Rosslyn Park 34 – Blaydon 27

Blaydon are still seeking a first win at the Roehampton ground but once again it was a close affair with the London side scraping home in the closing minutes after a number of controversial decisions had gone against the visitors.

With the scores level at 27-27 the Blaydon pack were in full flow in search of a winner only to be penalised 3 times in quick succession and the moment was lost. Park kicked long and then ran it from a line-out for replacement centre Steve Hamilton to touch down and Sam Catz add the conversion.

Both sides were committed from the start but Blaydon struck first with an Andrew Baggett penalty before Park spun it wide for winger Neville Edwards to race in. Catz put over the conversion and then 3 rapid penalties to take it to 16-3 but Blaydon responded with a purple patch that brought them a brace of tries.

Flanker Robert Bell went over from a catch and drive, his 17th of the season, and then from the move of the game when Blaydon had whipped it through many hands winger Simon Barber got possession 30 metres out and with two immaculate side-steps shot clear for a fine effort, Baggett converting.

With the interval beckoning Edwards grabbed his second for the home side, outgunning the defence from his own chip ahead to make it 21-15.

It was all Blaydon at the start of the second period with the home pack in disarray and powerless to stop Bell repeating his earlier score before conceding a penalty try after a series of infringements and a sin-binning for their No8 Tom Baldwin.

Baggett’s conversion kept Blaydon in the driving seat but two more Catz penalties and then the late Hamilton score turned things round for the home side to close down the gap between themselves and the Crow Trees side.

Blaydon however picked up 2 bonus points to stay 5 points clear in 3rd place and everything still to play for from the final game.

John Brennan

From the Touchline – Sat 20th April

As the season reaches its final stages, we take the long trip to Rosslyn Park who are currently seven points behind us in the table in fourth place.

When the teams met earlier in the season, we won a closely contested game by 28-22 and no doubt this return match will be closely contested also. On our previous visits to Roehampton we have always done well but never won, coming away on each occasion with a double bonus point. Hopefully this time we may do a little better and maybe push Esher for second place in the table.

Esher, by collecting a losing bonus point at Coventry on Wednesday, are currently one point ahead of us with two games to play – away to Richmond and home to Fylde.

However, it is in the lower reaches of the table that there is extreme interest. Currently both Wharfedale and Macclesfield are bracketed together on 52 points but Wharfedale have a game in hand and also what would appear to be a game they would win at Cambridge.

This Saturday’s results at Tynedale and Macclesfield will be awaited with interest.

Next week we are at home to Macclesfield – kick-off 2.30.p.m. – in what promises to be an extremely hard game with Macclesfield obviously needing all the points they can muster as do Wharfedale.

Meanwhile, our Georgians are at home to Darlington Mowden Park 2nds – kick-off 3.00.p.m. – this coming Saturday in the 2nd teams’ Cup Final. Our three junior sides are current cup holders and the Development side and Bricks in the past two weeks, have already retained their trophies. Should the Georgians win on Saturday, it will be up to the 1st XV to complete a nap hand by beating Darlington Mowden Park here at Crow Trees on Tuesday 30th April – kick off 7.15.p.m.

Should we be successful in all four competitions, as far as we are aware, it will be the first time any club in the county has held all four cups in the same year.

Congratulations to all teams who have already won and the best of luck to the 1st XV and the Georgians!!

Just a note for members – the Annual General Meeting has been fixed for THURSDAY 16th MAY 2013 COMMENCING AT 7.30.p.m. IN THE DERWENT SUITE.

JIM HUX

Blaydon 39 – Coventry 25

With the Mayor of Gateshead, Malcolm Brain an interested spectator the game started with Blaydon being caught cold having missed a number of tackles and unexpectedly found themselves 15 points in arrears after just 18 minutes play – but then up stepped teenager Zach Kibirige.

In six minutes of sheer class the young winger ran in two tries himself and put one on a plate for Nathan Bailey to completely transform the game and put the visitors firmly in their place.

Jokingly referring to it as ‘Kevin Keegan style rugby, all attack and no defence’, Director of rugby Micky Ward said afterwards “You can have the best defensive system in the world but if you slide off tackles you are going to struggle.”

After conceding the early scores to Matt Tibbatts and Greg Evans and a conversion and penalty to Cliff Hodgson the game took a sudden turn when Kibirige left his wing to pop up in mid-field in support of an Andrew Baggett break. Collecting from Gavin Painter he simply side-stepped the first challenge to scythe through the rest of the defence with nonchalant ease.

