Saturday 6th April – From the touchline – Kirkby Lonsdale

A warm welcome to one and all in this our last home game of this season.

I am sure you will agree we have seen some magnificent tries and it has been a real boost to win so many games after two successive relegations. Congratulations to all those players who have entertained us so well and lets hope it continues to the very end of the season.

In total we have scored 132 tries including last weekend at Kendal. Of these 78 were from the backs and 51 from the forwards with 1 penalty try.

The leading try scorers( as provided by John Brennan) are as follows;

  • Dan Marshall 23
  • Jack Appleton 15
  • Keith Laughlin 13
  • Nathan Bailey 12
  • Cam Bell 7

 

By comparison Morgan Passman of Tynedale leads National 2 North with 28, and Craig Holland of Chinnor with 22 in National 1.

Our total of points scored at 884 is less than some earlier years but I believe we will have surpassed our highest tries scored

Today we welcome Kirkby Lonsdale and their supporters and I know we will give them the courtesy of a fine welcome as they did when we went there in early December where we played in incessant rain throughout. Its all very well celebrating our past performances but we will have to again be at our best to overcome difficult opposition today who have beaten Wirral and Billingham in the last 3 weeks

Much can happen in all leagues in terms of promotion and relegation before the end of the season and it will be fascinating to see who goes up and who goes down.

I expect a number oy you may wish to go to the Vale of Lune next week but there will not be additional places on the Bus, and thus those who do wish to attend, and I hope it is as many as possible, must make their own transport arrangements.

Have a good summer !
Bill Locke

 

I am grateful to Jim Huxley for the following helpful synopsis of the present state of play on Promotion Run In:  http://www.blaydonrfc.co.uk/promotion-run-in/

 

Promotion run in

Blaydon are now approaching the last two return matches of the season against Kirkby Lonsdale at home (H) and Vale of Lune away (A) and below is my summary of the situation in North Premier, also a review should we come in second place, on our likely opponents in the play-off. This would take place on Saturday 27th April.
Our first two results against our remaining opponents shows Blaydon winning 36-0 and 92-12 respectively and a repeat of two 5 point scores would do the job!

Currently Hull are top having already achieved promotion to National 2 North some weeks ago and Blaydon are battling it out with Billingham and Harrogate for 2nd place, however, Billingham’s loss last week to Alnwick, gives them a difficult task particularly as their opponents this weekend are champions Hull. The team finishing 2nd will play the similar placed team in the Midlands Division (more of that later).

Presently Blaydon are 2nd, one point in front of our Yorkshire rivals with the same number of wins but more importantly, more bonus points and a far superior points differential.

 

The outstanding fixtures are:

  • 6th April:
    • BLAYDON v KIRKBY LONSDALE (H) who are safe.
    • HARROGATE v ILKLEY (H) who are safe but a local derby.
    • BILLINGHAM v HULL (H) who are champions.
  • 13th April:
    • VALE OF LUNE v BLAYDON (A) Vale already relegated.
    • HARROGATE v SANDAL (H) a Yorkshire derby.
    • BILLINGHAM v LYMM (H) who may still need points.

Upon reflection, we are in the driving seat for the play-off place but there is still some way to go.

The play-off will almost certainly be away to whichever Midlands side finishes second as the Midlands’ sides have better ‘win’ records than any in the Northern Group and therefore unless Luctonians have a dip in form, lose in the last 2 games and finish 2nd, Midlands team will have home advantage.

Currently Scunthorpe, after a recent patch of poor results, have come good and are 2 points clear of Luctonians but the Hereford side are currently going well and returning massive victories.

The outstanding fixtures in this division are as follows:

  • 6th April:
    •  SCUNTHORPE v BRIDGENORTH (H) currently 4th.
    •  LUCTONIANS v DONCASTER PHOENIX (H) currently 8th in the table.
  • 13th April:
    •  BROADSTREET v SCUNTHORPE (A) currently 5th in the table.
    •  LITCHFIELD v LUCTONIANS (A) Litchfield currently 12th.

On paper, Luctonians seemingly have the easier run-in but need Scunthorpe to either lose a match or achieve no bonus points to overtake them on goal difference. It is all in the melting pot and a lot could still happen if, and I say if, we were to finish in second place the game will be played on Saturday 27th April with either a long travel on the Friday night to play at Luctonians or an easier journey to Scunthorpe on the Saturday morning.

