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Saturday, 30 May 2015

Red card makes it easy for Shields

PRUDHOE & Stocksfield’s brave battle against an in-form North Shields ended when they were reduced to 14 men.

While trailing by 17 points but still very much in the game, Scott Urwin was deemed to have stamped on an opponent and his red card effectively spelt game over for the away side.

With a patched up side due to injury, the dismissal meant there was no hope for a Prudhoe side who had won their previous three games as they crashed to a demoralising 43-3 defeat.

North Shields were shouted on by a significant, and partisan, crowd who expected their side to dominate the set scrums.

However, Urwin held his own despite being dwarfed in size by his opposite number and it was he who was dominant in the very early scrums.

While Prudhoe were on top in the early set pieces, Matt Bewick was unlucky to be penalised in the 12th minute – especially as the penalty attempt struck the upright but bounced over to give the home side the lead.

The lead lasted just two minutes though as Prudhoe levelled the score with a penalty of their own, Rhys Dunn sending over the successful kick.

Shields came roaring back and scrambled the ball down to the five-metre mark wide out on the left wing.

From the maul, the home winger wiggled and jinked his way over for the first try of the game.

The game was very even for the next 20 minutes with neither side able to break through, Prudhoe’s Justin Nicholas a man in form when it came to tackling.

But Prudhoe fell further behind moments before the end of the first half, a running wing forward coming in from 10 metres to crash over the second try of the day.

They took a 20-3 advantage into the break with a well struck penalty.

Again, the teams were fairly matched as they re-entered the field of play although Shields put the pressure on by forcing Prudhoe into conceding three penalties in quick succession.

Then came the game’s turning point when the shrill of the referee’s whistle sounded and the red card was brandished, Urwin said to have inappropriately used his boot on an opponent.

The extra man allowed North Shields to dominate and their stand off half was able to show a full range of talents, kicking well with both feet and driving the home side forward.

Prudhoe may have been able to cope with 15 men but were powerless to prevent North running in a further four tries as they grew weary.

The defeat will be a hard one for Prudhoe to take and they will be concerned about the unavailability of so many players for the upcoming games.

They hope to cope better with the reduced ranks when they host Ashington at Stocksfield tomorrow, with a 2.15pm kick off.