Due to numerous injuries and non-availability of a large portion of the players we should congratulate Coach Roly WILLS for his efforts to get a team out and also a special mention to Club stalwarts and loyal club members who answered his call especially Steve MCLEOD, Sam McARDLE and Chris STEWART. Also the vast majority of the players selected were asked to play in positions to that they were unaccustomed to.

I would also like to thank the band of Winlaton supporters who travelled to Bishop Auckland to support the team.

On a perfect day for rugby on a perfect playing surface from the kick-off Winlaton made the best of starts gaining possession and they commenced a wave of attacks with forward drives up the middle of the park supported by the three quarters with WALKER, STEWART and NEALE prominent in everything. 

The attacks continued and it culminated in WALKER crashing over for a well worked try on 3MINS the conversion attempt failed (5PTS).

The hosts responded immediately and a basic error from the restart gave them possession and they spread the ball wide to their speedy three-quarters and the winger touched down for a converted try on 7MINS(7PTS).

This was repeated by Bishop Auckland again on 10MINS after another mistake by Winlaton gave them a scrum on the Vulcans 22 the forwards drove the Winlaton pack off the ball and crashed over for an unconverted try(5PTS).

Winlaton responded again and after a mazy run WHITMORE supported by the forwards the pressure forced the home side to concede a penalty in their 22 and on 15MINS WHITMORE converted the kick(3PTS).

ON 20MINS the hosts attacked again and their three-quarters passed the ball through the hands and finished off a well worked converted try (7PTS).

The second quarter of the game saw neither side being able to gain the ascendency but WALKER in his unaccustomed role in the centre was making some serious yardage with his bullocking runs through the Bishop defence.  As a result, they gave a penalty away and Winlaton kicked it into an attacking lineout position in the hosts 10 metre area but Winlaton failed to take advantage however they conceded again and gave the Vulcans a second chance from a similar position.

This time the Vulcans won possession with HURST taking clean ball and the forwards drove over the line with STEWART getting the touchdown for an unconverted try(5PTS) on 35MINS. Getting them back into the game at 13-19

Winlaton kept the pressure up and what looked like the last play of the game on 40MINS they won a penalty just inside their own half which they elected to take a kick at goal and as a result the Vulcans defence sat back and the kicked was just short and Bishop Auckland decide to run the ball and their speedy winger broke through several attempted tackles and ran the whole length of the field to score a converted try(7PTS).


The third quarter of the game was scrappy with Winlaton making a series of unforced errors and giving the home side plenty of possesi0on to use their three quarters to exploit the tiring Vulcans defence.

As a result, on 50MINS,58MINS,62MINS and 70MINS when Winlaton spilt possession or conceded a penalty the hosts through their speedy backs ran in four tries.

With all credit to the Vulcans their heads never dropped and a few occasions they had opportunities mainly through the forwards to add to their score in an effort to get a four try losing bonus point which their spirit and effort deserved.

In the last few minutes they had two scoring positions from penalties being kicked into the Auckland 10 metre zone. From the resulting lineouts the first one was lost but the second chance was taken with FERGUSON securing the ball in the lineout and the forwards taking the ball on and WATERS scoring the last try of the match (5PTS) but too late to add another.


Man of the Match  Clayton WALKER

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