Either way, it will not be easy and of course we still have to get the right results in our final fixtures to finish 2nd in our league and it must be pointed out that Kirkby Lonsdale recently defeated Billingham 17 – 5 in a re-arranged game.

JIM HUXLEY

Kendal 21, Blaydon 57

Blaydon and Harrogate both take maximum points in the play off race, while Billingham lose at Alnwick with 2 games to go.

Midland Premier – Luctonians still in 2nd place


 

Kendal  21   Blaydon  57
 
With bonus points absolutely vital in the 3-way battle for the important second place in the North Premier League Blaydon took on 3rd bottom Kendal in the knowledge that they had not lost to anyone outside the top 4 since October, and duly despatched them in a 9 tries to 3 rout.
The home side defended well enough in the first period when their line was crossed on only 3 occasions but after the break it was one-way traffic with Blaydon seemingly scoring every time that Kendal dropped the ball.
First to score was hooker Cam Bell after Keith Laughlin had driven through the home defence to find him with a short pass, and then leading try scorer Dan Marshall took over.
The centre firstly shot through a gap at a rate that split the cover wide open and then added a second when he again showed a clean pair of heels to anyone in a home shirt – an absolute belter of a try. Jamie Guy was on target with 2 conversions to make it 0-19 at the interval.
Alex Clark barged his way through the middle to secure try No4 and although Dan Barker replied for Kendal, Blaydon were running the ball at will and further scores were registered by David Lyall and Laughlin.
Barker then grabbed his second in a lull in the visitors scoring but Blaydon full-back Ryan Foreman joined the line in style to race in from 15 metres and soon after Marshall completed his hat-trick.
Kendal wing-forward Kirk Chettleburgh crossed for a 3rd home score, all of them converted by fly-half and leading points scorer Glen Weightman but fittingly it was Blaydon that had the last word when Robert Lenderyou applied the finishing touch to a massive overlap.
Guy’s 4 second-half conversions took the Blaydon total over the 50 points mark, and his side retain second position with 2 games to go and everything to play for.
 
John Brennan

Saturday 30th March – 1st team selection for Kendal

Kick off at Kendal 3pm

Kendal XV Vs Blaydon Bricks KO 1pm

 

 

Blaydon 44, Wilmslow 20

Blaydon secure maximum points and move ahead of Harrogate who beat leaders Hull and with Billingham taking maximum points at Vale of Lune, the playoff spot is still a 3 horse race with Blaydon needing to secure maximum points from their last 3 games to ensure they finish in that spot.

Blaydon  44   Wilmslow  20
A 4th successive win keeps Blaydon on target for a second place finish and into a play-off for promotion, and was achieved comfortably enough by a margin of 8 tries to 3. Whilst the scoreboard rattled along and the result was never in doubt the visitors at times were allowed an abundance of possession and belied their lowly position with a lively showing.
Rob MacCallum the Wilmslow fly-half opened the scoring with a simple penalty on 5 minutes and his side did well to defend 3 line-out drives in quick succession. Eventually prop-forward Calum Eastwood dived over from close range however and the Blaydon onslaught had begun.
Try No2 came from another line-out, this time from a ball to the front from which hooker Cameron Bell was driven over with Ryan Foreman adding the conversion. In Wilmslow’s first real attack their centre Gus Fiennes finished off a raid down the right but Blaydon were immediately back on the offensive with 2 more tries.
Alex Clark was involved with both efforts, firstly driving into the 22 to set up the attack from which Jack Appleton went over and then securing a loose ball to repeat the move and then being on hand to take a neat pass from James Cooney to score the bonus point try near the posts, Foreman again on target.
Wilmslow then showed that they too were dangerous from a line-out drive,
scoring their second through Ayrey Jordan but by the interval Blaydon scrum-half Dan Taylor completed a slick handling move to make it 29-13 at the break. 
The result was effectively settled shortly into the second when winger Frazer Wilson ran in a brace of tries in typical fashion. The first was a solo effort from just inside the Wilmslow half when he outstripped the visitors defence in fine style and was put clear for the second by Nathan Horsfall who had only just come on as a replacement.
Wilmslow then spent some considerable time in the home 22 and were eventually rewarded with a 3rd try, a smart effort from front-rower Rob Taylor, but all the good work was undone when Appleton grabbed his second Blaydon’s 8th near the end.
John Brennan      
 
 

 

From the Director’s chair – Blaydon V Wilmslow


How a fortnight can change everything. We recently travelled to Ilkley on what looked to be a horrible wet and windy day, but in true Yorkshire style it turned out to be a lovely day to play rugby at an even better setting. Ilkleys new club house and pitch was one of the best I have visited and we were warmly welcomed.
The game was a hard fought affair. Blaydon got off to a tremendous start with Frazer Wilson finishing off a well executed 3v2. After such a positive start we stuttered struggling to keep possession for any threatening period of time.
Defending immensely well kept us in the lead and the one time we put phases together Jack Appleton scores a wonderful team try. We eventually came out winners, Ilkley denying us the bonus point win. A hard fought four points but they game had its casualties with Nathan Bailey breaking his hand and needing an operation on it which will keep him out for the season. All the best for your recovery.

We had a week off last week but others around us did not. Billingham travelling to Kirby on a horrible day saw them complain how the game was allowed to go ahead and saw them defeated 17-5. When we travelled there on an equally horrible Blaydon players rallied around and won 36-0. The first time they had been beaten at home for a very long time. That was Blaydon’s best performance of the season and our mindset was superb that day.

This weekend we welcome Wilmslow who are finding this season difficult in the lower half of the league. We must though come with a mindset that match Kirby Lonsdale away game to get the better of them today. They recently put 47 points on A very good Wirral team showing they are a dangerous outfit that can beat anyone on their day.
I hope to see lots of faces cheering us on today then hopefully in the bar to watch Falcons take on Sale at St James in a huge match. Let’s hope they can get one step closer to a great escape.

One game at a time for Blaydon though.

 

From the touchline – Blaydon V Wilmslow

Welcome back to Blaydon today after what seems a long late season break of a month since we last played at home. Following our fine win against Rossendale on 15th February we had a good win at Wirral and followed that up with a much tighter win at Ilkley where our defence was outstanding. Ilkley were excellent hosts and are well supported by sponsors even though many of them never actually watched the game but enjoyed their social occasion. I was delighted that Brian and Ozzy who tirelessly attend our gate were able to join us and enjoy their lunch and the Bus trip.
Today we welcome Wilmslow, who travel up from wealthy south Cheshire. We enjoyed their hospitality in November and whilst they have had a disappointing season lying bottom of the league, they surprised perhaps themselves and the league in general in their last game against Wirral achieving their 2nd victory of the season, winning 47-34. We must make sure their winning ways are not continued today if we are to achieve our aim of finishing second in this league and giving ourselves a chance of promotion against the eventual runners up in the Midlands Premier League at the end of the season.
Congratulations go to Hull Rugby Club who are now unable to be caught and are thus promoted as Champions to National 2 North. It will be interesting to see if Hull Ionians achieve promotion from that league at the end of the season, otherwise there will no doubt be a fiery derby there next season .
Last week’s other surprise result was Kirkby Lonsdale’s win against Billingham in the wet edge of the Lake District. If ever we needed inspiration that was it, and the result of todays Harrogate versus Hull game is equally important to us.
Today sees the Newcastle Falcons aim to continue their recent winning ways, this time at St James Park against Sale (Kick off 17.30). We wish them well and no doubt a number of our regular supporters will be going there, either missing this game or rushing off after our match finishes. The game will however be on TV in the Clubhouse for those not able or wishing to attend.
Our final League home game is in two weeks time against Kirkby Lonsdale and it would be nice to see a good gathering for lunch before this vital match. Please let Sharon know if you wish to attend and perhaps bring a friend or neighbour so they can enjoy the experience.
Lets hope for another entertaining game today and that results go our way

Bill Locke

Ilkley 15, Blaydon 21

 

