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1st XV - Match centre

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A Cleminson, B Wollerton, A MacDonald, S Stewart
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S Stewart (2)
S Stewart
Sat 16 Feb 14:15 - Northern Division - Durham/ Northumberland Division one Full time

Novos 27, Gateshead 21 - Great Squad Depth Shown


Novos held out Gateshead in the dying moments to complete the double over their opponents 27-21

With Horden and Westoe looming we took the opportunity to show the depth at our club by leaving out first team regulars in Daniel Shuttleworth, Darren Kelly, Sean Ramsay, Paddy Sowter, Tim Hart and give a debut to ex colt Rory Davidson. This allowed Christian Selkirk a run out against his old club as well as Alex Cleminson, Mark Leckie and Dave Marshall and Ina Pratt o continue their progress after moving up from the two's.

We started reasonably well with Alex Littlefair getting a steal at a ruck and Chris Ward was putting the Gateshead line out under pressure. This allowed us decent field position and we were able to dominate possession in the early exchanges. After some good team continuity Alex Cleminson carried between two defenders who fell off the tackle. He then stepped inside the last defender to score his first try for Novos, conversion added by Shaun Stewart. 7-0 Novos.

The kick off was turned over by Gateshead and they had possession and field position for 6-8 mins. A penalty was kicked to the corner and they drove for the line. We managed to keep them out but had to commit a lot of players around the fringes. Gateshead moved the ball out wide to score a fine team try out wide. Conversion added - great kick form out wide into a strong wind. 7 all.

Around the park was a pretty even contest but we were edging the set piece battle. A huge carry by Josh Stacey got us over the gain line and lead to a line break by Tom Winning. Gateshead conceded a penalty and Pete Twentyman made the decision to go for the three instead of the corner. Shaun Stewart obliged to give us a deserved 10-7 lead.

We were then a little bit unlucky as Tom Winning made a great cover tackle allowing us to gain possession. Paddy Goodings made a break and off loaded to Lewis Chater. He crashed over in the corner with the Gateshead linesman not putting his flag up but the ref over ruled him and said he was tackled in goal.

This didn't stop us though as Mark Leckie made a great tackle when the Gateshead looked away. Shaun Stewart and Alex Littlefair had tracked the break and fired into the ruck, turning the ball over. Rich Harrison scooped it up to Christian Selkirk - little dart and then a sick behind the back pass for Shaun Stewart to run around under the posts. He added the conversion himself to take the lead out to 17-7.

Gateshead wouldn't roll over and before half time they made the score 17-14 as their centre went in with some fantastic footwork to break a tackle and then step the last defender. He must have been well coached in his development days !

Graeme Cooper led that chat at half time asking the boys to look at balls back inside as well as stay together in defence as we will come under more pressure. The response was immediate as Rich Harrison gave an inside ball to Tom Winning who made another clean line break. Christian Selkirk then cleverly reversed play to an overlap where David Marshall put in the final pass to put Adam McDonald over to extend our lead to 22-14.

On came young Rory Davidson to make his debut - the former club colt has made some incredible progress this season coming all the way from the fours to the ones in just six months. Shows what can be achieved by attending every training session as well as putting time into his positional core skills.

Gateshead are a proud squad and once again they battled back into the game. Their fifteen was away but for an amazing cover tackle once again by Tom Winning. However, they soon scored - a soft one. Penalty conceded, quick tap taken and we weren't organised - this led to one of their players going through an unguarded area to score. Dave Marshall tried to hold the player up but couldn't - receiving a knee drop from a Gateshead players for his troubles.

With the try awarded to make the score 22-21 to Novos the referee awarded a penalty at half way for the foul play on Marshall but no card issued. Pete Twentyman opted for a scrum rather than kick into Gateshead territory - we were dominating this aspect of the game after all. Decision vindicated as Ben Wollerton stepped inside his man, fended off the covering back rower then a hand off to the Gateshead fullback. An incredible solo effort. Novos ahead 27-21.

We secured the kick off and moved up the field gradually despite being into a strong wind. The scrum was causing Gateshead all sorts of bother for no reward as almost every scrum was disintegrated on their loose head side. We had Gateshead where we wanted them as Shaun Stewart crashed over but was adjudged to have been held. Didn't look correct but we can't complain really as the pass he received was miles forward but not called.

Their was a big swing in the game at this stage as the penalty count swung Gateshead's way heavily. Ian Pratt was carded for not rolling away and we spent the last five mins defending in our 22m.

The value of kicking the first half penalty was shown as Gateshead needed a converted try to win the game. Twice I thought they could've scored out wide but chose to cut in knowing they needed the conversion. Their was some great defence from our 14 men with Tom Winning and Alex Littlefair putting in some great work. Eventually, the Gateshead ten bust through a hole and looked certain to score. However, he was gratefully wrapped up by Littlefair over the line as we held out for the win 27-21.