Scarcely had the dust settled when back on the wing he shot clear from Charles Inceldon’s pass to draw the cover and send in full-back Bailey. Coventry were at 6’s and 7’s and could only watch bemused when he ended the virtuoso performance by nipping in to hack on and race through to collect and score.

By the interval Painter had also broken clear from half-way to wrap-up the bonus point try and 0-15 had ominously become 24-15, with more to follow.

It was all Blaydon at the start of the second period and following a spate of penalties and eventually a yellow card for Coventry lock Dan Wright two more scores were secured, both by leading try scorer Robert Bell. The flanker touched down from a majestic catch and drive and then seven minutes later broke off from another attacking maul to cross near the posts and give Baggett a third successful conversion to add to his earlier penalty.

At which point the foot came off the Blaydon pedal and the visitors were allowed the consolation of their own bonus point with tries from replacements Matt Paice and Andy Murray.

John Brennan

End of Season Presentation Dinner

The end of season presentation evening will be on Saturday 4th May.

The whole club is welcome and it would be good if all teams could make an appearance to celebrate on what has been such a successful season for the club as a whole.

The night will consist of arrival drinks, buffet, comedian and team awards then followed by disco.

Tickets will be available from all team managers or from the bar.

Tickets: £15 (£10 Students)
Date: Saturday 4th May
Time:  19:30
Dress Code: Smart

Cambridge 23 – Blaydon 27

Playing a more expansive game than in recent weeks Blaydon were in control for most of the 80 minutes but had to pull out the stops in the closing stages and even then the home side had the last word.

It was nip and tuck at first but Blaydon gradually assumed control and opened the scoring when full-back Nathan Bailey put a penalty to the corner and No8 Jason Smithson was driven over from the maul.

Andrew Baggett added the conversion,as he did to the other two Blaydon tries, but Cambridge were soon on level terms when the visitors knocked on and scrum half Ross Kevan broke from 30 metres to leave the defence for dead, Elliot Vale converting.

By half-time Vale and Baggett had each added a penalty to make it 10-10 but a galvanised Blaydon made all the running after the break and following some effective forward play Bailey scooted in near the posts. Baggett again added the extras and then a penalty to make it a comfortable lead but back came the home side to pull it back with 6 points from Vale and Will Hooley.

Now realising that they would have to work hard to defeat the relegation doomed Cambridge the Crow Trees side reverted to Plan A and turned down a kickable penalty in favour of a line-out drive. The move was completed with consummate ease, the pack marching on from 20 metres for lock-forward Chris Wearmouth to touch down and Baggett to take his total to 12 points.

With just five minutes remaining the game looked in the bag but there was still time for a never say die Cambridge to grab a second try through Steven Hipwell, and Hooley slotted over the conversion with the final kick of the game.

John Brennan

Blaydon 32 – Cinderford 34

A spirited Cinderford side never lost heart despite trailing 25-13 in the 48th minute and were rewarded with 2 tries in two minutes and then another near the end to clinch an unexpected victory.

They scored first through winger Nevaro Codlin in the 3rd minute but then had only a couple of Mark Davies penalties in response to a first half Blaydon blitz. Robert Bell crossed for his first from a driving maul and then centre Tommy Banks went in from a neat inside pass from Jonathan Burn who had broken brilliantly from his own 22.

No8 Jason Smithson was driven over on the stroke of half-time to make it 22-13, and then a second Andrew Baggett penalty put Blaydon firmly in the driving seat – or so it seemed.

Inexplicably they went off the boil, Cinderford flanker Robert Langley crashed over in the corner and within seconds Codlin had shaken off tackle after tackle to score down the other wing.

The visitors suddenly had reversed their fortunes and when full-back Michael Wilcox touched down a 4th try when Blaydon lost their own line-out ball in the 79th minute their day was complete.

Blaydon responded when it was all too late but at least had the consolation of earning 2 bonus points when Bell grabbed his second in the 4th minute of time added on.

Star man: Mark Davies (Cinderford)

Referee: Shane Lewis
Attendance: 205
HT: 22-13 FT: 32-34

Blaydon
Tries: Bell 29,80+4, Banks 33, Smithson 40
Conversions: Baggett 29,33,80+4
Penalties: Baggett 6,48

Cinderford
Tries: Codlin 3,63, Langley 61, Wilcox 79
Conversions: Davies 3,61,63,79
Penalties: Davies 11,35

Reporter: John Brennan

From the touchline – Sat 30th March

Today we welcome to Cinderford to Crow Trees for this return league fixture and we hope they survive the long travel in the current inclement weather!

