Clarro storm the Pirates

Clarence Town travelled to Newcastle on Sunday to begin the start of the second round by taking on the Carrington Pirates at their home ground Connolly Park.

The ground is situated near the harbour and the blustery conditions set the scene for a torrid affair.

The Cobras had defeated the Pirates comfortably in the initial game of the season but were well aware things would be much different this time round.

Carrington were a much improved team at this stage and early exchanges between the forwards was going to be a solid test for the Cobras pack to prove their metal.

As expected the contest was even with plenty of strong defense from both sides but it was the home side that cracked the line first when their second rower scored next to the posts to give them a 6-0 lead midway through the first half.

Cobras halfback Badior replied shortly after when he regathered a clever grubber kick to score in a similar position and level the scores at 6-6.

The Pirates took the lead to 10-6 when Clarro were caught napping close to the line.

A combination of lazy marker and blindside defence enabled them to crash over in the corner.

Hooker Andrew Bashford put the Cobras back in the lead when he capitalised on good lead up work to dive over from dummy half and score.

The sideline conversion from Badior left the visitors in front 12-10.

A bad read of play caught the Cobras out wide and the Pirates scored a disheartening try just before halftime to give them the lead 16-12.

Clarro were on top right from the start of the second half. The entire forward pack was relentless in attack and defence.

Brad Johnson proved a handful for the Pirates, scoring the first of his three tries early in the second half.

His strong bursts and perfect timing were too much for the opposition defense to handle. Carrington kept themselves in the game when they scored a try against the run of play but their revival was short lived.

Johnson scored his next two tries in the 61st and 74th minute and Clarro were in full control and stretched the score to 30-20 in their favour.

A highlight of the game was the polished kicking display both in general and for goal by Badior.

In difficult conditions he landed goals from all over park to finish with seven goals from as many attempts and it was he that added two more points when he kicked a penalty goal to make the score 32-20.

James Spence capped off another fine performance when he crossed late in the game to finalise the scoring at 38-20.

Compliments must also be handed to fullback Joe Gorton who was making his comeback from a bad ankle injury.

He was splendid at the back for the Cobras and defused many challenging situations.

The entire team should be congratulated for a fine performance that now cements them in second spot getting towards the midway mark in the competition.

Next week the Cobras are again away to the Morpeth “Bulls” on Saturday at 4pm.

Best forward Brad Johnson, best back Joe Gorton, supporter’s award Andrew Bashford, best benchy Kyle Ridgeway and players’ player Brad Johnson.

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