Blaydon 24 Cinderford 14

[match id=93]

Blaydon made it three in a row with this 5 point win over fellow strugglers Cinderford who remain rooted in the nether regions of the league.

Whilst the score-line suggests a comfortable victory Blaydon needed to be on their mettle in defence as the visitors at times enjoyed a lions share of possession. So much so that in the opening quarter they took up residence in the home 22, spurning penalty after penalty in favour of a line-out catch and drive.

Blaydon had little option but to soak up the pressure but they did so successfully and went on to run-in 3 first half tries.

Skipper Keith Laughlin secured the opener from close range after a Tom Banks burst from half-way, and then Banks grabbed the first of his brace with another break and fine jinking run through the defence. Andrew Baggett added the conversion and was on the mark again when Jason Smithson made it 17-0 in the 35th minute.

Cinderford finally got some reward for their earlier pressure when winger Nevero Codlin touched down in the last play of the half, Mike Wilcox converting.

Blaydon were quickly back in control just 2 minutes into the second period, securing a try bonus point when Tom Grimes broke clear in mid-field with a searing run to release Banks who scooted in down the left wing. A touch-line conversion by Baggett completed the Blaydon scoring and much of the remaining possession was controlled by Cinderford.

They pulled back another 7 points when prop-forward William Davis completed a drive by the pack, Wilcox again on target, but despite much huffing and puffing never looked likely to get any closer.

John Brennan

From the Touchline – Sat 19th Oct

Today we welcome Cinderford who make the long treck from the Forest of Deane in search of their second victory of the season having won once against our opponents last week Hull Ionians on the third week of the season, the score being 31 – 7.

Last week, despite being well adrift at half time, Cinderford recovered to force a draw 34 all with Henley scoring in the process, five tries.

Their defeats have been against Rosslyn Park, Coventry, Doncaster and Richmond two of which we have played winning against Coventry and losing in London to Rosslyn Park.

Last season’s results saw each team win the away match and the Cinderford victory at Blaydon ended our ten match winning sequence in the mid season period.

Games between the two sides have always been well contested, being close, and high scoring. Added spice today may well see the inclusion of Sam Hanks in the centre following his transfer to Cinderford in the close season.

Our first visit to Hull for seven seasons last week saw us come away with a healthy

30 – 5 victory gained in difficult wet and dreary conditions. Hull battled well in the forwards but had little to offer elsewhere and despite late changes in the team, we stuck to our task and through the endeavours of Harry Bate, Tommy Banks scored the bonus point try at the death. Other late changes saw Jonathan Hames make his 1st team debut from the bench after joining us from Consett in the close season.

Blaydon Georgians also travelled to Hull to take on the unbeaten Ionians 2nd XV and unfortunately, after leading for most of the game, they conceded a late try and conversion to lose 22 – 17 in the closing stages. However, the trip was enjoyed by all, returning home at the early hour of 7.45.p.m. to enable all to join in the Marty Lonsdale wedding celebrations!

Other results last week saw neighbours Tynedale sneak a late win over Worthing, Coventry returned to winning form against Old Albanian, Rosslyn Park swamped Wharfedale, Esher won the London derby against Blackheath, and surprise side Loughborough Students continued their winning ways over Fylde. The games resulted in Doncaster leading the table by four points from the students with Coventry, Rosslyn Park and Esher just behind. At the other end of the table, Tynedale and ourselves climbed out of the bottom three, leaving Ionians firmly entrenched in last place.

Today we also welcome past players and former members to the Annual Lunch, particularly Bobby Snaith who has travelled over from South Africa on vacation. Bobby played for Blaydon in the 60’s/70’s era and also for Durham County during that period.

A spectator at our last game was Peter Horan now in New York who was here for a family reunion. Peter played for Blaydon in the late 50’s for five seasons and appeared many times on the 1st XV.

Hull Ionians 5 – Blaydon 30

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Blaydon cruised to a comfortable win on their first visit in seven years to Brantingham Park in a game dominated by the forwards. Conditions were far from conducive to back play and flank-forward Harry Bate in particular took full advantage of some poor defending by the home side.

Andrew Baggett opened the scoring with a 10th minute penalty and then added the points to the first try when from a break down the right centres Tom Banks and Tom Grimes combined to send in Tom Jeffery for his 3rd of the season.

By the interval another Baggett penalty had taken the Blaydon advantage to 11 points with little or no response from Hull, and nothing changed in the early exchanges after the break.

Try No2 arrived courtesy of some more powerful work by the pack culminating in Bate storming into the 22 for Keith Laughlin the other flanker to finish off and Baggett convert.

