Mud, sweat and cheers

January 14, 2022

Huddersfield YMCA 7 Goole RUFC 10

Goole’s New Year’s wish for a better start to 2022 saw them rewarded with a vital win in this important second half to the season. It was one for the purists, but showed the true nature of what Goole have always been about. Gutsy, gritty and full of hard-working performances from one to 18, despite some late changes to the squad. It was one of those games where it was difficult to pick a Man of the Match, due to everybody fighting for the full 80 mins, in what was a bit of a dog fight between two evenly matched sides. Scrum solid. Line outs good, support play good. Team effort and energy excellent. The game started with Goole playing with the strong gusting wind, and were soon down in YMCAs 22, and within five minutes had been awarded a penalty, along with 10 minutess in the sin bin for the offending home player.

Unfortunately, they knocked on from the penalty, most likely down to the heavy wet and windy conditions, but within two minutes of their error Goole were on the scoreboard courtesy of Betteridge, following a midfield break by Jack Smith whose simple pass inside provided Betteridge with a straightforward run in. Moore converted and Goole went in front. Things settled down after that, as the midfield tussle began, and ultimately YMCA began to gain territory, and press hard on the visitor’s line. Goole’s excellent defence kept the home side at bay and ultimately were rewarded with several relieving penalties. So it went on until the 23rd minute, when Smith again bullocked his way down the middle of the field on a devastating 30 metre run, before offloading to Patrick Graf Grote on direct course to the YMCA try line. He was eventually hauled down just short of the line smack in front of the posts, which resulted in a Goole penalty from a home side infringement. Moore obliged with a further three points to increase Goole’s lead to 10-nil.

From the re-start YMCA again pressurised Goole’s line with their concerted efforts to get a score eventually being rewarded with a penalty after 30 minutes. But, to Goole’s relief it missed the target to relieve the pressure. The half closed with Betteridge having to leave the field on 35 mins, then a perfectly good penalty kick opportunity in front of the posts being turned down in favour of a tap penalty, and Goole losing the ball, along with a chance to go 13-nil in front. The second period started in similar manner to the first, but this time favouring the home side, when Goole’s Newsum found himself in the bin within five minutes, for an infringement in Goole’s 22 as they defending valiantly. As is normal the extra man told during this period and resulted in YMCA scoring their first touchdown of the game, also converting the kick to reduce Goole’s lead to three points. From then on, the game became more of a midfield tussle, but with Goole always looking in control, certainly winning the territorial battle. However much YMCA tried they could not unlock the shackles Goole had on them.

In fact, Goole created several chances in the half, which on a better track they may have finished, but overall, the closing 20 minutes saw Goole absorb YMCA’s attempts to gain ground, the play being mostly in the home side’s half, time after time their progress halted by hard hitting tackles, in numbers by one and all. High balls were always defused by Holt at fullback, kicks to touch shut out by Goole’s line out, scrums never being bettered by YMCA’s. Goole held out somewhat comfortably to secure the point and move them off the foot of the Yorkshire 1 table. The heavy, wet conditions were never in favour of Goole’s style of play, but they adapted to them and never let them create any advantage for YMCA. In an all-round team effort several performances were worthy of additional mention. First Rhys Moore at scrum half had possibly his best game of the season, constantly threatening the home side’s defence, and varying his kicking and passing to good effect. Eddie Newsum in the lineout getting good service from Neil Corry, always dominated the proceedings, and Jack Smith back on the field showed what he can bring to the team, with a number of penetrating runs, but also some good defensive work. No.15 Danny Holt did his job well, always securing the high kicks, and equally returning the ball every time, to Goole’s territorial advantage. In the clubhouse after the game the YMCA players voted Patrick Graf Grote Man of the Match, his work rate, strong running and solid defence getting him the nod.

Other milestones of note, congratulations to debutant George Ounsley making his first start for Goole 1sts, equipping himself well throughout and to Will Grimbleby making his first team debut from the bench after being drafted in on Saturday morning. The faithful travelling support unanimously agreeing what a good start to the new year it had been, giving us all something to look forward to, starting with next weeks home encounter with Roundhegians. Keep that team spirit and level of performance and they are halfway there.

The victorious Goole squad. (13-01-713 SU)

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