Blaydon picked up another vital 5 points when they completed the double over Sheffield Tigers to put some clear water between themselves and the bottom three.
In a highly entertaining encounter they dominated from the start and wrapped up a try scoring bonus point within the half-hour only to see the roles reversed in the second period.
Going into the last 5 minutes they were holding onto a slender 5 points lead but the reliable Tom Catterick who had converted all the tries put over a penalty to seal an important victory.
It was a Catterick penalty that also got the scoreboard moving in the 2nd minute following an offside and heralded a 20 minute spell of Blaydon territory and possession. Flanker Rob Lenderyou grabbed the first try when he completed a move that had started on half-way and was soon followed by skipper Keith Laughlin with an almost identical effort.
Winger James Cooney and Catterick combined to release Dan Marshall for try No3 and make it 0-24 but the home side in what was their first attack pulled back 7 points when they were awarded a penalty try.
Nathan Bailey restored the Blaydon advantage when he finished off a spell of pressure in the home 22 but the Tigers struck again right on the interval with a mazy run and try from Tom Hart, converted by their fly-half Alan Farrell.
Sheffield kicked off in the second period but the Blaydon clearance was charged down by Farrell who had a simple run-in and added the conversion himself, and 7-31 had become 21-31. Worse was to follow for the visitors when prolonged pressure on their line resulted in a Brackley try, but some determined defence maintained a narrow lead until Catterick’s late penalty.
Blaydon win moves them just above Wharfedale and currently out of the relegation places:
Pictures by Iam Smith:
On paper this was a must win for both sides in their battles to avoid the relegation trap and potentially therefore a close affair. The reality was a comprehensive 5 points win for Blaydon who ran in 6 tries without reply and with a little more composure it could have been a lot more.
In what was their first outing on the artificial surface at Kingston Park it took Blaydon 10 minutes to get the hang of it whilst the visitors pushed them around at scrums and line-outs, but they survived and gradually gained a foothold in the opposition half and there was no looking back.
On 17 minutes skipper Keith Laughlin broke off from a short scrum and when he was held up on the line Matt Charlton was on hand to dive over. Luctonians re-started, the kick was fielded and passed along the home 22 for Dan Marshall to take it on and release Jack Appleton to show a clean pair of heels in a devastating run from half-way for a second score.
Appleton was then involved in the next attack which culminated in a penalty kicked to touch and Matt Thompson crossing from the lie-out maul, before securing the bonus point try himself just before the interval with a trademark skip past his opposite number and an unstoppable burst to the line.
Much of the second half was best forgotten with Luctonians at last gaining some territory but constantly dropping the ball or being penalised in the face of a determined home defence, with Blaydon at times just as indulgent with their possession.
Going into the final quarter it was still 20-0 but once the visitors effort was spent Blaydon got back on the front foot and typically it was a howler of a back pass by a Luctonians defender that led to the fifth try. The ball went down in the 22 and Davidson was quickest to re-act and hack-on to the line where he picked up and put Joe Whyman over for a simple score.
Laughlin, who had been involved in everything, popped up twice in the final minute in what was the best Blaydon handling movement of the game that pressed and pressed again at the visitors until flanker Harry Borthwick finished off in style.
Both sides had plenty to play for, albeit at opposite ends of the table, and whilst Blaydon gave it their best shot and gained a deserved try bonus point it was the visitors who controlled affairs for much of the game to run out comfortable winners by 8 tries to 4.
Harry Borthwick got Blaydon on the front foot in the 4th minute, his storming run into the 22 producing a try for full-back Nathan Bailey, but the lead was to be short lived.
The Tigers hit back 3 minutes later when, for what was to be the first of many a move, their slick handling found a gap and Callum McShane was left with a simple run-in.
And then came a blitz from the visitors in which they simply seemed unstoppable, running in 3 tries in 4 minutes through Hallam Chapman, Kieran Allen and Andrew Riley, and all scored with the utmost of ease.
