Vanbrugh end year on a high with Goodricke win

Goodricke in action against Halifax last week, Image: Agatha Torrance

Goodricke in action against Halifax last week, Image: Agatha Torrance


In a battle of two teams that have struggled for form over the last term, it was Vanbrugh that emerged victorious with a dominant performance.

Despite posting three tries, there was the definite possibility of many more, denied by difficult conditions, mistakes and some gritty Goodricke defending.

Playing on a surface that could, at best, be described as swampy, the two sides had to forego any ideas of attractive running rugby and resort to a scrappier affair.

Any attempts at a run were always tempered by the possibility of a slip on the soaking York RI pitch.

In the opening minutes, it was Vanbrugh who set out their attacking intentions, quickly pushing Goodricke back to their try-line.

And after several minutes of intense pressure, Goodricke’s line finally gave way to Mark Gibbard, who found the slightest of gaps and slid over for the try.

Chris West then knocked over the subsequent conversion.

The rest of the half saw Vanbrugh close in on the try-line multiple times, and they could have been several tries up by the half way mark.

Goodricke’s try line defence was effective, but Vanbrugh knocks-on and misplaced passes meant that they were unable to take full advantage of their territorial dominance.

The second half saw Goodricke attack early, pushing Vanbrugh deep into their own half for the first time.

However, despite a few tense moments that required some last ditch tackling, Vanbrugh coped well with this pressure.

Vanbrugh then reasserted their presence in the tie, again pinning Goodricke back to their try-line.

They were finally rewarded with their second try of the match, resulting from a run from the blindside of the scrum, with Gareth Turner clinical enough to bundle over the line under heavy Goodricke pressure.

In trying conditions, the match was always going to be a low scoring affair, and entering the last vestiges of the game, Vanbrugh’s lead of 12-0 looked to be enough to secure the win.

However, they were able to score one final try with some pleasing flowing rugby.
From the scrum, quick passing down the line eventually reached Matt Thorp, who was able to slide over and wrap up Vanbrugh’s first win of the year.

Vanbrugh captain Chris West was delighted with his side’s victory, stating “We haven’t had the results of late, but the performances have steadily improved. Today was the reward for that.”

Goodricke team president Chris Smith and captain Alex MacDonald didn’t begrudge their opponents the victory, saying, “Despite the conditions, the boys dug deep. It was difficult, but full credit to Vanbrugh. It was a good win.”

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