Last week our visitors’ game at home with Old Albanian was, like three others in the league, postponed with Loughborough Students being unable to travel to Macclesfield.

Since the advent of league rugby in 1988, this period of weather has undoubtedly the worst ever experienced in late March and indeed today several games could be at risk notably Wharfedale v Coventry up in the Dales. The end result is that games will be played on the 4th and 11th May. Thankfully, Blaydon do not have any backlog!

The weather has caused Cinderford many problems – they have not played since 9th March and prior to that their last game was 16th February.

When the teams met on 17th November last, we recorded our first ever victory at Dockham Road coming away with a 24 – 10 result with tries by Robbie Kilbraier and Rob Bell (2) and Baggy kicked three conversions and a penalty in what then was his seventh 100% kicking record of the season.

Since then, we have climbed to second in the table losing narrowly last week to Ealing 12 – 11 in probably the worst conditions experienced for many years, their winning try coming in the 77th minute.

Cinderford had a bright start to the season winning three and drawing two in their first five matches but since then they have been somewhat inconsistent winning only twice since the Christmas break against Tynedale and Fylde.

Last week’s club games saw the Development XV beat Novos by 70 points and surprisingly the Bricks, after their winning County Cup Semi Final the previous week, lost to Ashington 2nds 60 – 12, a side they had previously beaten 59 – 0 at home.

League results last week, with only two other games played, saw the London derby go to Rosslyn Park when they defeated Blackheath 29 – 9 and our neighbours relieved their relegation problems with a good 30 – 15 victory over Richmond.

At the top, Ealing are 17 points clear of ourselves in 2nd place with Rosslyn Park and Esher, who meet today, two and three points behind us respectively.

At the other end of the table, Cambridge and Sedgley Park seem doomed for the drop with Macclesfield and Wharfedale fighting it out for the third spot although mathematically it is still possible for others to be involved in the relegation issue. However, with six games to play, one of which is against each other, it will probably be down to the aforementioned two.

Jim Huxley

BLAYDON vs CINDERFORD – kick off 2.00pm
REFEREE : Shane Lewis
ASSISTANT REFEREES : Fraser Gill/Barry Dalby
FOURTH OFFICIALS : Richard Hailes/Jim Knight

LAST WEEK’S CLUB RESULTS:
BLAYDON GEORGIANS – NO GAME
DEVELOPMENT XV 70 – NOVOCASTRIANS 0
ASHINGTON 2nds 60 – BLAYDON BRICKS 12

THIS WEEK’S CLUB FIXTURES:
DEVELOPMENT XV v BRAINTREE
BLAYDON BRICKS v BRAINTREE

Ealing Trailfinders 12 – Blaydon 11

The run-away league leaders go marching on and now look well set for promotion but Blaydon can take quiet satisfaction in the fact that over the two encounters between the sides this season there was not a single point between them.

In November at Crow Trees it was 35-34 in favour of Blaydon whilst yesterday in West London a 12-11 result was the outcome in an equally tight game with the winning try coming in the 74th minute.

In desparate conditions, deep mud and driving snow, Blaydon took a 2nd minute lead when Ealing handled in a ruck and Andrew Baggett, just back from injury, put over the penalty from 45 metres. The home side then repeated the offence and Baggett again took advantage, this time from closer in.

The early advantage was soon forfeited however when Blaydon lost their own line-out ball near the line and Ealing scrum-half Morgan Thompson nipped in to score, Tom Wheatcroft adding the conversion.

As the interval approached the visitors regained the initiative and were rewarded for kicking a penalty to the corner with a try for Andrew Davies after the pack had driven it on, and gain a half-time lead of 7-11.

Facing the elements in the second period Blaydon were kept on the back foot for 20 minutes but after finally breaking out had the opportunity to stretch the lead only to see it disappear at the other end. In a spell of 14 phases of possession with lock forward Keith Laughlin heavily involved they progressed deep into the 22 only to be penalised in front of the posts.

Ealing found touch with the clearance, won the line-out and kicked it to the far corner where a 5 metre scrum resulted and replacement winger Ron McLean-Dent touched down for the winning score. Blaydon again hit back in the closing minutes only to infringe again in front of the posts and the game was disappointingly gone.

John Brennan