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Westoe sights set on the final.

Byline: By Alan Hedley

Westoe beat the weather, beat the pitch and, more importantly, beat Shelford comprehensively to move into the Powergen Intermediate Cup semi-finals.

The North Division Two East leaders are now just 80 minutes from Twickenham and the double of league and cup is becoming very much possibility.

Westoe were 12-0 up in 12 minutes and scored three tries in the first half hour, on a mud-heap of a pitch and with a gale force wind at their backs. They went in at half-time 19-6 up.

Their second half defence against that wind and a hard-scrummaging Shelford side was simply magnificent and it wasn't until the second minute of injury time that their line was breached.

Even then Westoe had the last word with Westoe skipper Gareth Nesbitt crashing over in the 87th minute for the final try.

He said, "It was was superb team effort. Our defence was massive.

"Our player-coach Richard Arnold said it was a 20-point wind and we came in 19-6 and Joe Shaw reiterated that at half time and we just came out an tackled everything that moved.

"It was a great performance, we'll celebrate and then think about the semi-final. It really doesn't matter who we play or where, it's a one-off game and you have every chance of winning it and playing at Twickenham."

Falcons co-captain Ian Peel, who along with team-mate Shaw, has been helping Arnold with the coaching at Wood Terrace also made the journey down to Cambridgeshire and was very pleased with the Westoe display especially the rolling maul which they used to great effect throughout the game.

Two massive rolling mauls softened up the home side and after eight minutes Mark Olugbode galloped through and Paul Hagen converted. The second try by David Bowyer came from a similar hammering up front.

Shelford fly-half Quinton kicked a 20th minute penalty before Westoe again pulverised the Shelford forwards with a huge drive and Graeme Haswell went straight through the full-back for the third try.

Hagen converted but missed a penalty just before half-time and Austin did kick his second to make it 19-6.

Shelford kicked badly with the wind in the second half but it wasn't until the second minute of injury time that Simon Easton broke from halfway and Austin finished it off in the corner.

It was the only period in the game that Westoe looked a little rattled, knowing there was plenty of stoppage time.

But they turned the ball over twice in quick succession ( and Nesbitt was there to crash over, Hagen converting with the last kick of the match.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 14, 2005
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