Vintage rugby sees Westoe keep season alive

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South Shields Westoe achieved a fantastic win on Saturday after beating Beverley RFC 26-0.

The Benfield Motors-sponsored Shieldsmen were victorious in a cracker of match, as the Wood Terrace faithful were treated to some vintage rugby in what were poor and cold conditions.

From the kick off, Beverley were immediately put under pressure from an eager Westoe defence in which the first 20 minutes were dominated by a forwards arm wrestle, with Westoe coming out on top.

Undeterred, Beverley made some good inroads into the Westoe half and yet were unrewarded as the Westoe defence stood firm before the home side scored a well-taken try through Micky Potts, the conversion being kicked by Luke Moffett.

The game continued at a ferocious pace in very windy conditions, both sides running as much ball as they could, which resulted in numerous hotly-contested scrums of which Westoe dominated in the front row through the experienced Alex Reay, Grant Walker and Raymie Elliot, to the enjoyment of a very vocal home crowd.

This experience, blended together with new player Gareth Roberts and the team’s younger players, helped the side to fire on all cylinders for only the fourth time this season.

One further try was scored by another forward drive, the ball being smuggled to the back of the maul and being taken by No 8 Ramsay. Moffet unfortunately was unable to convert the conversion but Westoe led 12-0 at half time.

The second half started with a bang with some fantastic rugby being played by both sides yet with both defences neutralising each other, resulting in a tactical stalemate for long periods of time.

The Westoe pack still remaining in control at scrum set pieces and this put the opposition on the back foot which made it easier and allowed sthe backs to run some great angles and moves of which may have been converted into points, had it not been for some quality defence from the visitors.

The Westoe forward pack continued with driving mauls which resulted in Beverley clearly collapsing the maul right in the red zone which offered the referee no choice but to award a penalty try under the posts to make it 19-0.

The game continued at a great pace with Westoe forwards pressing deep into the opposition half which was almost a carbon copy try of the previous score – with the referee awarding another penalty try.

Westoe chairman Ian Etchells said: “This season remains in the balance. If we continue to win most of the remainder of our games it will make things extremely interesting in terms of surviving relegation this season.

“The lads showed that they can now win tight games and make the correct tactical decisions in order to close out games.

“We have signed a few new, experienced players who are now helping the younger players with some much needed leadership on the pitch and we are now clicking in terms of being a good team.”