To their credit Blaydon heads stayed up and on 31 minutes a rolling maul was heading for the line when Park front rower Ben Black pulled it down for which he received a yellow card. The penalty went back to touch and this time Matt Thompson was driven over, Joe Whyman converting.
With half-time beckoning Bailey put up a high ball to the far corner and after the forwards had taken it on leading scorer Jack Appleton crossed near the flag, Whyman again on target to make it 19-28 at the break.
A deficit reduced to just 9 points had kept Blaydon in the game but it didn’t take long for the visitors to regain their composure and 4 minutes into the second period Riley was over for his second, and then the hat-trick on 49 minutes.
Black crossed for try No7 from a McShane line-out break and near the end replacement Matt Gallagher completed the Sedgley scoring to keep them well in contention for promotion.
For Blaydon it was a disappointing outcome in what was their last game to be played on grass at Crow Trees before the diggers move in to replace it with an artificial surface but centre Dan Marshall had the honour of scoring their final try on turf when he crossed for the bonus point score in the 61st minute.
The lighter Blaydon pack were up against it in the near arctic conditions and whilst both sides struggled to hang on to the ball at times it was the Crow Trees boys who made the greater number of errors, contributing much to their own downfall.
At 10-19 early in the second period they had the one real opportunity to turn it around but with skipper Keith Laughlin leading the way they battered the Huddersfield line but just failed to make the breakthrough and the chance was gone.
“Obviously we are disappointed” said head coach Matt Thompson ” there were times in the game when we applied pressure in the right arears but didn’t come away with any points”.
Well prompted by 2 bursts into the 22 from James Cooney they started the better but failed with a simple penalty opportunity and typically on the day conceded the first try with a poor clearance kick. The visitors ran it straight back through former Blaydon hooker Fran Entressengle for centre Tom Owen to cross with ease.
When they got back on the front foot a penalty was kicked to the corner and a rolling maul held up on the line leading to a further infringement and a repeat maul from which Laughlin was driven over.
But back came Huddersfield and from a knock-on by a Blaydon back in his own 22, prop forward Adam Blades scored from the resulting scrummage. On 32 minutes they turned down a kickable penalty to opt for a scrum and winger Elliot Knight was in for a 3rd try.
In the final minute of the half Drew Davison set off on a solo run into the visitors 22 and when Huddersfield infringed again Davison was on hand to score from the line-out possession and make it 10-19 at the break.
Laughlin was over the line but held up in Blaydon’s best spell and then stopped just short from the scrum but the effort petered out and Huddersfield went on to secure a bonus point try through lock-forward Austen Thompson.
In the final minute replacement Calum Eastwood went over for a Blaydon consolation score but Huddersfield deserved their 5 points.
“We will have to play better than that to avoid relegation but we are still optimistic and I know the boys are capable” said Thompson, and Blaydon now have 6 games from which to secure their National 2 status, 4 of them at home with the final 3 due to be played on the artificial pitch at Kingston Park, home of the Newcastle falcons, whilst work commences on the installation of a similar AGP surface at Crow Trees.
Bricks came out on top, doing the double over the Saxons in the re-arranged league game, snowed off the week before. The Saxons were out muscled by a bigger, more experienced pack and good performances from Scotty, Dale and a very good performance by Dags at No 8, on a scrummage going backwards were not enough for Saxons to match the Bricks forwards on the day. The Winters’ thrive playing the likes of Winlaton, James Knox had a great game at front row and going forward, Arran and Keith made yards from 2nd row and the back row of Harry, Justin and Damien Shaw owned the breakdown. If we hadn’t given away more penalties than England, for hands in the ruck, not releasing when a player’s knee goes down and high seat belt type tackles, the score would have been higher.
- Rodders made yards each time he got the ball and his clearance kicks push Winlaton back time after time. Unfortunately he tweak his hamstring and pulled up which isn’t good news with the cup semi-final only 2 weeks away.
