ALL GOLDS 26 – 10 NEWCASTLE THUNDER
ARTICLE BY PATRICK BAINES, PHOTOS COURTESY OF LEWIS MITCHELL
The All Golds put in a superb performance to beat Newcastle Thunder and record the first win for a southern team over a northern rival in over a year.
The All Golds were the last team from outside of the rugby league heartland to turn over a northern club with a 23-16 win at Hunslet last summer and with performances like this they look well set to carry on their progress in what is only their third season as a professional outfit.
In truth a result like this has been coming. The All Golds scored 60 points in their 2 games against league leaders Oldham, slipping to an agonising 33-30 defeat at the Whitebank stadium in May. Only last week they led early in the second half at North Wales Crusaders before switching off in the final quarter. Head Coach Lee Greenwood talked about the importance of mental strength after that game it was clear that the message had sunk into his players after a resilient defensive performance proved the catalyst in the All Golds win against Newcastle. “I thought we were great today. In truth we probably should have scored more. We’ve played really well in spells but not been able to put it in for 80 minutes. Defensively it was probably our best performance. We’ve bought a few lads in and had a couple return from injury so it’s been the first time all season I’ve been in the position to make a few changes this last fortnight. We want to make results like this the norm so we aren’t going to get over excited. It’s a great result and we’ll look to finish the season strongly.”
It didn’t seem like the 260 mile journey affected the visitors who got off to a fast start with a Jason Tali try after only 4 minutes. But the All Golds soon struck level when Ryan Pywell, who enjoyed his best game for the club, dived over in the corner.
Lee Mapals put in a superb shift against his former employers and the pacey winger started and finished off a superb break on 15 minutes. He collected well inside his own half and went on a mazy run beating 3 Newcastle men. The Golden Fern moved patiently downfield and it was Mapals on hand to finish off a fine move in the corner. Davies missed his second conversion as the home side took a 4 point lead.
Newcastle were making plenty of unforced errors as they struggled in the sunshine. The All Golds were dominating territory and scored their third try of the game. Captain Steve Parry, again a driving force for the home side, popped up with a trademark try from dummy half. Belgian international Yvan Leroyer added the extras to take the Golden Fern in at half time with a 14-4 lead.
Another Newcastle mistake, this time a knock on under no pressure, then helped set up the All Golds 4th try. Steve Parry kicked the spilt pass and collected it before touching down under the posts. The try, Parry’s 12th of the season, took him to the top of the All Golds leading try scorers for the season. Leroyer took care of the simple conversion to give the All Golds a 16 point cushion.
It was only a question of time before Newcastle go their act together and they got themselves back in it when Macauley Hallet, who scored a hat-trick in the reverse fixture, went over in the corner. Benn Hardcastle struck a fine conversion from out wide to make it 20-10.
Newcastle were now a threat and it was only some magnificent goal line defence that stopped them getting back in the contest. Time and time again the Thunder forwards pounded the All Golds line but they were denied by some heroic, last gasp tackles from the men wearing the Golden Fern. After weathering the storm they won a penalty in a central position which Courtney Davies knocked over to take the score to 22-10 with 15 minutes remaining.
Thunder didn’t give up and continued to throw everything at their opponents. But this was the All Golds day and they sealed the victory with a wonderful Callum Mulkeen try. The Irish international showed great pace to put the icing on a victory earnt by an all-round team effort.
All Golds captain Steve Parry was proud of his team mates and echoed Greenwood’s sentiments regarding the defensive effort from his team. He said: “obviously we’re delighted. I thought it was a huge effort from the lads. Of course it’s nice to pop up with a couple of tries but the result is what’s important so to get that is great. We want to finish the season strongly so we need to push on from this.”
All Golds: Jamie Murphy, Lee Mapals, Callum Mulkeen, Yann Bertrand, Ryan Pywell, Courtney Davies, Yvan Leroyer, Ollie Purslow, Steve Parry (c), Graham O’Keeffe, Lewis Reece, Emmerson Whittel, Joe McClean
Subs (all used): Phil Cowburn, Kevin Aparicio, Alex Davidson, James Walter
Tries: Pywell (9), Mapals (15), Parry (25, 44), (Mulkeen 70)
Goals: Davies 1/4, Leroyer 2/3
Newcastle Thunder: Louis Sheriff, Macauley Hallet, Ali Blair, Jason Tali, Jacob Blades, Paul Stamp, Benn Hardcastle, Matty Baron, Evan Simons, Mark Mexico, Fran Welsh, Dan Turland, Josh Stoker
Subs (all used): Matty Beharrell, Sebastian Martins, Lee Fewlass, Ricky Hough
Tries: Tali (4), Hallet (52)
Goals: Hardcastle 1/2
Scoring sequence: 0-4, 4-4, 8-4, 14-4, 20-4, 20-10, 22-10, 26-10
Half time score: All Golds 14-4 Newcastle Thunder
Penalty count: All Golds 7 – 8 Newcastle Thunder
Referee: Chris Campbell