Relegation rivals profit from Tynedale’s defeat
Published at 07:36, Wednesday, 19 March 2014
TYNEDALE returned from Rosslyn Park on Saturday with praise ringing in their ears.
They were described as one of the best sides seen at Priory Lane all season, and no-one could believe they were involved in a relegation dogfight.
However, the plaudits were all they returned with, as they were well beaten by the league’s second-placed side.
And with their relegation rivals all winning, the fight for survival is very much back on.
Tynedale fielded one of their strongest sides of the season for their trip to London, the cherry on the cake being the return of skipper Jack Harrison.
His broken arm finally seems to have knitted together, after many months of frustration, and he reported no ill effects afterwards.
Winger Hamish Smales also returned after missing the win over Esher, and in the absence of hooker Stephen Ridley, Newcastle eyass George McGuigan proved a more than able replacement.
The extraordinary season of Ben Frankland continued, as he took his tally of tries for the season to 15.
And for once, he didn’t need the assistance of the pack, as he pulled off a neat interception, and galloped in to grab Tynedale’s only try.
There was a good performance too from winger Sep Visser, who was named man of the match despite the fact he was responsible for Tynedale conceding a penalty try.
He was pushed close for the honour by flanker Harrison Collins, who had another excellent game.
It wasn’t all good for Tynedale though, as at one time they had two men in the sin bin against one of the strongest packs in the league.
The game was played in warm spring sunshine under a cloudless sky, with only the slightest zephyr to set the daffodils nodding.
And there were some familiar faces in the Rosslyn Park side, with ex-Tynedale men Richard Boyle and Sam Shires in the starting XV, and winger Peter Cole on the bench.
It had been expected that the abrasive Ollie Steadman would start for Rosslyn Park, but perhaps fortuitously, he was not available.
It was Rosslyn Park who drew first blood, when Tynedale were penalised for not rolling away from a tackle on five minutes, and fly half Scott Sneddon landed the penalty.
Like neighbours Esher the previous week, Rosslyn Park like to run the ball from all parts of the field.
They tried to run the drop out back at Tynedale from within their own 22, and paid the penalty when Frankland plucked the ball out of the air like a man harvesting apples.
Rosslyn Park doubled back to put the prolific centre under pressure, but he was content to touch down wide out to put Tynedale in front.
Fly half Gavin Beasley’s conversion attempt was a horrible miskick, but Tynedale had the lead at 5-3.
Tynedale’s success this year has been based on the astonishing power of the pack, and Rosslyn Park’s forwards have a similar reputation.
Something had to give, and when the two packs first locked horns, it was Rosslyn Park who found themselves struggling.
They were forced into an infringement on 15 minutes and Beasley slotted the penalty from in front of the posts.
The hosts came back strongly though, and Tynedale conceded two penalties in quick succession on 24 and 26 minutes, both of which were landed by Sneddon to put Park 9-8 up.
Park were starting to look threatening, and one forward drive was halted illegally by Collins, who was shown a yellow card for his troubles.
The 29th minute penalty was kicked to touch, but the line-out came to nothing.
Four minutes later, another Park attack was thwarted feloniously, and full back Craig Willis joined Collins on the naughty step.
The respect the Tynedale forwards had earned was reflected by the fact even though they down to 13 men, Park chose to kick the penalty rather than going for a try, Sneddon’s fourth penalty giving them a 12-8 interval lead.
Tynedale came out fighting at the start of the second half, and reduced the arrears five minutes in when Park were offside and Beasley bisected the posts to make it 12-11.
Things could have gone even better when Tynedale forged their way over the line, but the returning Willis knocked on in the act of grounding the ball.
Obviously impressed by the feat, Park lock Will Bowley did exactly the same moments later after being put in the clear by winger David Vincent.
Things turned Park’s way when Tynedale’s influential Kiwi flanker Dan Temm had to go off injured, and was replaced by Stuart Johnson.
Tynedale lost the next scrum against the head, and the ball was quickly worked to Vincent, who sliced through the defence to score under the posts for Sneddon to convert for 19-11.
Tynedale refused to lie down, and a promising attack was stopped by a high tackle on Beasley.
The fly half took the penalty himself, but was unable to convert.
Play swung back to the other end, where Vincent was bundled into touch by a last-ditch tackle by Visser with a yard of the line.
Alas for Tynedale, the Dutchman’s tackle was made without the use of his arms, and was therefore deemed an illegal barge.
A penalty try was therefore awarded, and Sneddon landed the simple conversion to make it 26-11.
Dogged Tynedale again came back – and it was their turn to concede an interception try.
The ball was snatched up on the edge of the home 22, and Broughton sprinted clear to score close to the posts.
However, the conversion was missed in Park’s haste to go for the four try bonus point.
However, they had to be content with four points as Tynedale held out.
Published by http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk