West Hartlepool thumped by Sheffield

WEST’S five-match unbeaten run came to a crashing halt as promotion-chasing Sheffield ran in eight tries at Abbeydale Park.

WEST’S five-match unbeaten run came to a crashing halt as promotion-chasing Sheffield ran in eight tries at Abbeydale Park.

While the score flattered Sheffield, we just didn’t do enough.

Unfortunately for the hosts, it wasn’t enough to guarantee them an automatic promotion place, but after this display they must be favourites to beat Kirkby Lonsdale in the North One play-offs next week.

West will have to content themselves with looking to end the season with silverware when they face either Horden or Westoe in the Durham Senior cup final in ten days’ time.

Head coach Iain Dixon will be looking for a return to the fighting spirit which hauled his side out of the relegation zone in the last few weeks.

He said: “I am afraid that some of the lads just didn’t turn up at Sheffield. There wasn’t anything at stake for us in the game but I expected more from the team as you should always have pride.

“There were some notable performances from the likes of Andrew Rollins, Owen Bennett and Chris Atkins, as well as a terrific tackle rate from Peter Youll and Stu Waites but, while the score flattered Sheffield, we just didn’t do enough.”

The opening half hour was evenly matched with Sheffield going into a 12-7 lead with tries from prop Kevin Marples in the first minute and fly half James Pearson who latched onto a poor clearance kick to run in from 25 metres.

West’s reply came from Ross Wood. He latched onto a loose ball from a line-out to go over from 10 metres with Zac Southern adding an excellent conversion from the touchline.

However, the game changed on the half hour with West skipper Danny Boatman yellow carded for a late tackle on Pearson in front of the posts.

The penalty was converted and Sheffield added 14 more points while Boatman was in the bin.

The first coming from No 8 John France and the second from second row Ryan Seabright.

West turned round 29-7 down and could have reduced the arrears from the restart only for Ross Wood to knock on with the line at his mercy.

West were struggling at the line-out but outscrummaging their high-flying hosts, and the game was once again evenly fought until the 62 minute when centre Ben Parker thrust a gap.

His score was quickly followed by a try from full back Andy Hodgson.

That looked like it might be the end of the scoring. However, salt was rubbed in West’s wounds in the final minute with two quick fire tries from Sheffield through winger Rupert Broadley and replacement Ben Whitney.

Sheffield: Andy Hodgson, Rupert Broadley, Joe McHale, Ben Parker, Ali Womack, Jimmy Pearson, Josh Bird, Tommy Marples, Sam Whitworth, Tony Stringwell, Ryan Seabright, Dom Parsons, Alex Fawdry, Dave Bradford, Jonny France.

Reps (all used): Ben Whitney, Tom Womack, Dan Bearman.

Tries: Marples, Pearson, France, Seabright, Parker, Hodgson, Broadley, Whitney.

Pens: Hodgson (1) Cons: Hodgson (4)

West: Zac Southern, Scott Butcher, Greg Edwards, Peter Youll, Kyle Jamieson, St Waites, Ryan Painter, Ross Wood, Andrew Rollins, Jack Angus, Owen Bennett, Michael Hogan, Chris Atkinson, Dan Boatman, Sam Miller.

Reps (all used): Luke Mallinson, Luke Chapman, Alex Barker.

Tries: Wood. Cons: Southern Yellow: Boatman.