Chelsea Transfer Target
Mar 5, 2011, 8:09 PM
Team(s): Not any more
Saturday 5th March 2011
Re: [IAN S] Where are you going - where did you go? RUGBY UNION
Westoe 31 Hull 19 (HT 12-7)
National League Two North
Admission: £6 (including 20pp programme - mostly adverts)
Attendance: 150 (h/c)
Tea (in a mug): £1
Wood Terrace, where Westoe have played since formation in 1875, is a very appealing enclosure. Hemmed in by red-brick terraced houses in a deprived community only too obviously struggling to cope with the economic downturn, it has more of a rugby league or football atmosphere than rugby union, which invariably lurks in posh suburbs.
The site is shared with co-tenants South Shields Cricket Club, whose square occupies the east side. Westoe's players change in the magnificent old red-brick pavilion in the north-east corner, with the opposition using dressing rooms in the adjacent wooden structure. The latter, a bit of an oddity, houses, in addition to the away team dressing rooms, loos, offices and a clubhouse. It looks and feels like a youth hostel. The bar area was unbearably hot. It was chilly outside, but not that cold!
Wood Terrace's only cover is provided by a refurbished (but clearly pretty old) 20-yard long stand which straddles the halfway line on the west side. It is flanked by a mixture of grass banking and broken steps of terracing. Behind the posts at the south end is a line of trees, and then Wood Terrace. A tarmac path runs along the in-goal area at the north end, behind which are all-weather tennis courts. In use, too! The rugby ground has floodlights on the east side - used merely for training, it would appear. The depressed - and distinctly depressing - centre of South Shields is a mostly downhill mile to the north.
As for the game, well, promotion-chasing Westoe struggled to shake off a dogged, if rather limited and one-paced, Hull side. Playing down the appreciable slope in the first half, the Shieldsmen dominated possession and territory, but led only 12-7 at the break, having scored two tries to one. Westoe, for whom full-back Scott Jordan looked decent, then moved out to 24-14 before both teams touched down during an interminable 10 minutes of stoppage time at the end of the second half.
Friendly people - not your usual snotty rah-rah types - and a quirky ground made this 'hop' worthwhile, despite being a good deal further (160-mile round trip) than I'd go normally for a game of rugby union.
(This post was edited by Feversham Lens on Mar 5, 2011, 8:35 PM)