WEst Hartlepool can smile again after Stags beat Hartlepool in Pyman Cup

HAPPY CAPTAIN: West Stags skipper Martin Todd

HAPPY CAPTAIN: West Stags skipper Martin Todd

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WEST Hartlepool finally have something to smile about after the Stags retained the Pyman Cup with a 33-7 victory over Hartlepool.

The West second string had too much youthful endeavour for a hard working Hartlepool side.

Their committed display kept the large crowd entertained despite the Brinkburn side effectively winning the game in the first half hour.

Such has been West’s first-team problems this season they were able to field a 17-year old and an 18-year-old last night who have benefitted from playing games in National Three North.

Sam Miller and Nathan Myers were the pick of the forwards on show, but it was two “old stagers” who showed them how to cross the try line.

Andrew Foreman, still recovering from a knee injury earlier in the season, scored from a trademark tap and go penalty after 10 minutes, with Hartlepool seemingly unaware of the danger he posed.

Veteran hooker Andrew Dixon also scored a rare try in the first half bulldozing his way over from five metres.

In between, second row Andy Robson had also proved unstoppable from 15 metres.

Together with two penalties and a conversion it gave West a 20-0 lead at half time.

Hartlepool had their best spell at the beginning of the second half and lots of pressure in the West 22 finally saw prop Andrew Cummings diving over on the hour mark. Patrick Wilson succeeded with the conversion from close to the touchline.

West soaked up the pressure and fought their way back with two penalties from Luke Mallinson before stand-off Gav Robinson, playing only his fourth game of the season, scored under the posts after a mazy run from 15 metres out.

The Pyman Cup was presented by Durham County RFU president Alan Thompson who was enjoying his first taste of the competition.

He said: “I’d heard all about the Pyman Cup and the Pyman Shield and how competitive all the games are, and that was certainly the case.

“The score doesn’t reflect the fact that both sides gave it everything for the full 80 minutes and it was a very competitive game throughout.

“Hartlepool is very lucky to have these historic competitions which can still attract lots of spectators and which are obviously so important to the clubs and the players.”