Horden & Peterlee celebrated the official opening of their Eden Lane home by beating Hartlepool & District 47-31.
The Colliery side, who had already won two Durham Northumberland One matches at the former ground of Peterlee Newtown FC, were happy with their day’s work in front of a good crowd.
We’d like to thank those who helped to organise the squad – it was a really good way to formally open the club.
Horden ran in seven tries through Ben Crake (2), Paul Armstrong, Ritchie Thirkell, Craig Gilmour, Cameron Stables and Steven Heckles.
Gilmour, a top class forward, at both Horden and West Hartlepool and now player-coach at his home club, demonstrated his versatility by having a long stint on Saturday at stand-off – performing well into the bargain.
Crake and Gilmour shared the conversions for H&P.
Hartlepool & District struggled to turn out a full squad, with Horden players filling in the gaps and in the case of David Mason, highly effectively, as the three-quarter ran in two tries against his own club.
Former Horden scrum-half, Taz Pelser, enjoyed his return by also scoring a brace.
The Rovers number nine was the star of the show for Hartlepool. Playing at 10, the South African was always a threat with ball in hand.
Horden head coach Glenn Bowman said that while the occasion was largely ceremonial, the match was of benefit to his players going into the resumption of the league programme.
“It was an entertaining game,” said Bowman. “I spoke to a few of the spectators and they enjoyed it.
“The Hartlepool lads were a little short on numbers so we helped them out.
“Despite just coming together on the day they stuck together all the way through and pushed us right to the end.
“We’d like to thank those who helped to organise the squad – it was a really good way to formally open the club.
“From our point of view it was good to give some lads a taste of first-team rugby – Ben Crake had another game at centre and Danny Groves showed well on debut at loosehead.
“We were short of options at 10 so Gilly played there for 40 minutes and looked comfortable there – he’s always said that’s his best position!
“It was good to see a couple of ex-Horden lads at the new place, Taz Pelser and Brian Foreman, and both had good games for the District.
“It was a good day for Horden & Peterlee with a nice turn out of members, ex-players, sponsors and council people.”