1st XV Rugby News

Saturday 15th December – 1st Team Selection for Alnwick game

Blaydon v Alnwick

Kick Off 2pm

Location: Home @ Crowtrees

Late change: Ash Friel comes in for Nathan Horsfall on the bench


Full list of North Premier Fixtures


matt thompson

Saturday 15th December – From the Director’s Chair

Good Afternoon everyone and hope you are all having an enjoyable build up to Christmas. I would firstly like to thank Bill Locke for hosting The Presidents Lunch and hopefully we will all have a great day after a entertaining game of rugby.

The last 2 weeks have been a real test for Blaydon 1st xv in tricky conditions against some tough opposition. We firstly came up against Kendal in a rainy miserable day which perhaps was not best suited to our open rugby style of play. Even in these freezing wet conditions our boys still wanted to move the ball around and play their brand of rugby. Possibly the only difference was we did this much more in the oppositions territory rather from deep in our own half. Credit to the boys, they executed the game plan well, kicking for territory, turning the opposition and pressurising them hugely at Lineout time and with a formidable kick chase. This made Kendal make errors in their own half which we capitalised on, keeping possession for numerous phases and wearing the opponents down coming away with a convincing 31-15 bonus point win. This really pleased all the coaches because we showed real discipline to perform an unfamiliar game plan to a high level.
If we thought the weather was bad the week before, we had not yet seen what was waiting ahead for us at Kirkby Lonsdale. Welcome to a typical Cumbrian winters day. A day that could of been a potential loss for us was far from it. The lads were amazing and we could not of asked for more. All 18 players demanded hardwork, determination and generally putting your heads where most people would not put there hands. In horrendous conditions we beat Kirkby in every aspect of play from tactical kicking, to smashing defence, to unbelievably good ball handling with minimal errors. Six tries to nil and coming out 36-0 victors. The best performance from a Blaydon team in a long time. Kirkby aftermatch speaker saying they had not come up against a team like that in years, not been nilled at home in forever and a special mention to Alex Clark with 2 simply brilliant solo efforts. Well done lads.
I personally hope we can replicate these last performances today versus Alnwick and send the Blaydon faithful home for Xmas with smiles on there faces and 5 points in the bag.


Saturday 15th December – From the Touchline

So we are now half way through the season and start to replay our opposition. It is our pleasure therefore to welcome our friends Alnwick from Northumberland for what will be their first visit here for some years after being a regular fixture in pre league times. We had a difficult and hard fought victory at their home in early September and they will look today to gain their revenge with a victory against us. They have had a varied season so far but with 7 wins from 12 games are probably reasonably content with their overall form after their promotion to this league. We welcome their team and supporters and trust they enjoy their day at Crowtrees.
Last weekend saw us visit Kirkby Lonsdale for the first ever fixture between our Clubs, and after a day of incessant rain throughout the match secured a fine 36-0 victory. It was a happy bus on the way home with Blaydon Races ringing from Andrew Richardson’s music machine as we entered Swalwell
At this half way point we lie only one point behind second place Billingham, with the leaders Hull to be played at their ground in our first match in January. We have a regular away support now and it is a pleasure to have a strong group of supporting parents with us as well at every ground we visit.
The Christmas rest period will be well appreciated by the players of all sides as injuries continue to mount due to the intensity of the game that is now being played and our 1st team squad are no different but with strong competition within the squad and four consecutive victories Matt and the team are on a good run. Let’s hope it continues today.
I am grateful for an excellent attendance at our Xmas President’s Lunch today and particular thanks and a warm welcome go to our Match Sponsor Penny Petroleum and their guests. It is also a pleasure to have Smithy, or Ian Smith to some, with us today, the BBC Rugby commentator who does so much to promote Rugby in the North East. He has confirmed that our game today will be included on Sports Extra on Sunday and BBC Newcastle We also have tables from our past players, youth teams and parents and the Club will be buzzing once again.
We were surprised and delighted to see our past President and character Peter Graham at our Wilmslow game. He advised that he hasn’t come into more money and moved to that part of Manchester but had commuted from his home in Sri Lanka to see us !
Finally it only remains for me to wish all attendees a Merry Xmas and Happy New Year from all at Blaydon Rugby Club. We look forward to another exciting year and to welcome everyone back again.

Bill Locke


Blaydon had little difficulty in registering a 5th successive victory, dominating from start to finish and scoring 6 tries in the process whilst denying the home side a single score.
They were on the front foot from the kick-off and after a number of attempts to cross the line had been thwarted ran in their first try when Nathan Bailey collected a poor clearance. The full-back made progress into the 22, moved it on to Nathan Horsfall and was then on hand to take a return pass and touch down, James Guy adding the conversion.
Ten minutes later Kirkby were hit with a replica score, Horsfall and Bailey again combining with the same outcome and Guy once more on target.
The home side  then held out for the remainder of the half which ended with the score at 0-14 but had little by way of territory and possession after the break despite Blaydon now facing the severe elements.
Try No3 was secured when Keith Laughlin picked up a loose ball near to his own line and moved it onto Horsfall who in turn released James Cooney on the 22 metre line, the centre  taking off at pace and racing 70 metres for a superb score.
At this point both sides lost a player to the sin-bin but Blaydon wisely moved a back into the forwards to retain their domination and run-in 3 more tries.
Alex Clark finished off a flowing movement and then from some excellent interplay between backs and forwards front-rower Anthony Harvey drove over from close range.
In the closing minutes the scoring was completed when Bailey made a decisive break to release wing-forward Rob Lenderyou and from his pass Clark crossed for a second time, Guy landing a 3rd successful conversion to put the seal on what had been a more than comfortable win.
John Brennan

