WITH Jarrovians unable to field a side for the scheduled league fixture North Shields Artisans had a late replacement in opposition with a first ever meeting with the Newcastle Ravens.
The match was played at Novos ground where the Ravens are based.
The Artisans fielded a much changed side with a mixture of young and old. The props were Ben Marshall and Chris Allot with Alan Millar getting a first start at hooker. In the backs Simon Morgan returned, playing at fly half and Jack Jeffrey was full-back.
The match was played on the Novos flats with the Artisans playing uphill in the first half.
They started well and put on lots of pressure, keeping their opponents hemmed into their own half.
From a scrum close to the Ravens line Tony Lion scored a pushover try but the conversion was not added. The Ravens defended well but Simon Morgan managed to break through and score a try, again no conversion giving a half-time score of 0-10 to the Artisans.
At half-time Shields made several changes and also lent Iain Pearson at prop to the Ravens to allow the match to continue with the scrums being contested.
The second half saw the Artisans still applying pressure. Owen Irving made some powerful runs but the Ravens still managed to stop the Shields powerhouse.
After a long spell of pressure Shields wing Steven Thompson broke through to score. In the second half conversions were automatically awarded to the Artisans due to the location of the pitch (0-17).
Ten minutes later Ben Marshall who had an outstanding game crossed he line to score a try to extend the lead to 0-24.
The Artisans made a couple more changes which led to the average age of the back row being 18. After several attempts Bruce Parker broke the gain line and ran in an excellent try (0-31). In the dying minutes the Ravens who never gave up scored a consolation try to give the Artisans a 5-31 win.
This was a good performance by the Artisans and in particular Steven Thompson, Chris Allot and Ben Marshall all stood out and also Owen Irving who tidied up a lot of loose ball in the lineout. It was good to see Ryan Wood from the youth back at the club and Gary Whittle back after a spell a Rockcliff.
The win made it a win double for the club with the first team’s victory over Seaton Carew and a successful day for North Shields sport, with the footballers and hockey teams also winning.
This was a good warm-up for next week’s cup semi-final away at Medicals Serpents, kick-off is 3pm.