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Sat 28
West Hartlepool
1st XV
L TaylorA Rollins, L Scott
M Svaguša, W Bentley, P BoothZ Southern
L Taylor
West Hartlepool 12-20 Bees

West Hartlepool 12-20 Bees

By Benji Pickin
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Bees make it 4 from 4

The Bees made it four wins from four and now sit in second place in North One East after an excellent win on the road. The Bees sit in behind the only other undefeated side in the division, Driffield, with the two sides set to meet at Wagon Lane in Bingley on October 19th. The Bees were forced into a late re-shuffle of the squad to travel to the North East after three players made themselves unavailable on Friday, but Hugh Gumbs was able to draft in Alex Hamard at centre and bring Joe Daley and second team captain, Peter Booth, into the squad and after an early period where the hosts were on top, the reshuffled Bees squad were good value for the win and look like a difficult side to beat no matter who is in the line up.

Andrew Rollins got the home side off to a flyer with a try in the sixth minute as the Bees initially struggled to settle into a rhythm in the early exchanges. However with club Skipper Tom Booth and stand in skipper, Ali Macdonald in the back row, the Bees were soon able to establish a solid platform to take the game to their hosts. Lance Taylor settled the Bees early jitters with a simple penalty in front of the sticks and the increasing pressure from the visitors with ball in hand was rewarded two minutes later as Marko Svagusa profited from a Jamie Martin gallop up the middle to dot down. The Bees were forced into another shuffle of their resources around the half hour mark as Aaron Magee was lost to an injury. With Peter Booth coming into the back row to partner his brother, Ali Macdonald switched out to the centre to form a formidable midfield barrier with Martin.

Zac Southern, the home fullback, is a familiar name to Bees supporters from the many tussles between the sides over recent seasons, and he was on hand to show some class in putting Lewis Scott in for a try as half time approached. The slender half time lead of 12 points to eight to West Hartlepool, left the game wide open as the second half got under way. The Bees had been denied a second score before halftime as the referee noticed a tackled Bees player not releasing the ball on the ground before reaching for the whitewash and as the half wore on, it could easily have been a close decision such as that which separated the sides. As the hour mark approached, perhaps the Bees were gaining a slight upper hand, and teenage hooker, Will Bentley, put the Bees in front by a point with his debut First team try. A missed Southern penalty could have swung the score back in favour of the home side, but the Bees continued to batter away at the home defence and were rewarded ten minutes from time with a score for Peter Booth. Taylor stepped up to land the extras, putting his side more than a converted score in front and also depriving the home side of losing bonus point. There were still 10 minutes on the clock as the ball sailed through the uprights, but dogged defence from Hugh Gumbs' men saw the West Yorkshire side home.

Nick Patterson

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Match details

Match date

Sat 28, Sep 2019



Meet time



Early meet because of road closures


North One East

League position

Bradford & Bingley
West Hartlepool