- Chester and Divers nullified Kieran who had a strong game in the centres for Winlaton, but size wasn’t enough to break the Blaydon line
- Liam had a good game at 9 and also in the lineout, as we were short of jumpers
- Rodders had to drop goal the first conversion as Windy couldn’t find the kicking tee, Stracks pointed out it was in Windy’s hand, you couldn’t write the script, der!
- Anth’s (promoted waterboy) face was a picture, when his name was read out as part of the starting 15, the look only surpassed when it was again read out for starting the 2nd half….
- Good steal from Justin in our 22, long kick for Rodders into their 22, who then chased it and good tussle with Davy Walton their full back, Anth got there with 9 on his back, even looked like a 9 when he went in, right up until the pass naturally, but ball was popped to Arran to score.
- Chester and Divers made good lines of running off Alex, with Divers scoring twice, one a good line that beat everyone and Chester had one disallowed as the referee was unsighted.
- Alex balanced the use of backs and forwards in attack well and controlled the game.
- Matt Robinson had a good debut for the Bricks after agreeing to sub for us haven just moved into the area.
- Paul Dingley on the other wing, was strong in the tackle to stop Winlaton wingers from making much progress.
This was a really strong Bricks performance, against a decent Saxons side and but for some lapses in concentration, especially in retreating at penalties, Bricks would have kept a clean sheet on the day. This Bricks side is highly critical of itself and shouldn’t be, given we can’t keep a settled team, we had people playing out of position with injuries and unavailability, it was as Paul said one of our best performances. As I said at the end, if someone had offered me a score-line of 42-12 before the game, I would have snapped their hand off…. Great game/result, well done all!
The real worry is the injuries and non-availability for the cup match on 24th March:
- Rodders has to be a doubt, Savs, Matt Goodall and Chris Coates are out, so full back may be a draw straws affair
- Finnaz, Ian Bennie, Stracks and Rob Pyle (backrow one) won’t be seen until next season
- We have injuries to Matt Purdy, Steve Palmer, Brett,
- Development are going to need help to get a side out and a bench at home to DMP 3s
Lets hope the responses on the cup match week are a lot better then current response levels….
Trys: Liam, Arran 2, Rodders, Divers 2
Conv: Rodders 2, Alex, Divers
Drop Goal: Alex
- Paul Winter
- Keith Winter (Grumpy)
- James Knox
- Keith Oliver
- Arran Poad
- Damien Shaw
- Justin Clarke
- Liam Bradley
- Alex Twinn
- Paul Dingley (Matt Robertson)
- Steven Davidson
- Phil Divers
Leicester Lions 15 Blaydon 8
Blaydon went down narrowly at Westleigh Park in a game that was closely contested throughout and which could have gone either way. At the final whistle Blaydon were encamped under the lions posts and piling on the pressure but for all their efforts came away with only a losing bonus point.
Driving rain and a muddy pitch made handling difficult and it was both sets of forwards that held sway.
Leicester Lions were first to score on 14 minutes when Owen Taylor their hooker was driven over from a line-out maul, and fly-half Jonathon Boden on target with the conversion.
The home side then lost a player to the sin-bin for foul play and Blaydon immediately turned the screw. The pack stormed into the 22 with hooker Matt Thompson diving over from close range for an equalising try.
Joe Whyman failed to convert, and the lions now back to full strength regained the advantage at the other end with a powerful rolling maul from which scrum-half Tom Aviss nipped over for an unconverted score to make it 12-5 at the break.
Blaydon started the second period without Keith Laughlin their injured skipper but continued to be in contention although frequently denied by some accurate defensive kicking by the home side.
With the game in the balance and time running out Blaydon were penalised for offside and Boden stretched the home lead to 15-8 leading to the fighting finale by the visitors and a bonus point that could yet prove valuable in their bid to avoid the drop zone,
If this young Blaydon side could only sustain their brilliant first half efforts after the break then they would likely be well clear of the relegation zone by now. For the second game in succession they ran in early tries to put themselves in pole position but then let the opposition back in with some unforced errors.
In yesterdays encounter they were breath-taking in attack for 39 minutes in which the visitors never once set foot in the home 22 and on every occasion that Blaydon went forward with ball in hand a try seemed likely.
