this game.

“Why, I don’t know,” he said. “They worked very hard on a new defensive structure during the week and that seemed to come to fruition.

“They didn’t commit themselves when they didn’t need to. Rossendale were a big side but we just kept knocking them down and the more people tackled the more confidence it gave everybody else and then we went on from there. We were putting them under so much pressure that we were forcing them into errors.”

As chairman Arundel also had another reason for being happy and that was the performances of those players who had come through the setup at Westoe.

He proudly said: “You had Luke Moffett and we had a lad called Ben Roberts on the wing, who is in the Marines, but he’s come right through our junior system and whenever he comes home he wants to play for Westoe.

“And he doesn’t care which team it is for he just wants to play for Westoe. He’s a good player but often he plays third team scrum-half because that’s the game going when he gets here.

“And I think the lads saw him knocking players over and thought, you know what, we can do that.”

And as for this weekend’s encounter Arundel just wants more of the same.

He said: “They’re unbeaten at home but it’s definitely a game we feel we can get something out of. We targeted two wins before Christmas and something out of the third. We’ve got one and hopefully this game will help kick us on.”

Sam Gaff and John Price are both unavailable but Westoe will have Tim Pickersgill and Jordan McKay back in contention after missing the last few games.

Scrum-half Matthew Mellish, who has been a key figure for the South Shields club in recent weeks, will be replaced by Christopher Judson in the side tomorrow.

Coach David Haswell said: “Mellish gave us some great go forward last weekend but again Juddy, Christoper Judson, is coming in and he’s also a very good and capable scrum-half and he’ll offer something a bit different.”

Kick off at Cleckheaton is at 3pm, slightly later than normal for this time of year but has been put back due to a celebration and will finish under the lights.

Twitter: @shieldsgazsport