Newton Aycliffe 55, West Hartleool TDSOB 0
What a great weekend for Newton Aycliffe’s rugby club, who had two full teams playing home games on the same Saturday.
The club now has full use of the rugby facilities at Greenfield Community College, a massive boost for rugby in Newton Aycliffe.
Last weekend’s home game saw 1st XV entertain West Hartlepool Technical Day School Old Boys (to give them their full title) at Moore Lane.
A cold and bitterly strong wind blew for the full game and the playing surface was heavy underfoot. Another large home crowd attended hoping for the First XV to put on a display of attacking rugby and for the boys to continue their unbeaten run in the league.
The crowd were not too disappointed with the first half performance, Aycliffe took charge of the game from the kick off and within minutes took the lead through an Adam Gascoigne try Centre James Thacker crossed the line twice in a short period of time.
More tries followed first by Matty Wiper wing forward turned winger and then captain and number 8 Andrew Littlefair. Luke Tinkler who took over the kicking duties from the Welsh wizard James Cocks at the request of both players and spectators alike converted three out of the five conversions on offer.
Five tries appear to show that Aycliffe were playing a fluent form of rugby but to be fair the lads butchered at least four clear chances through a combination of bad passes, poor catching, mistimed runs and strange decision making.
This does sound a bit harsh but when chances occur the players have to finish with precision. All in all though the first half was totally dominated by a really strong Aycliffe side.
In defence NARUFC are really hitting big and hard so much so that TDSOB felt the need to kick away most of their possession as breaking through Aycliffe’s defence line was never going to happen. Aycliffe’s small and relatively mobile front row consisting of Mark Affleck, Jamie Whelan and Ryan Milford who were much lighter than their opponents held their own and won several balls against the head.
The First’s scrummage looked really solid and many great first phase opportunities arose from this new found strength. Lineouts as usual created plenty of good ball to run at the TDSOB back line.
Rucks and Mauls all worked well, Aycliffe’s ability to judge how many players to commit to each individual situation improving week by week these difficult departments have seen massive improvement as the season goes on.
Half time score 31 – 0
The second half was very much the same as the first. Niall Kelly and Neil Morgan in the second row, where again very dominant in the rucks and mauls and covered all of ground working tirelessly. Veterans John Whitehouse and Warren Parsonage both gave a whole hearted performance in both attack and defence despite their combined ages reaching the nineties.
Adam Gascoigne scored soon after the kick off Dom Ridley followed up a try soon after, Adam then went on to complete his hat trick of tries.
Wing forward Shaun Tomlinson scored the ninth try of the game and his first for the club, Luke Tinkler kicked two out of the four second half conversions. The two veterans were replaced by Paul O’Donnell and Ben Walton who both got to grips with the game quickly and continued with the high work rate of the team.
Final score 55 – 0
Not the best game Aycliffe will play this season. . TDSOB were as game as badgers and fought from the first to the final whistle. NARUFC 1st have come a long way this season what they practice in training is starting to reap rewards on the field, the coaches by nature are never satisfied with any performance always looking on how best to improve the team play.
The season game wise is just over half way completed and if the final part of the season is to be as successful as the former more hard work and dedication is required.
As a Rugby Club, Aycliffe most never be content the players both collectively and as a team should always be striving for bigger and better things.
This week the firsts are again home hosting bottom of the league side Jarrovians kick off 2.15pm