RUGBY REPORT: Horden win Pyman Cup, Horden 36 West Hartlepool 7

PASS MASTER: Darren Thomas gets the ball away despite pressure from Chris Purvis. Picture by FRANK REID
PASS MASTER: Darren Thomas gets the ball away despite pressure from Chris Purvis. Picture by FRANK REID

A GOOD big ‘un will always beat a good little ‘un.

You have heard the expression – last night you saw the evidence.

The Pyman Cup left Hartlepool as West Stags lost their ownership of the famous town rugby trophy, Horden scoring six tries at John Howard Park to continue the club’s incredible season.

West had some precocious talent on view at Grayfields, most of it under the age of 20, and were guided by a small group of 30-somethings like Stephen Jones, Darren Thomas and David Tighe.

But they were subdued by the power of the Horden side.

Horden have always prided themselves on their strength and there is no crime in that – rugby is a physical game and Paul Greener and Graeme Holloway’s team made full use of their power.

That was emphasised by the fact they had the luxury of introducing the considerable figure of Craig Gilmour for the second half and the forward proved unstoppable twice in the last 10 minutes with barnstorming runs inside the Stags 22.

This derby was always going to be a clash of styles – West’s young flying machines against the Horden juggernaut.

But the first half proved a tight affair. Horden’s line-out did not function in the first period and five minutes from the break they instead opted for a five-metre scrum from a penalty.

Brave West defence repelled the Collierymen, but the pressure told with powerful front rower Jordan Yeates going over from close range.

A 5-0 margin gave West hope for the second half – if they could get widemen CeeJay Beales, Kyle Jamieson and Matty Tyers into space.

They did try to do it from deep inside their own 22 only to concede a scrum and it was from here Horden showed their own running prowess.

Neil Hartley fed the backs and centre Andrew Docherty made a stunning break and blasted 30 metres untouched to score under the posts.

And they scored again on 50 minutes. This time their line-out worked and they drove to the Stags line from where Yeates peeled off to score his second try to make it 17-0.

There was a bit of excitement for West when Jamieson made a jinking run in the 55th minute but it was only a brief respite.

When they tried to run the ball from their own 22 after sub Andrew Dixon had won a scrum against the head, they lost possession and a grateful Horden skipper Paul Armstrong ran through to score.

West did keep going and after Beales had made a promising run, they took play to the Horden 22.

Good Stags pressure was rewarded with a try from close range for forward Nathan Wales, converted by Tighe.

But Horden’s might was always going to be too much and Gilmour’s bulldozing runs brought him his two tries. Michael Turner landed three second-half conversions.

It completed a league and cup double for Horden’s seconds, just days after their First XV were presented with the Durham Northumberland One championship.

Next up, it’s the turn of the Third XV who play Westoe in the Durham Cup final this Friday.

You would not rule out another piece of silverware for Welfare Park.

West: M Tyers, Jamieson, G Robinson, Todd, Beales, Tighe, Thomas, Blades, Wales, Wood, J Tyers, J Myers, Jones, Johnson, Corbett. Sub used: Hadwin, Dixon, Quinn, C Johnson

Horden: Brymer, Edwards, Mason, Docherty, Turner, Craig, Hartley, Schofield, Cairns, Yeates, Armstrong, Walsh, Hebron, Ourvis, Wood. Subs used: Gilmour, Hudson, Hendry, Stott, Key, Barnes, Ellwood

Referee: Ray Sutherland (Durham)