Thank you to Cameron Patterson for taking charge of an exciting game. I thought his communication to the players was fantastic during the match. Only annoyance would be that we received a yellow for a technical offence yet a piece of foul play was only sanctioned with a penalty.

Hard luck to the Gateshead lads - never say die attitude was tremendous as every time we scored you bounced back and put points on the board in response. Was great to sit down afterwards with some old friends in the clubhouse.

Novos - a great win that sets us up well for Horden and Westoe. Not to sure how it ever got that desperate but we nearly paid the price for not finishing our chances. Some great decisions by the skipper proved vital in the end and I am sure the two ex Gateshead lads were delighted to get the win.

Man of the Match was given to Tom Winning and I thought Alex Littlefair was also outstanding.

Up the Vos !

Key moments

Try Alex Cleminson scores for Novocastrians
Conversion Shaun Stewart kicks a conversion for Novocastrians
Try Try for Gateshead
Conversion Conversion for Gateshead
Try Shaun Stewart scores for Novocastrians
Conversion Shaun Stewart kicks a conversion for Novocastrians
Penalty Shaun Stewart kicks a penalty for Novocastrians
Try Try for Gateshead
Conversion Conversion for Gateshead
Try Adam MacDonald scores for Novocastrians
Try Try for Gateshead
Conversion Conversion for Gateshead
Try Ben Wollerton scores for Novocastrians


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80:00 Yellow Card
Ian Pratt is yellow carded for Novocastrians
70:00 Sub Off
Paddy Goodings is substituted off for Novocastrians
70:00 Sub On
Josh Stacey is substituted on for Novocastrians
60:00 Sub Off
Chris Ward is substituted off for Novocastrians
60:00 Sub On
Adam MacDonald is substituted on for Novocastrians
52:00 Try 21 - 27
Ben Wollerton scores for Novocastrians
51:00 Conversion 21 - 22
Conversion for Gateshead
50:00 Try 19 - 22
Try for Gateshead
45:00 Sub Off
Josh Stacey is substituted off for Novocastrians
45:00 Sub Off
Christian Selkirk is substituted off for Novocastrians
45:00 Sub On
Luke Menzfeld is substituted on for Novocastrians
45:00 Sub On
Rory Davidson is substituted on for Novocastrians
45:00 Sub Off
Adam MacDonald is substituted off for Novocastrians
45:00 Sub On
Ian Pratt is substituted on for Novocastrians
42:00 Try 14 - 22
Adam MacDonald scores for Novocastrians
End of period 1
39:00 Conversion 14 - 17
Conversion for Gateshead
38:00 Try 12 - 17
Try for Gateshead
25:00 Penalty 7 - 17
Shaun Stewart kicks a penalty for Novocastrians
23:00 Conversion 7 - 14
Shaun Stewart kicks a conversion for Novocastrians
22:00 Try 7 - 12
Shaun Stewart scores for Novocastrians
21:00 Conversion 7 - 7
Conversion for Gateshead
20:00 Try 5 - 7
Try for Gateshead
11:00 Conversion 0 - 7
Shaun Stewart kicks a conversion for Novocastrians
10:00 Try 0 - 5
Alex Cleminson scores for Novocastrians
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Gateshead
  • Novocastrians
  • 0
  • Alex Cleminson Try 10:00'
  • Shaun Stewart Conversion 11:00'
  • Try 20:00'
  • Conversion 21:00'
  • Shaun Stewart Try 22:00'
  • Shaun Stewart Conversion 23:00'
  • Shaun Stewart Penalty 25:00'
  • Try 38:00'
  • Conversion 39:00'
  • Adam MacDonald Try 42:00'
  • Ian Pratt Sub On 45:00'
  • Adam MacDonald Sub Off 45:00'
  • Rory Davidson Sub On 45:00'
  • Luke Menzfeld Sub On 45:00'
  • Christian Selkirk Sub Off 45:00'
  • Josh Stacey Sub Off 45:00'
  • Try 50:00'
  • Conversion 51:00'
  • Ben Wollerton Try 52:00'
  • Chris Ward Sub Off 60:00'
  • Adam MacDonald Sub On 60:00'
  • Paddy Goodings Sub Off 70:00'
  • Josh Stacey Sub On 70:00'
  • Ian Pratt Yellow Card 80:00'

Team selection

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League round up

Other Durham/ Northumberland Division one results

Horden and Peterlee
West Hartlepool


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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Durham City 26 119
2. West Hartlepool 26 114
3. Northern 26 113
4. Stockton 26 99
5. South Shields Westoe 26 99
6. Novocastrians 26 73
7. Hartlepool Rovers 26 60

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