Hemel Stags were simply blown away by an excellent Newcastle Thunder side as they were thumped 58-12 in Sunday’s League 1 clash at Pennine Way.
Penalties in crucial parts of the field also cost Troy Perkins’ side dear, with the Stags coach lamenting afterwards that his side keep making the same mistakes week after week.
“Playing sides containing some full-time Super League players is hard enough without us dropping the ball and not completing our sets,” he said.
Thunder got the scoreboard moving on nine minutes, with Dayne Craig scooting over from dummy-half after Jason Payne was held short. Matty Beharrell kicked the first of nine successful conversions from 10 attempts.
Hemel replied with an 80m run by Vinny Finnigan, but Eddie M’Baraga was held up over the line, before the Stags had a try by Derrell Olpherts ruled out for crossing.
It was Newcastle who scored again to extend their lead, as a kick on the last by man of the match Beharrell was flicked on and caught by Ali Blair who finished.
That try was the start of a purple patch for Thunder as, three minutes later, Blair got another try – although the pass that fed him looked to have been forward.
Beharrell scored six minutes later – with Blair shrugging off his markers for a 70m run before releasing the ball – but those two tries were split by Jymel Coleman going over easily for Hemel after Michael Brown had done the spade work. BJ Swindells’ kick reduced the gap to 12 points.
Hemel were still in the game at this point and had two breakaways stopped by despairing Thunder tackles, but they were caught out by two quickfire tries by former Stag Evan Simons on 34 and 37 minutes.
The first half was ended with another try to Craig, and Beharrell’s kick made it a point-per-minute to the visitors at the break.
The second period was a much more even affair, with both sides having periods of dominance. Newcastle stand-off Matty Marsh scored after quarter of an hour, though, kicking through and gathering himself.
Holker added to the Newcastle tally after another kick through, and that brought up the half century.
Marsh ended the try-fest after another Hemel penalty, but the hosts kept pushing, with the hard working M’Baraga held up for a second time.
Then finally on 79 minutes, Olpherts made fully 60m, shrugging off some tired-looking tackling for a consolation try.