I have to say I am immensely proud of the Bricks who went to Berwick to play this game and against all the odds we nearly pulled off a victory. We knew this was going to be a tough one and was a bit of a stitch up, with Berwick having no 1st team game, they openly admitted putting out a very strong side, with a full bench. Added to this the ‘referee’ cried off, other clubs would have offered to allowed us to provide a referee, no they provided their own and boy was the game all about ‘him’, he had the whistle and used it, he missed things , a number that gave Berwick advantage and if Blaydon question they were cut down by his self declared power, we respected his position and just got on and played against 16.
After the game at Westend was conceded gifting us the points we were offered a trip to Berwick, which if we won could have secured the league for us this season, with a win at Ryton. We started the day with 44 points, the same as Berwick and 5 points behind Novos, but with 3 points from Westend, a win at Berwick would have put us on 51, but it was not to be, travelling gets us a point, but unless Novos and Berwick both screw up, which is unlikely to happen, even if we win the Ryton game, the title although still mathematically possible, has gone.
Our thanks to Sam Headley who travelled up for us to play fly half, he had a great game, on his second appearance for us this season.
Berwick were well drilled and had gas to burn all around the pitch. The difference was the bench, the players they brought on, replacing the colts that were being blooded, were obviously 1st team, as were a number of the starting 15 and as our pack tired, we didn’t have any forwards subs and we just ran out of steam. We were probably 2/3 players away from winning this and given the size of our squad, (which will no doubt be available for the cup match next week) you would have thought we would have had a bunch of subs for what was deciding our league this season.
Trys: Sam 2, Divers 1
Conversion: Sam 3
Back to our performance, everyone to a man played their part, with the ball our forwards battered them, our backs ran through them, but we; spilt ball in contact, tried to make passes we didn’t need to, or kicked away possession and Berwick made the most of it with runaway scores. Once we tightened up the game we recovered back to 24, 21 and were in the ascendancy, but as said earlier we ran out of steam, but we never gave up and Berwick knew they had been in a game.
Highs and lows:
- Cliff standing at 10 took a high ball, took contact and juggled it but retained it. He lost a couple later in contact to make up for it.
- Sam was causing them all sorts of problems with speed and directional running, as well as making good hits
- Divers, Chester and Matt were making big hits and closing down the midfield
- Adam and Ryan were making big yards with the ball
- In the excitement we had Windy, Ryan and Keith making kicks, batter on boys its what you do best
- Matt ran 50 yards, and dived for the try line with 3 men on him, Matt those broken lines are the 5m line… so close.
- Divers and Chester made some good breaks
- Tackling from all was exceptional, just getting caught out on the turnovers
Appearances this season:
As the season comes towards a close we thought it would be good to show who the main contributors have bene this season, below are all the players who have played 2 games or more this season, there are a total of 70 people who have made an appearance for the Bricks this season.
|Keith “Fingers” Winter||17|
|Andy “Savs” Savory||11|
|Paul “GBH” Winter||10|
|Jimmy “The Horse” Houghton||9|
|Craig “Harry” Harrison||7|
|Chris “Hamma” Hamilton||2|
- Keith (Paul Winter)
- Ian Bennie
- Matty Bell
- Stu Bailey
- Divers ( Anth)
- Matt Goodall