Blaydon 43-21 Hartlepool Old Boys
This was always going to be a nervous affair between two of the strongest sides in the county.
After 15 mins, the game was still 0-0, with both sides knocking on and giving away needless penalties. That was until after a good break from Nathan in the middle of the park saw him tackled around 5m out from the try line. Blaydon did well to keep the ball alive with some ‘unconventional’ passing out wide, ending in Louis going over in the left corner; 5-0.
Just when it looked Blaydon were settling down; the next 5mins put nerves on edge again with Hartlepool scoring 2 tries in quick succession. The first coming from an interception and the other straight from the kick off from the first try. Blaydon were trialling 5-14 with Hartlepool looking the stronger side.
With the next score being crucial just before the break, credit to Blaydon, they started to look settled and started to put some good, safe phases of rugby together. This was rewarded just before half-time with 2 quick tries from Blaydon one from a fine mazing run from Chris and another ‘pick and go’ from Nathan saw us leading 19-14 going into the break.
The second half saw a much more improved display from Blaydon, with the reduction of fouls and knock ons and they used their cross field kicking to good effect, with the ‘kick and chase’ keeping the ball deep into Hartlepool’s half.
Blaydon used this to their advantage with the first try coming from good forward play with a turn over from the Hartlepool fullback and with quick forward support play seeing Michael Rew going over the line. The second try was similar; with a cross field kick chased down by the Blaydon backs forcing a 5m scrum in the centre of the posts.
A quick move from the backs, saw Louis crossing the line a 2nd time. 33-14 to Blaydon. Credit to Hartlepool; they weren’t finished as they piled the pressure on the Blaydon defence. This rattled Blaydon a bit with a game of ‘hot potato’ on the Blaydon try line saw Hartlepool score; 33-21.
Blaydon again, picked themselves up and again, used a kick to good effect, which saw a try from Mark Kelly in the far left corner. With 5mins to go we saw probably Blaydon’s best try.
With Hartlepool giving away a penalty for a high tackle; Will H kicked into touch into the far left hand corner. A line out, 5 metres out saw Blaydon retain the ball well and then kept the ball alive by using a rolling maul. There was little the Hartlepool defence could do as they saw Matty break from the maul and score into the far left corner, ending the game 43-21.
This was a hard fought win which went ‘to and fro’ in large parts of the game. Well done boys and it is fantastic to see so much promising talent coming through the Youth Section, well done to all involved.
A date for your diary the U16s County Cup Final between BRFC and West Hartlepool is scheduled for February 9th (Venue and Kick Off Time TBC).
Thanks to Gary Barnes for the excellent summary once again.