Blaydon 31 Kendal 15

The visitors proved to be a bigger stumbling block than their league position might have suggested, 3rd top versus 3rd bottom, and it took Blaydon deep into the second period to finally assert some authority. The visitors were lively throughout and a number of solo breaks kept Blaydon on their toes but ultimately they only had themselves to blame as the home side ran in a couple of tries on both occasions when they were facing 14 men.
Blaydon were caught napping in the 8th minute when Steve Nelson and Kirk Chettleburgh easily penetrated the home defence to send in fly-half Nathan McCloy who also added the conversion.
On 20 minutes the home side hit back with a tap penalty move that took them over the try line but unable to ground the ball and from a line-out prop forward Anthony Harvey squeezed over. Chettleburgh was yellow carded for his part in that action and Blaydon were soon in front when a long pass out gave Jack Appleton a simple score.
A McCloy penalty made it 10-10 at the break but in the 46th minute Kendal lost a second player to the ‘naughty step’, Chris Downham for a flying tackle, and from some constant pressure on the visitors line Blaydon skipper Keith Laughlin dived in to secure try No3, James Guy converting.
With the dust not yet settled Blaydon broke quickly down the right through James Cooney, play was switched to the left and with the visitors defence wide open Guy Graham strolled in for the bonus point try, Guy again on target.
There then followed a severe battering of the Kendal line with seemingly everyone having a go until Laughlin was sent in under the posts for his second, Guy completing the Blaydon scoring at 31-10 with his 3rd conversion.
The game was now virtually wrapped up but the visitors were still going forward in the closing minutes and were rewarded when replacement Jack Lashley broke off from a line-out drive to score in the corner.
John Brennan
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Kendal Team Selection

Date: Saturday 1st December

Venue: Crowtrees

Kick Off time: 2pm

Team Selection:

matt thompson

From the Director’s Chair – Blaydon v Kendal

I would like to give a warm welcome to Kendal to the crow trees. Both teams come off hard fought victories. Kendal having edged a very hard fought battle against Wirral 8 points to 3, where as Blaydon travelled the long distance to Wilmslow. Another great first half from Blaydon saw us storm into a 26 point lead at half time. We have been working on performing for 20 minute periods and this was really shown in our recent performance against Ilkley at home and the first 20 last week. whether it was the long journey or just a determined mindset to play for a full 80 we fell off in the second half, eventually finishing the game 38-5 victors. 5 points in the bag in what could of been a banana skin fixture. Well done lads.
We are still looking for that 80 minute performance that we saw on the first day of the season and we are slowly building towards it, but Rome was not built in a day. Hopefully we can build on the last 2 weeks performances and get the right result versus a very hardened Kendal team.
I would also like to draw to your attention our game on the 15th versus Alnwick which sees us host our local rivals and is also Presidents day. It is always a great atmosphere and day all round so please make the effort to get down and cheer on the lads.

From the Touchline – Blaydon V Kendal – Sat 1st December

A very warm welcome to our guests Kendal today. It is some year’s since we last played them and indeed this is our 1st game against Cumbrian opposition this season as we travel to Kirkby Lonsdale next weekend.
Both Clubs take pride in their former player Mark Wilson and his recent sterling performances for England. Its great to see national Rugby writers slowly having to appreciate that he should have been playing for England earlier and won more caps despite “only” playing for Newcastle Falcons
Kendal are an ambitious team who have benefitted from an input of cash which has enabled them to complete a fine Clubhouse that we look forward to visiting at the end of March. They are not having the best of seasons so far being placed 12th in the League with 3 wins, but this includes a fine home win over Wirral 8-3 last weekend which they will be hoping inspires them today.
We travelled to Wilmslow last week with a few absentees but thanks to a fine hattrick by Jack Appleton won 38-5 in a comfortable manner. There will be no room for complacency today however and we expect another hard fought game if we are to progress up the League towards Billingham and Hull.
Last week’s shock was Vale of Lune beating Billingham for their 1st victory which again confirms that their are no certainties in this League. Meanwhile our former player Harry Bate continues to shine for Blackheath who now lead National !. Could they make the championship ?
Glad to be on a decent pitch today after all the rain in recent days. Lets hope for more running rugby.
See you in two weeks at the Xmas Lunch and at the following Alnwick game. Make an effort to get down and bring a friend with you

Bill Locke

Wilmslow 5 Blaydon 38

A first half hat-trick by winger Jack Appleton put Blaydon comfortably on the road to a 3rd consecutive victory but after racking up a 31 points lead made very little of their advantage in the second period.
Facing a Wilmslow side on an 8 match losing run the visitors  stormed into a 10th minute lead when Appleton got possession from a flowing move and found himself confronted by 3 defenders but beat them all on route to the line, Jamie guy converting.
On 15 minutes the lead was doubled by centre Dan Marshall who intercepted on half-way to race clear and give Guy another simple conversion kick. Lots of forward pressure then led to a 3rd score, the move finished off by Appleton, who then crossed for his hat-trick and the bonus point try on 26 minutes when finishing off another smart handling movement that started in the Blaydon half.
Guy again added the extras and at the break it was 0-26 with the home side having made very little impact. Five minutes into the second half hooker Cameron Bell added a 5th try from a catch and drive but with the game effectively won by that point Blaydon seemingly lost concentration and wasted a number of scoring opportunities.
When the visitors lost possession on half-way Wilmslow took full advantage with their fly-half Brendan McCullum scoring a fine individual try to bring it back to 5-31 but Blaydon should have been much further ahead.
Nathan Bailey did secure a 6th Blaydon try when he finished off a move in which he had twice been involved, Guy landing his 4th conversion, to complete the scoring in what had been a disappointing second half.
John Brennan