The home side finally got their act together and pulled back 5 points through fly-half Chris Reakes but Blaydon were soon to restore the differential when Bate crashed over, Baggett again on target.

At 5-25 the game was effectively over but Blaydon continued to press for a 4th and bonus earning try, at one stage winning 5 line-outs against the throw. With time running out they finally secured the elusive score with Bate, inevitably, setting it up for Banks.

John Brennan

Blaydon 21 – Coventry 16

[match id=91]

On paper it was second off bottom versus second from top but Blaydon belied their lowly league position to grab a well deserved first win of the season.

They got off to a cracking start, scoring after just 3 minutes and then defended magnificently when Coventry ran at them with an abundance of possession. By mid-way through the second period Coventry, who had scored 18 tries and 143 points in their first 4 games so far rarely looked like breaking through and Blaydon with two more tries went on to open their account in style.

A delighted Director of Rugby, Micky Ward, said afterwards “They are a good side and we knew it was going to be tough but the defence held solid and with a couple of good carries the lads grew in confidence”.

The start could not have been bettered with winger Sean Brown using good line-out ball to break clear from his own half to race into the 22,hauled down inches short. Coventry were then pushed off their own ball at the scrum and from a Blaydon put-in Jonny Burn shipped it out to Tom Jeffery who touched down near the posts and Andrew Baggett added the extras.

The visitors then retained possession for long spells but without ever looking likely to pierce a resolute Blaydon defence had only reduced their deficit at the interval by 2 Cliff Hodgson penalties.

Hodgson put his side in front for the only time with another penalty 8 minutes into the second period but Blaydon began to assume control. They won a scrum against the head in the Coventry 22 and then a penalty from which Burn took a quick tap and Jason Smithson finished it off, Baggett converting.

From another short scrum on 63 minutes Baggett made a half break only to be held up but when the forwards piled in Chris Wearmouth picked up and dived over.

Baggett’s third conversion made it 21-9 and there was no way back for the visitors although they did gain consolation and a bonus point with a breakaway try by their scrum-half Louis Silver in time added on.

John Brennan

Rosslyn Park 41 – Blaydon 15

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Blaydon must have known it was not going to be their day when the train broke down at Stevenage involving a long wait for a replacement and then transference of kit and a late arrival.

Not surprisingly they were not at their best and never looked likely to grab an elusive first win of the season. The final score-line might suggest a one-sided game but apart from falling away in the last 15 minutes they were always in contention and at 22-15 anything could have happened.

Unbeaten Park led at the break by 12-5 thanks to 4 penalties from their full-back Sam Katz but Blaydon had the satisfaction of scoring the only try of the half, by who else but Robert Bell playing in what is likely to be his last game for the club.

The flanker crashed over in typical style from the most typical of Blaydon moves, a rolling maul following a line-out, and his prolific try scoring ability will be sorely missed.

A poor tackle let in Park centre Charles Gower soon after the restart with Katz landing the conversion and then a penalty but Blaydon hit back immediately. Andrew Baggett struck a fine penalty and then added the extras when Tom Bramwell cut through at speed to touch down under the posts.

With everything to play for disaster struck when prop Micky Ward was injured and Robbie Kalbraier came back on as replacement only to be sent off seconds later for a yellow card offence at a line-out.

Things then went from bad to worse in the final 15 when Park were allowed to dominate and galloped away with tries from Dominic Shaddo, Henry Staff and ex-Tynedale No8 Sam Shires plus 2 more conversions by Katz.

John Brennan

Blaydon 25 – Esher 35

[match id=89]

Looking back to last weeks game at Tynedale it was a case of deja vu for Blaydon with them having to weather a tremendous storm in the opening quarter then fighting back to finish the stronger only to lose out in the end.

They led on 17 minutes, half-time and again on 50 minutes but then some poor play and errors saw them concede 3 tries in a 10 minute spell, particularly a poor clearance that was charged down.

A disappointed Director of Rugby, Micky Ward, felt the final score was not a true reflection on the game, saying “We put some great stuff together at times and I thought we were in control in the second half until we had a silly 5 minutes when they scored a couple of tries”.

They could have been 2 tries down in the opening 5 minutes but just held on despite Nathan Bailey being yellow-carded on his own line, and then led by 2 Andrew Baggett penalties to 1 from Luke Daniels.

Esher went ahead with a Pat O’Grady try but right on the interval Tom Bramwell, a replacement for Tom Penny, collected a loose ball and stormed over to make it 13-10 at the break.

Daniels levelled with a penalty but Blaydon were back in front when they spoiled the visitors line-out ball and Tom Banks scampered over beneath the posts.

