Bolstered Tynedale pick up vital win
Last updated at 14:34, Monday, 06 January 2014
IT was a day for the comeback kids as the new year brought new hope for the long suffering Tynedale faithful.
Ten points away from safety, Tynedale needed five points to start the great fightback - and they got them thanks to some old friends.
Back in the fray was skipper Jack Harrison, returning after three months out with an arm injury and also back was winger Hamish Smales, also out for three months with a broken jaw.
Missing for even longer was Matthew Fieldhouse, but he returned to the back row, and their strength and experience showed what Tynedale had been missing for so long
Both Smales and Fieldhouse celebrated their return with tries in fine individual performances.
Gone was the shambolic showing at Blaydon as Tynedale bossed the game in all departments, and but for some woeful linout work, Tynedale could have been outof sight before half time.
Hero of the day was prop Matty Shields, whose services of loan from Plymouth Albion were secured by former Albanians director of rugby James Shanahan. Matt Fieldhouse He scored two fine tries - not mere flop overs from forward drives, but both lung-bursting runs from halfway
And there was also a peerless performance from enigmatic fly half Gavin Beasley, who landed six out of seven kicks at goal.
Albanians took an early lead with a Lawrence Rayner penalty before Shields romped in for his first try on seven minutes,. Gavin Beasley converted.
Beasley and Rayner exchanged penalties before Shields sprinted in for his second on the half hour, before Smales scorched in for his try two minutes later.
Beasley converted both to make it 24-6 at the break. after which the game became scrappy, until Fieldhouse rounded off good work by the Tynedale forwards for the bonus point try on the hour, Beasley again converting.
Albanians grabbed a consolation try through lock Marc Itoje, converted by Rayner, before Beasley wrapped things up with his sixth successful kick.
The win means Tynedale are now only six points away from safety
First published at 14:29, Monday, 06 January 2014
Published by http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk