Bishop Auckland Rugby Club

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Bishop Auckland club round up
Sat 27 Oct Winlaton Vulcans 8-47 Bishop 1st

Bishop Auckland 1st XV continued their winning ways with a comprehensive victory over Winlaton Vulcans this weekend, in what was a one-side affair.

From the off, Bishops looked physically stronger and fitter than their hosts- but Winlaton as ever lacked nothing in the aggression stakes! Wins against the Tynesiders are never easy but the offloading game which Bishops are fast making their own created too many headaches for the unorganised fringe defence, and it was not long before the score sheets were marked. Michael Beach - returning to the back row at Openside Flanker was outstanding - linking nicely with Mike Ross and Luke Bryan-Victory to break the Winlaton line. Beach added two first half tries, converted by Tim Tombling along with a Tom Burn try - and despite a lack of concentration inside the BA 22 allowing a soft Winlaton try, Bishop's dominance was clear. Having played up the slope in the first half and leaving the half time score at 19 - 8 Bishop Auckland looked fit and hungry for the second half.

Having lost their tough tackling hooker - the Winlaton front row took a real battering in the second half, with Bishops taking five scrums against the head and dominating the lineout with four steals. Bishop's main headache came from the over-complication of their own affairs . At times forcing the offload and a somewhat needless penalty count led to the loss of field position and an increased frustration for both players and coaches, however, they always had the quality to win back the ball and reaffirm field position.

As the game progressed to the final stages, Bishops had stretched the lead further through a Ratu Nareki try - the Fijiian adding his seventh of the season on a pick and drive following a fantastic break from Andrew Brown who was the pick of the bunch for Auckland's backs. Tombling's extras added to tries from James Greathead and debutant Kieran Canovan who added his 16th try in 9 starts for Bishop Auckalnd. Canovan's form in the 2nd XV led to his inclusion and he did not disappoint in what was a mistake free debut, finishing off a solid team performance with some trademark footwork - leaving the defence standing as he crossed the line for a breathtaking try.

Steven Colwell

BARUFC 2s v Darlington Mowden Park

Sat 27 Oct Bishop 2nds 39-22 Mowden Park III
The overnight snow had gone and a cold crisp afternoon lay ahead for what is always an eagerly anticipated fixture against Darlington Mowden Park. Bishop Auckland is now fielding a very strong 2nd team as the quality in the club continues to grow and the playing squad expands.

This side has a very good balance with some very durable forwards with bags of experience and a youthful and exciting midfield. Josh Pagan made his senior debut having recently past his 17th birthday, playing alongside another 17 year old, two 18 year olds and "veteran" of 20!

Darlington Mowden Park started the better and with some help from missed tackles and the occasional slip, they went into a 0-10 lead through a dropped goal and converted try. After some stern words from captain Peter Gallone, Bishop started to play and the club style of fast offloading in the tackle began to emerge. Gallone started the Bishop scoring after some good hands in midfield and a solid forward drive. From the restart Bishop really started playing well and with Simon Callan to the fore the ball found its way to Fotheringham who went over in the corner.

Both sides were playing some very good open rugby and the spectators were well entertained. After a period of play in midfield, Park were under pressure in the scrum and a dropped ball on the halfway line was collected by Wregglesworth to scoop up and go under the posts. Half time arrived with a narrow 19-15 lead to Bishop Auckland.

Despite losing centre Connor Smith to a yellow card at the start of the second half, Bishop Auckland were now really starting to play. Lovely running from Fotheringham and a well timed pass and Pagan was about to score when he was taken very high and the ref awarded a penalty try to take the score to 26-15. From here Bishop Auckland kicked on and the style of play was very pleasing and the game finished at 39-22.

This was a performance based on hard work and solid forward play allied to the exciting talents of youngsters in the backs. Jack Fletcher has great hands in the lineout, Kieran Bedford continues to develop, Mat Fotheringham has real quality and Josh Pagan looks at home in the senior game.

This all points to a very exciting time ahead. 7 wins on the trot for this very good second team and I know this team are very keen to maintain this run. Uncle Peter will keep driving them on.

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