Students teach Tyne
Published at 07:41, Wednesday, 20 March 2013
YET another narrow defeat left Tynedale nursing a burning sense of injustice on Saturday.
In the dying minute of a see-saw game, replacement fly half George Cullen let fly with a drop goal attempt which would have won the game.
However, it was charged down by Loughborough hooker Tom Crozier, who appeared at least a couple of yards offside.
It should have been a penalty right in front of the posts, on the 22 – but unbelievably, the referee blithely waved play on.
Moments later, the final whistle went, and for the ninth time this season, Tynedale had lost by five points or fewer.
It was their 14th defeat in the last 18 games, which has left them uncomfortably closer to the drop zone again.
In fairness, Loughborough fans would point out that the Tynedale pack had been given something of a torrid time by the students, spending more time in reverse than the Italian army.
It also stuck in the Tynedale craw that 14 of the students’ 19 points came from the boot of Andy Hall, who had a couple of seasons at Tynedale before going to university.
Tynedale led 15-3 at one stage, but gradually let it slip, and it was notable that once again, their scoring prowess dried up in the second half.
They managed just three points in the whole of the second period, following similar lean spells in the last half hour of their games at Coventry (5) and Macclesfield (3).
Tynedale welcomed back winger Peter Moralee, after a spell with the Raiders, but the spindle-shanked flier didn’t complete the 80 minutes, hobbling off with a leg injury midway through the second half after fielding a high ball.
The versatile Ben Frankland, who has spent much of the season in the centre, returned to his original position in the back row
Tynedale got off to their usual bad start, conceding a penalty in the first minute, which was coolly slotted over by Hall.
Tynedale struck back on seven minutes, when the students were penalised for failing to roll away from the tackle.
Fly half Matty Outson found a good touch, and Tynedale won the line-out, producing a boiling catch and drive which ended in a deserved try for hooker Dave Cherry.
The kick failed but Tynedale had their noses in front at 5-3.
Tynedale gained a numerical advantage on 25 minutes, when the students’ prop, Jack Collister, was yellow carded.
Outson slotted the simple penalty and Tynedale extended their lead to 8-3.
They were soon knocking on the door again, and got the ball over the line, but were unable to get it down.
This led to further pressure on the Students’ line from a five metre scrum, which ended with Frankland peeling off to touch down close to the sticks for Outson to make it 15-3 with 27 minutes gone.
Seven minutes later, Tynedale were penalised, for failing to roll away, and Hall kicked the penalty from the 22 to make it 15-6.
Tynedale had a penalty just before the interval, and there were some raised eyebrows when instead of kicking for position, or even having a crack at goal, the ball was tapped tamely in to touch so the players could go off.,
There was drama in the last scrum of the half when Tynedale loose head Alex Westgarth stayed down after a collapsed scrum, and required extensive treatment before being replaced by Andrew Harrison for the second half.
As is their wont, Tynedale conceded a penalty in the opening moments of the second half, but this time, Hall missed the tricky kick.
Soon after, Tynedale offended again, in a much more dangerous place, and this time, Hall nailed the three points to narrow the gap.
Things got worse for Tynedale when try scorer Frankland was yellow carded eight minutes in.
The kick was right in front of the posts, and hotshot Hall needed no encouragement to make it 15-12.
The Loughborough pack was now well on top, and when the Tynedale front row was forced to stand up at one scrum, they had no hesitation in having another penalty scrum rather than a kick at goal.
That one came to nothing because of an accidental offside, but it was only a matter of time.
The breakthrough came on 67 minutes, when the students’ pack flash-mobbed their way down the middle of the pitch, scattering defenders to allow hooker Tom Crozier to score and put the students ahead for the first time since the opening few minutes.
Hall added the extras to make it 19-15.
Matty Outson was replaced by George Cullen, and the young Irishman reduced the gap to a single point with a straightforward penalty with six minutes left.
With 79 minutes played on the clock, Cullen attempted his drop goal from 30 metres out, in the centre of the pitch, only to see the ball charged down by previously sin-binned, hooker, Crozier.
It seemed a penalty all the way, in a position where Cullen could have back-heeled the ball over – but all three officials missed the offence.
Loughborough chose Hamish Smales as Tynedale’s man of the match, but coach Tom Borthwick opted for unused replacement Dan Lowdon – on the grounds that he was probably the only player not to make any mistakes!
Published by http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk