Promotion was beckoning for this Hartlepool rugby team thanks to this fine display

West Hartlepool TDSOB go on the attack in their 1999 match against Bradford Salem.
West Hartlepool TDSOB go on the attack in their 1999 match against Bradford Salem.

With rugby back in the spotlight, it’s time to take a look at how the town’s game looked 20 years ago.

And in particular, we’re putting the focus on one outfit which were flying high in the league that season.

Grayfields is a dreadful place for visitors to come. We have only been beaten once at home

Peter Robinson

Tech put themselves within site of promotion to North East Division Two when they comfortably beat Bradford Salem 36-12 at Grayfields.

And, according to the Hartlepool Mail at the time, the performance by Peter Robinson’s team was built on a strong forward platform with Lloyd, Dixon and Painter causing all sorts of problems for the opposition.

The omens were there from the opening minutes when Bradford had the elements in their favour and yet it was West Hartlepool TDSOB who did all the attacking.

The pressure paid off when Ian Wilson scored under the posts and the lead was increased on the 15 minute mark when Andy Boagey scored a try.

Bradford got on the scoreboard when Brown scored under the posts but the game went even more in Tech’s favour after the break.

Now, they had the wind at their backs and it meant they could largely keep play in their opponents half.

At first, Tech could not make the breakthrough but a scrummage near the line saw cook Cross for the try after a well-worked back row move.

Another score soon followed when Cook was this time the starting point for a breakaway try. He broke clear on the half way line and fed Parker who stormed into the Bradford 22 before passing to Buglass who scored.

Tech really had the momentum now and added two more tries through Boagey and Buglass.

Both came from the home team winning lineout balls against the head.

Bradford hit back with a try from Buxton but it was Tech who claimed the victory.

Next up was a trip to bottom of the table Thornesians. A win would guarantee the Hartlepool team promotion.

Peter Robinson said after the match: “Grayfields is a dreadful place for visitors to come. We have only been beaten once at home.”

He paid tribute to John Painter and Glyn Armstrong and said: “John has been tremendous. Glyn has done wonderfully well at inside centre and has also done well at stand-off when he has been asked to play there.”

Tech were hoping to better their performance from the previous season in the league where they ended up in fourth position.