West Hartlepool RFU travel to Dinnington

(left to right) Kevan Oliphant, Iain Dixon, Johhy Boatman and Tim Sawyer. Picture by FRANK REID
(left to right) Kevan Oliphant, Iain Dixon, Johhy Boatman and Tim Sawyer. Picture by FRANK REID

WEST Hartlepool look to complete a quickfire South Yorkshire double when they break new ground with a journey to Dinnington.

Iain Dixon and Peter Robinson’s side launched their North One East programme last Saturday in dramatic fashion with an injury-time 22-20 win over Sheffield.

After a superb first-half display, West appeared to be heading for a comfortable victory after leading 19-5 at the break only to throw it away with Sheffield going in front for the first time with just a minute to go.

But Stuart Waites put over a majestic kick to give West a slightly fortuitous but deserved two-point victory.

Dinnington also began their campaign with 22 points - beating Bradford & Bingley 22-13 on their North One East debut.

The new boys have home advantage again tomorrow when West visit Lodge Lane (kick-off 3pm).

And while the leap from Yorkshire One to North One East is quite a distance, Dixon believes Dinnington will still be on a high from their promotion triumph.

“It’s going to be one of our longest away games of the season and there is always the unknown factor of the new team,” he said.

“Sometimes you find teams need time to find their feet but more often clubs are pretty buoyant from their success the previous.

“Dinnington will probably be a team with that and have a lot of energy to burn.

“We know we’re going to have to be on our game, especially defensive wise.”

West played some good rugby last week to beat a team many pundits expect to be there or thereabouts at the top of the league.

But they also produced some bad stuff and Dixon says the coaches will look for more consistency from the side.

“It’s about getting the ball and keeping the ball, that was one of our main issues last week,” Dixon explained.

“We made it tough for ourselves with our discipline and giving the ball away - we can’t afford to do that.”

West must beware the difficult ground conditions tomorrow when they will encounter Lode Lane’s slope.

Bradford & Bingley struggled last Saturday - playing up the bank in the first half, they failed to recover after going 17-0 behind.

The Bees spent most of the first half toiling to get up the hill and out of their own 22, the hosts takin full advantage to race ahead.

Dinnington were superbly guided by stand-off Jonny West, but their back row were the pick of their effort , disrupting the Bradford set-pieces and making it over the gainline every time they had the ball.

West’s back row of Alex Barker, Dan Boatman and two-try Sam Miller will therefore need to be on their mettle tomorrow.

Eighteen year old Luke Chapman will make his first senior start in the second row. He comes in for Joe Rafferty who injured his shoulder against Sheffield.

Jack Angus was sent off at the end of that game and serves his one match suspension this week with Michael Hogan taking his place in the front row.

Andrew Foreman provides backs cover on his return to the club.

West: Stu Waites, Scott Butcher, Andrew Cheslin , Peter Youll, Luke Mallinson, Zac Southern, Darren Thomas, Michael Hogan. Andrew Rollins, Adam Coates, Chris Atkins, Luke Chapman, Alex Barker, Dan Boatman, Sam Miller. Reps: Carl Robinson, Gary Jackson, Andrew Foreman