And then it all went wrong. In no time at all they conceded a short scrum to let in Andrew Wright, failed to hold elusive winger Spencer Sutherland down the left, and gifted a third to Stewart Maguire.

Good work by the pack at two successive line-outs from penalties brought reward for Robert Bell to take Blaydon into a score that would have given them a deserved losing bonus point, only to be denied in the final play when Wright grabbed another try for the visitors.

Micky Ward was by no means despondent however, saying “We’re starting to play some really good rugby. It’s tough to take but you have to remain positive”.

John Brennan

Tynedale 25 – Blaydon 24

In the end there was just one point in it but Blaydon gave themselves a mountain to climb with a wretched start and a first half deficit of 16 unanswered points. To their credit they turned it round in the second period and but for conceding a string of penalties might have gone on to sneak a 4th ‘derby’ win in a row.

At the start however they were caught stone cold by a Tynedale side that ran with purpose from the kick-off and were 13 points clear after just 10 minutes courtesy of some excellent short sharp passing. Gavin Beasley got the ball rolling with a second minute penalty and then added the points when brother Grant scooted over in the corner.

Another lightning break saw full-back Jack Harrison stopped inches short but Hamish Swales in support was over in the corner, and Blaydon had scarcely laid a hand on the ball.

Things improved slightly for the visitors but after another Beasley penalty on 40 minutes the half ended with Blaydon not having set foot in the home 22.

Whatever was said during the break had an instant effect as the forwards set off in determined fashion and within 3 minutes of the restart four of them had charged the Tynedale line leading to an Andrew Baggett penalty and a score on the board.

Good work by Jason Smithson got them back upfield in quick time to again set siege to the home line, and after a dart by Jonny Burn had almost succeeded hooker Fran Entressengle burrowed over. Baggett put over the conversion and it was now 16-10 and everything to play for.

Sadly, Beasley was presented with 2 more straightforward penalties and then another for replacement Craig Willis, but once more Blaydon hit back when an up and under from Baggett was pounced on by Tom Jeffery who stormed into the 22 for James Hallam to touch down and Baggett convert.

Into injury time and still with an 8 point deficit Blaydon were set on having the last word and a now ragged Tynedale again failed to hold the visitors pack.

Chris Wearmouth gathered in at a short line-out, a rolling maul looked promising but was halted and when the ball was released Jeffery stormed over by the posts.

The successful conversion brought the game to an end and a Tynedale win but Blaydon had secured a well earned bonus point and the satisfaction of having outscored their opponents by three tries to two.

John Brennan

Blaydon 9 – Loughborough Students 34

[match id=87]

In the end it was a thumping, and well deserved, win for the Students but the home side who had led at the interval contributed massively to their own downfall.

With no replacement scrum-half on the bench blindside flanker Robert Bell assumed that role for 60 minutes thereby nullifying his renowned try scoring prowess, and 3 of the 6 tries they conceded were from wayward passes leading to breakaway efforts.

James Guy landed 3 first half penalties for Blaydon but the Students responded with a smart opener from full-back Jack Pons after prop Mike Daniels had driven into the 22.

Pons crossed again 5 minutes into the second period and then nifty footwork down the left saw Alex Davis score at the second attempt after being brought down just short.

At 9-15 Blaydon fought back to push Loughborough over their own line from a line-out and force 2 short scrums, but when a try seemed inevitable they let it out, the backs dropped it, and the game swung once and for all when Pons ran the length of the field to send in Craig Dowsett.

Blaydon were broken and even a yellow card for Students prop Jack Collister failed to help their cause, and in time added on Loughborough rubbed it in with 2 more length of the field jobs by Davis and Tom Pointer, both converted by Chris Surman.

Star man: Jack Pons (Loughborough)
Referee: Marcus Caton
Attendance: 275
HT: 9-5 FT 9-34


Penalties: Guy 6,30,40+3.

Loughborough Students
Tries: Jack Pons 34,45, Davis 54,80+2, Dowsett 65, Painter 80+5.
Conversions: Surman 80+2,80+5

Reporter: John Brennnan

Blaydon v Newcastle Falcons Development – Sat 31st Aug.

Blaydon’s last pre-season fixture is against Newcastle Falcons Development side

KO 2pm

Falcons team will include;

Alex Crockett, Andy Higgins, Chris Pilgram, Sean Tomes and Chris York


Blaydon fail to retain the Durham County Cup

Blaydon lost the Durham County Cup match at  Crowtrees yesterday against a strong West Hartlepool side; 17 – 27