Billinghams Spirit Proves too Strong For Bishop
By mike brown
Bishop Auckland travelled to Billingham with 21 players. Unfortunately, Billingham could only field 13 so from the off the lads new they were in for a tough game.
It was clear in the warm up the lads were keen to get things under way. Billingham were hungry for a win and started strong. Jacob Morris scored the first try within the first 4 minutes after some great play by the forwards to gain ground and create space followed by some sharp back play to put Jacob into space. Converted by Lewis Mallam.
New Captain Jake Lenham rallied the lads back together ready to receive. The lads were a threat every time they had the ball and after some great rugby by the backs and a strong run Jacob Morris scored his second try. Converted by Lewis Mallam. 14-0
Bishop responded exactly as expected with a try from some very strong forward play. Conversation missed, 14-5. Bishop rolled 4 of their first subs on and the game opened up. Billingham pushed hard for a third but the disciplined defence by Bishop forced a mistake by Billingham. Bishop were back in possession and scored their second. Not converted. 14-10.
More subs, more rain and more forward play saw Bishop score their third converted. 14-17. The lads got their heads together and after another talk by the captain Billingham responded with the determination displayed in the warm up. Aiden Young had moved from his normal starting possession at full back to outside centre which allowed Lewis Jacob and Aiden to link up well in the middle. Aiden broke the line like a missile and scored Billingham’s third in the corner. Not converted 19-17 half time.
At halftime the lads knew they needed to continue as they had started. It was clear to the coaches and supporters that the way the team was performing a win was achievable providing lads could keep it together.
The second half started the same as the first with Billingham taking control of the game from the whistle which frustrated Bishop. All the forwards were on fire getting to every break down, turning rucks over and dominating in the scrum. Clayton and Luke were very busy around the park putting in some big tackles and Max and Bailey put in some great forward runs and made their presence known all game.
Flash was a threat all game with his pace and strength. He eventually got onto a cross field kick by Lewis to score under the posts. Converted by Lewis 26-17. Bishop rolled on more subs but kept pressing for another try. Lewis kicked into space tracked by Flash and Jacob leading to a Bishop knock on. Max picked from the back of the scrum to force his way over the line. Not converted, 31-17.
The rolling subs were now taking their toll on the lads but they dug in and defended the forward onslaught eventually turning over the ball. Leading to a fast break. Dan Taylor hit a great line and got onto a great pass from Aiden. He skipped around the Bishop defence to put Billingham’s third and final try under the posts. Converted by Lewis. 38-17
Bishop were not prepared to give up and scored their fourth try, 38-22. Billingham were down to 12 players after Jake Lenham was required to come off following a wrist injury. Bishop broke the line again with the centre crossing the line with only grounding the ball left to do however Aiden Young came from nowhere to out in a full-blooded tackle causing the player to drop the ball silencing the visiting fans. Bishop had the upper hand now Billingham were down to 12 but the lads all put everything into the last 10 minutes to hold on for a well-deserved win. 38-37.
Difficult one for the coaches but after some deliberation Aidan Young backs man of the match and Max ***** forwards man of the match.