TYNEDALE 17-12 PRESTON GRASSHOPPERS
Coach Joel Unsworth was obviously disappointed at the loss at Tynedale Park but praised a ‘much improved performance’. ‘We dominated the second half and this time did not tail off in the last quarter – we played the full 80 minutes’.
In fact, Hoppers could and should have won this game although, again they started badly. They appeared to be still on the bus when, in the first minute after a strong forward drive, wing Seamus Hutton strolled over in the corner.
But the lead was short-lived as centre Harry Swarbrick seized on a knock on to make ground before his finely judged chip through was hacked on by Jacob Browne and Tyler Spence won the race to touch down. Both conversions sailed wide so the score stood at 5-all after just 5 minutes.
The home pack gained the edge in the tight, while Hoppers’ line out malfunctioned and after a period of pressure, wing Will Roberts went in for a second unconverted try.
Hoppers retaliated but failed to profit from some promising attacks but a few infringements allowed Tynedale to clear their lines and again they made the pressure tell as Hutton was in for his second and this time Jake Rodgers’ kick was good.
The half ended with Hoppers on the attack; Browne almost intercepted to score while Spence was forced into touch a foot short of the line and Tynedale led 17-5 at the break.
At the re-start Hoppers kept up the momentum and the pack came into their own with a long rolling maul and when the ball was released, Spence spotted the gap and went under the posts and Ed Keohane’s conversion made it game on at 17-12.
Hoppers now found themselves in the driving seat and enjoyed the vast majority of possession and territory for the rest of the game but some wrong options and desperate defence kept them out.
As full-time loomed, with Hoppers camped on their opponents’ line, a wild back pass into the home in-goal area was touched down by a defender and as Hoppers’ pack gathered for a last, crucial 5-metre scrum referee Rayner, after a long discussion with his assistant, awarded a puzzling penalty to Tynedale and Hoppers had to settle for a losing bonus point.
Photos available on the Tynedale website
Report by Ken Moore with half-time thoughts below via Chris Dew’s twitter.
— Chris Dew (@D1ewy) November 5, 2022