A late change in fixture after Wallsend were unable to raise a team saw Berwick travel down to us, for which we were extremely grateful. The changing rooms were full to gunnels as both the 2s and 3rds had healthy squads.
Doc English was our ref so we knew it would be an open game which it certainly turned out to be, it was cracking to watch. Berwick weren’t here to make up the numbers and had the lead for most of the game, only relinquishing it in the last 10 minutes.
Gateshead scored first through Micky Ewart, who carried their whole pack over to score between the posts. 7-0.
Berwick then scored twice as we pressed their try line on each occasion. A couple of interceptions had our defence all over the place. 7-14.
Ben Wade then scored a cracking try. He put in a lovely little grubber in the Berwick 22 as their defence pressed. He won the race to dot down just as the ball was rolling towards the dead ball line. 12-14.
Berwick had their best spells of the game for the last 10 of the first half, scoring again to make it 12-19 at half time, and the first 20 of the second.
They had a commanding lead of 12-27 with 20 minutes to go, following another try and a penalty. They were a well drilled team, ran hard and won all their own line out.
Saying that our scrum was solid and our tackling was good.
It was at this point that Mick Douglas made a comment “We’re going to win this game you know”. The lads obviously heard him as we up’d our game and scored three tries to end up 31-27 winners.
The first saw Dan Austin screech down the full length of the right wing to score.
It was Adam Hills turn next as he scorched through the defence to score from 15m out, reminiscent of last weeks training when he left a first team back trailing in his wake.
The winning score came from Ewan Pritchard who pounced on a loose pass, kicked through, superbly picked up the ball at pace and ran in the try from half way.
The last 20 minutes were the best the 2nds have played all season. Team commitment was spot on, playing for each other and leaving nothing on the pitch.
Dan Austin and Richard Varle (aka David Hardy Habron) were given man of the match for backs and forwards. But really the whole team played as one.
Excellent turn out in training last week, let’s do that again this week.
Fines went to all late comers, and to Hardy for playing in boxer shorts, incorrect socks and playing shorts, going commando after the game, and impersonating a rugby player.
Roll on next week, at home in the county cup against Consett IIs.
Ps if you’ve got the fine money, can you give it back to Matt Butler, he left it in the bar, apparently !!!