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Sat 29 Sep Bishop 1st 31-14 Ashington

Ashington provided the opposition for the latest league match for BARUFC 1st xv this weekend. This brings a real contrast in styles as Ashington have traditionally played with a big pack of forwards, looking to overpower opponents and BA more suited to open and running rugby. The Ashington forwards didn't disappoint with power and aggression to spare.

This was a game of contrasts. Bishop Auckland dominating a first half with some lovely rugby from both forwards and backs and a fine performance from the referee, allowing quick ball and keeping the game flowing. BA were on the attack from the kick off and spent a long time in the Ashington 22 before scoring a beautiful try. A stolen lineout and some lovely classical passing and a burst from Ratu Narecki to put Gwyn Evans under the posts. Tombling converted to give Bishop a deserved 7-0 lead. The move of the match came after more Bishop pressure was relieved by a long kick down field, taken by Tombling who linked with Zac Hole and to beat several defenders in a 50 yard run before finally being stopped about 5 yds out from the line. Infringement from Ashington at the scrum say the referee award a penalty try which Tombling again converted for 14-0.

Bishop were playing very well with captain Danny Ross and Paul Fletcher working hard and the backs showing real quality with the ball. Bishop scored again through Narecki and with the conversion led by 21-0. A lesser team than Ashington would have folded under the pressure, but they are made of sterner stuff and they upped the intensity and forced Bishop back to their own line and mysterious penalty award at a scrum against Bishop gave Ashington the chance to reply with a converted try. The referee appeared to have lost track of time as the try was timed at the 47th minute!

The second half started with Ashington using the strength of their forwards, driving close around the fringes and taking the game back with hard yards. The referee was also somewhat generous in his interpretation of offside and the experience of the Ashington scrum half really exploited this and kept the pace up with quick taps charging into Bishop players and gaining extra yardage. Following a good run into Bishop 22 and an attacking lineout Ashington turned over the ball and indiscipline saw them reduced to 14 men after a yellow card to the centre. Bishop exploited this and some fine handling from Mike Ross and a good interchange of passes saw Tom Burn cross the line again near the posts and Tombling again converting. 28-7 and you expect game over.

As before the character of the Ashington team came to the fore and they fought back to have the final score of the game from some untidy defensive play from Bishop. Final result saw a very very good win for Bishop 31-14.

Some real good signs for Bishop in this game against very tough, big and experienced opponents. Tombling had a fine match at full back, linking well with Hole on the wing. Evans continues to lead the backs extremely well and leads by example with strong tackling. Leigh Bailey came off the bench to prop in the second half and showed very well around the field and dominated the set piece. Mike Ross continues his fine form as does Andrew Brabban at scrum half. A strong performance all round.

John Halladay 29 Sep 12

Bishop U16s Begin Season with Good Win

Acklam U16s 10 Bishop Auckland U16s 22

Bishop Auckland Rugby Club Under 16s finally played their first match of the season on Sunday and put up a battling performance to beat Acklam. Due to a shortage of numbers, the match was played 14-a-side. Bishop took the lead early on. The initial break was by Ben Hoggart who cut through the defence before passing the ball to winger Anth Young, who was well tackled. The forwards recycled the ball which then went back across the pitch with Matty Mitchell drawing the defenders before releasing Macaulay Barker who scored a fine try in the corner. Good forwards work from Acklam saw them take the ball back at Bishop and they scored a try to level the scores. The match was then nip and tuck with both sides making breaks but there was plenty of pace in both defences to stop any scoring chances. It took a penalty 5 metres out for Bishop to retake the lead, Rob Hill being unstoppable from that range. Young added the conversion. As the half drew to a close, Sam McIvor went on a run clean through the Acklam defence, twice regaining his feet after being tap tackled. He was brought down just short of the line but Hill was in support and picked the ball of the ground on the run before touching down. At the break, Bishop were 17 - 5 ahead.

Bishop were now a man down due to injury, but they battled well. Karl Teasdale had a fine match in the forwards and Sonny Maan was finding Liam Higgins well with his lineout throws. Acklam reduced the lead to a single score when they hacked a loose ball though, and, amidst defensive confusion, were able to touch down. Bishop now had the majority of possession and Tom Clark came close to scoring before Bishop made the game safe when Young finally managed to get around his opposite number for the try. This was a good match for Bishop, who showed little rustiness after nearly 5 months without a game.

Team: Michael Dunn, Sonny Maan, Tom Clark, Karl Teasdale, Jordan Day, Liam Higgins, Rob Hill, Sam McIvor, Ben Hoggart, Matthew Borrowdale, Matthew Mitchell, Anth Young, Macaulay Barker, Aidan Mounsey
Stuart McIvor

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