MATCH REPORT – Hemel Stags 8 – 56 Newcastle Thunder

Newcastle Thunder continued to close in on the mid-field pack in Betfred League 1 on Sunday afternoon, with a comfortable 8-56 win over Hemel Stags at Pennine Way.

10 tries from seven different players saw Thunder ease to their seventh win of the season and move within a win of a playoff berth as their recent resurgence continued.

Following an early score from Liam Scott on his League 1 debut, Hemel created chances of their own as they resisted the visitors until 19 minutes when Joe Brown released Tom Shaw on halfway for a converted try that doubled Thunder’s lead.

Brown turned from creator to scorer on his side’s next attacking set as Lewis Young played his captain into the left corner to finish of a swift move before Rhys Clarke imposed himself on the game in the closing stages of the first half.

Crossing the line with his usual combining of pace and power, the score failed to count thanks to a forward pass in the build-up, but an astute grubber kick on the half-hour mark saw Clarke turn provider as Conor McGrath got onto the end to score and send Thunder into the break 0-22 up.

An early penalty in the second half allowed Thunder another quick start as Ben Dent ran through unchallenged before Shaw added his second as he latched on to a neat pass from Ben Pointer, taking full advantage from a penalty from another high tackle.

The points continued to flow regularly for Jason Payne’s side with Sam Luckley, Scott and McGrath all crossing and two further conversions from Shaw allowing the visitors to bring up the half-century, before a final flurry of points saw Pointer add his side’s final score of the afternoon in between a brace of consolation scores for the hosts.

Newcastle Thunder

Ben Dent, Connor McGrath, Tyler Craig, Lewis Young, Joe Brown, Adam Brook, Tom Shaw, Liam Scott, Ben Pointer, Sam Luckley, Rhys Clarke, Aaron Ollett, Harry Aldous, Liam Richmond, David Weetman, Liam McAvoy, Vincent Rennie

Try Scorers – Scott (3, 61), Shaw (19, 46), Brown (24), McGrath (31, 74), Dent (42), Luckley (57), Pointer (74)

Goals – Shaw 8/10

Hemel Stags

Louis Sheriff, Darren Forde, Kadeem Williams, Sonny Esslemont, Jordan Fitzpatrick-Perry, Jack Mitchell, Kieran Smith, Blake Broadbent, Paul Stamp, Rory Dixon, Patrick Burns, Marcus Stock, Kieran Moran, Jono Burns, Maxime Garcia, Wayne Jowett, Lewis Taylor

Try Scorers – Forde (69, 79)