Ilkley  15   Blaydon  21
Blaydon racked up another win on the road which despite the closeness of the final score was a comfortable enough victory in which they led by 3 tries to nil until the final minutes.
In difficult conditions on a sodden pitch at Stacks Field Blaydon were much the more decisive and although the home side huffed and puffed with plenty of possession they could make little progress against an excellent defence.
Winger Jack Appleton applied the final touch to a smart handling move to get the ball rolling and Jamie Guy was on target with the conversion. Ilkley fly-half Charles Ramsay pulled back 3 points for his side with a simple penalty in front of the posts but by the interval some intense pressure from the Blaydon forwards involving much re-cycling resulted in a try for skipper Keith Laughlin with Guy again adding the extras.
Leading 3-14 at the break Blaydon continued to press and were rewarded with a 3rd score when Matt Jenkinson went over after umpteen phases of possession. Guy landed his 3rd conversion but that was to be the end of Blaydon’s scoring, with  possession being lost too easily there-after and a number of opportunities wasted.
And as Blaydon sat back with a comfortable lead the home side were allowed to come more into it in the final quarter and grabbed a try through their winger Rick Talatio. Their deficit was now 8-21 and in the final play of the game another 7 points were secured when lock-forward Ben Waddington crossed in the corner and Ramsay put over the conversion.
 
John Brennan

 

Wirral 20, Blaydon 55

 

 

 

Photos by Stephen Billington

 

Wirral  20   Blaydon  55
Facing a Wirral side that had won all but one of their last 9 league games, and that against runaway leaders Hull, Blaydon trailed by 17-7 at the interval having had a lesser share of possession.
What followed next was an astonishing turnaround in which they took complete control in what was undoubtedly their most scintillating performance of the season. The backs simply ran riot, some brilliant handling and running producing 7 more tries including 3 in the final 10 minutes by which time the home side were a spent force.
A Craig Harvey penalty had given Wirral a lead on the half-hour but the Blaydon forwards responded immediately by driving Matt Jenkinson over with Ryan Foreman adding the extras, the first of 6 successful conversions by the fly-half.
By the interval the home side had added 2 more converted tries through Joe Murray and Matt Loon and with a 10 points advantage at the break probably felt in a comfortable position and with no premonition of what was to hit them in the second period.
Blaydon were immediately on the offensive only to lose the ball but quickly won it back with a Hugh Mongan interception on half-way, the winger racing back up-field for a brilliant score. Scrum-half Nathan Horsfall dashed over for a solo effort and then a Foreman penalty made it 17-24 and a 7 points lead.
Into the last 25 minutes and wave after wave of Blaydon attacks had the home side at sixes and sevens and helpless to stop the flow.
Handling of the highest order resulted in Dan Marshall, Frazer Wilson, Keith Laughlin and Guy Graham all crossing the try line, and in the final minute Liam Wright brought the spectacle to an end with his first ever try for the Blaydon senior team.
 
John Brennan


Blaydon 61 Rossendale 10

 

 

Blaydon  61   Rossendale  10
Blaydon put the set-back of the previous week well and truly behind them with a more than comfortable 9 tries to 2 victory over opponents that were on a 5 match losing run. A try bonus point was in the bag before the interval but surprisingly it was the visitors that had the bulk of the first half possession.
Rossendale were quite proficient at breeching the home 22 but not so good at getting over the line, and having flattered to deceive were caught out time and time when the Blaydon backs ran at them.
A tremendous 30 metre break by Harry Borthwick set up the opening score for scrum-half Dan Taylor, and on 20 minutes Dan Marshall jinked his way into the 22 to initiate the move finished off by Jamie Guy. Full-back Nathan Bailey added a 3rd before the visitors finally crossed the line, lock-forward Tom Jones benefiting from a quick tap penalty.
Just before the interval Bailey went clear again to release Frazer Wilson, who was in again within seconds of the re-start.
Having trailed 28-5 at the break the visitors rather lost their way in the second period, their successful rolling maul was a thing of the past, and by the final quarter the Blaydon backs were rampant.
An attacking line-out went astray but having won possession Rossendale foolishly tried to run it from the 22 giving Marshall a simply interception for home try No6, and within a minute Rob Lenderyou was over for a 7th.
Davis Strong the visitors winger was on the end of a flowing move for a Rossendale consolation but a Borthwick effort at the other end brought up the half century for Blaydon.
The one-sided affair was finally brought to an end when prop-forward Alex Dodds with the neatest of off-loads released skipper Keith Laughlin to score in the corner, Guy, after 8 successes, failing with the difficult conversion, and the referee blew for time thereby saving the visitors from any further punishment.
John Brennan