West Hartlepool go one point clear after storming second half

Greg Edwards breaks clear to score for West
Greg Edwards breaks clear to score for West

A storming second half performance saw West maintain their position at the top of North One East and go one point clear of the chasing pack.

It didn’t look that that outcome was likely at the break when lowly visitors Guisborough shocked the home crowd by going into the lead courtesy of a interception by dangerous full back Christian Pollock

Once we go back to basics we were very good for the big win.

The score right on half time gave the Priorymen a 10-11 lead, but it proved to be the spur that West needed with the home side running in five tries in the second half.

Head coach Iain Dixon said: “We were definitely slow out of the blocks today and Guisborough had a few runs out our defence before that interception try.

“However, once we go back to basics we were very good for the big win and there were some good performances from the lads .”

West began the game with a reshuffled back division after centre Peter Youll cried off with illness. Eldon Myers returned to the centre with Joe Willis on the wing and Paul Moss coming on to the bench and going on to have a big influence in the second half.

The Brinkburn side got off to the best possible start when prop Adam Coates finished off as forwards driver after just five minutes. Southern’s conversion was wide and with West failing to build on the early score Guisborough forced their way back into the game.

Pollock stroked over two long range penalties to give them a one point lead before Sam Miller powered his way over after 38 minutes.

Southern was again wide but West attacked from the restart, and looked odds on to make the most of an overlap in the visiting 22, only for Pollock to gamble and collect to run the length of the pitch to give his side that surprise half time lead.

West had lost Eldon Myers to a hamstring strain with Paul Moss replacing him in the centre. He delivered an superb offloads for Greg Edwards to go over under the posts just two minutes after the restart.

Southern converted and at last West were up and running with some powerful rugby forcing the visitors back.

Moss himself got the next score - using his strength to barge ove. That was closely followed by a sniping try from Carl Miller who managed to dive under a pile of bodies to touchdown as the packs battled it out on the line.

With the score at 29-11 the visitors’ resolve had disappeared withy first Rob Torn and then Adam Coates taking their opportunities to add to the score.

West: Luke Mallinson, Rob Thorn, Eldon Myers, Greg Edwards, Joe Willis, Zac Southern, Ryan Painter, Ross Wood, Andrew Rollins, Adam Coates, Joe Rafferty, Dan Boatman (capt), Carl Miller, Lee Maddison, Sam Miller.

Reps (all used): Anth Carr, Aaron Myers, Paul Moss.

Tries: Coates (2), S. Miller, C. Miller, Edwards, Moss, Thorn.

Cons: Southern (3)

Guisborough: Christian Pollock, Charlie Stockeld, Alex Ruff, Matthew Robinson, Mark Ferguson, Will Muir, Tony Conway, Andrew Milne, Matthew Storey, Rob Berriman, Michael Henderson, Rob Leggott (Capt), Oliver Taggart, Oliver Muir, Lloyd Russell.

Changes: Sam Whyman, Jonny Wills, Gareth Lodge.

Tries: Pollock

Pens: Pollock (2)

Referee: Matt Dunn Durham Society