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Storm 54 Carlisle Centurions 14 Mon May 25, 2009 10:55 am  

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Gateshead Storm 54 – 14 Carlisle Centurions

Adam Houston reports from Bullocksteads

Gateshead Storm turned on the style to take the spoils in this “local derby”, running in 11 tries and showing moments of blistering flowing rugby in the process. With their only victory so far in this year’s campaign coming on the opening day against East Lancs., the home side were keen to claim all 3 points when they welcomed Carlisle Centurions to Bullocksteads.

Storm appeared to start strongest when Reece Blayney’s kick off left the visitors caught in two minds, allowing it to go dead to force a goal line drop out. They got their reprieve though, moments later when Storm knocked on from the resulting kick, gifting the visitors Scrum possession on half way. Strong forward play gained good field position for the visitors allowing halfback George Graham to hoist a huge bomb into the corner which was seemed to find the Storm defence absent, Steve Potter gathering the kick for a simple touchdown. Graham failing with the conversion from out wide.

It was clear this was going to be a physical encounter when both sides had players sin binned after only 5 minutes in, Storm winger Michael Lassen retaliating to a punch thrown by try scorer Potter, the resulting skirmish earning both players a 10 minute break.
Storm made the most of the extra field space, when loose forward Dean Jamieson spotted an opening and fed Michael Bryan into space, the busy prop crashing over out wide to level the scores. Storm then moved ahead just before the sin bins were up this time moving the ball to the left for centre Mark Dack to beat his opposite number and power over from close range. Bryan then crossed for his 2nd after 15 mins, after lively hooker Reece Young spotted a half-gap, and punished the retreating defence before a fine offload to Jamieson who drew the defence one way before allowing Stand Off Reece Blayney to completely wrong foot the scrambling defence, and find Bryan charging through on a great line to touchdown again untouched. The conversion again proving difficult into a strong wind.

Skipper Chris Burnett who was strong throughout was next to score for the hosts who were enjoying a period of total dominance, after Young again broke from acting half, finding Rhys Clarke who linked with halfback Scott Woods, the teenagers demonstrating fantastic ability to keep the ball alive before Burnett broke clear to go over the whitewash. Kevin Davey tagging the extras to put the hosts 18-4 ahead. The visitors then hit back when their best Craig Stalker who asked questions of the Storm defence all afternoon managed to offload out of the tackle to find his brother Martin who crossed in the corner to reduce the deficit, but leaving Graham with a tricky conversion attempt out wide which he failed to make.

Woods then crossed for his own score, producing a moment of individual brilliance to sidestep his way past would be tacklers, before darting over the line. Storm again failing to add on the extras. Storm then pressed the Centurions line again and Woods almost added his second minutes later, Blayney’s perfectly weighted grubber finding the base of the upright, Martin Stalker just getting there first to put the ball out of play. The hosts then took advantage of the extra possession when hard working Prop Jonny Scott powered over out wide. Blayney proving a constant thorn in the Cents’ side, linking with Jamieson to find Scott out wide who took 3 defenders over the line with him as he touched down right on half time, sending the hosts in 26-8 to the good at the interval.

The visitors were sharpest out of the blocks again in the 2nd period when poor discipline from Storm granted them a penalty deep in the hosts half, and as the ball was moved left, Tony Palmer touched down for the Centurions, giving hope of a lifeline after Grahams impressive kick into the wind from the touchline just dropped over the bar. Storm again rallied though, and Reece Blayney scored the first of his hat trick. Michael Bryan again asking questions of the Cumbrian’s defence when he burst through midfield, showing a fine turn of pace before drawing the fullback and allowing Blayney to scamper home. Steven Coutts tagging on the extras to further the host’s dominance.

The next 4 minutes saw 3 players dismissed to the Sin Bin after ref Rob Howe warned both captains about persistent infringements.
First Storm full back Liam Andrews was shown the Yellow Card for interference at the play of the ball then Craig Stalker followed him 2 minutes later for a professional foul, making no attempt to move onside before preventing Storm of a fine scoring opportunity. Brother Martin then followed him to the bin a minute later when he was penalised for a High Tackle. Storm punished this lack of discipline when Blayney nabbed his brace, showing great footwork before his pace got him over the line.

On Andrews introduction back into the action, Storm made their numerical advantage count when the Carlisle defence, missing the influential Stalker pairing was breached again, Blayney’s inside ball finding Jamieson who then drew the fullback and put Woods in the clear to dive over for a score which again Coutts converted. After the visitors were back to their full compliment, a fine 40-20 from Jamieson gave Storm attacking possession deep in opposition territory with a scrum. Stand off Blayney then crossed for his hat trick score, his angled run scything through the weary centurions defence leaving Coutts with the tricky conversion from out wide which he duly landed.

Just before the hooter, Reece Young got his just reward for a tireless performance, constantly posing an attacking threat as well as strong in defence with a fine solo effort. A trademark dart from the play the ball resulting in him reaching out to ground the ball, against the efforts of 3 would be tacklers. Again Coutts tagging on the extras.

GATESHEAD STORM : Liam Andrews, Kevin Davey, Mark Dack, Andrew Morris, Michael Lassen, Reece Blayney, Michael Bryan, Reece Young, Jonny Scott, Chris Burnett, Rhys Clarke, Dean Jamieson

SUBS (all used): Steven Coutts, Stephen Welton, David Norman, David Cash

CARLISE CENTURIONS: Ellis Little, Gavin Davis, Craig Stalker, Steve Potter, Craig Atkinson, George Graham, Craig Brierly, James Field, Carl Barnes, Shaun Richardson, Andy Holcroft, Martin Stalker, Mike Dodd

SUBS (all used): Tony Palmer, Gary Graham, Graham Kidd, Aiden Day

Gateshead: T: Bryan (7, 16), Dack (13), Burnett (19), Woods (31, 67), Scott (39), Blayney (47, 60, 72), Young (79)

G: Davey (1/2) Coutts (4/5) Blayney (0/4)

Carlisle: T: Potter (4), M. Stalker (24), Palmer (43)

G: Graham (1/3)

Man of the Match:

Storm: Michael Bryan, Centurions: Craig Stalker

Referee: Rob Howe

Half Time: 26-8

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