It all kicked off in the 3rd minute when prop forward Dave Kilpatrick grabbed the opener from close range, Jack Appleton then ran in a hat-trick, and a try bonus had been secured within 13 minutes – heady stuff.
Try number two arrived when they drove on from a short line-out and let it out for James Cooney to sprint over in style. Appleton secured his first on 11 minutes when the visitors knocked on and Nathan Bailey and Joe Whyman combined to send him on his way. Two minutes later he was in again, this time latching onto a South Leicester box kick in his own half and racing clear from 60 metres.
His hat-trick was completed from a line-out drive with Dan Taylor,Robert Lenderyou and Jack Davidson in turn providing quick ball for the young winger to cruise over.
The visitors simply had no answer, and a 6th try was conceded on 35 minutes when they were toyed with by a rampant Blaydon who went back and forth along the 22 until replacement hooker Cameron Bell applied a finishing touch.
With the interval beckoning the visitors at last got into the Blaydon 22 and winger Myles Bean crossed in the corner to make it 38-5.
The outcome was virtually secured but there was still 40 minutes to play and somehow Blaydon contrived to let the opposition back in. They failed to secure possession in their 22 and then infringed for Adam Johnson to touch down a second try, and then when back on the attack threw out an optimistic pass for Adam Shaw to intercept and race clear.
Finally they dropped the ball near their own line to concede a 4th try to Ricki Aley, which reduced their advantage to 18 points. But fittingly they had the last word when Cooney latched onto a loose ball to storm over from 30 metres and Whyman landed his 5th conversion.
Chester lee Street 2s conceded the cup quarter final so we had to pick up a fixture, given the Bricks had 15 subs at the start of the day. Only team around were Northern 2/3s, Northern are struggling to run 3 sides but a fixture at this level for Blaydon 4s was always going to be a challenge, reality is any more junior team would have been blown away on the day.
The Development side, took a similar fixture with West Hartlepool 2/3s, similar they are struggling putting out teams. The Development side was made up predominately of our U18s in they transition to senior rugby, the Development were strengthened a little, when the 2nd team game was cancelled, but in the main left with the side selected for the cup, rather than brining in more of the 2s. The lads were ahead at half time, lent players to West and lost 43-22 to a heavier side. A few seasons ago, who would have thought Blaydon 3rd and 4th team would be able to compete so well against these club’s 2nd teams.
The Bricks, Northern game was a clash of styles, Blaydon using forward power and Northern with the fastest back 5 forwards and rapid backs we’ll see this season.
We’d lost a few players from the 15 subs, Big Lad was sick over night, Grumpy went down with lurggie and Vinnie, well tweaked something in the gym earlier that day.. Keith Winter will tell you, training is dangerous! We still had 12 subs for half time. I’ll repeat what I’ve said for 3 weeks now, it’s fantastic having such strength in depth, but you will always struggle to perform consistently when you make that amount of subs, but we stuck with our policy, everyone get a half if they want game time.
Then there is Craig McBurnie, who went on at half time, got carried away in the excitement and tried to race out and charge down a conversion just after half time, ping went the hammy…
Photos: this week thanks to Derek: https://www.flickr.com/photos/organize we had loads of photos, even with the dog pictures removed!
Highs and lows of the game:
- Good to see Adam Keeler make his first appearance of the season, he had a great game, scored a nice front row try crash over, I’m sure he ran in 40 meters.. by the end of the night. Just as well he did as he’d dropped a ball near the line, either earlier or later depending on who you ask.
- Rodders had managed to get time off work for his 3rd game of the season to provide pace at the back
- Mark Strong made a welcome return to a Blaydon shirt, good performance will get fitter and even quicker….
- Derek Turnbull made a welcome return from injury, did a good job with the camera in the first half and went on in the second half, coming through without further injury
- Ryan Robson, having played a number of games for the Vets made his first appearance of the season for the Bricks, still a very good player, just needed more ball.
- Forwards were on top both halves, scrum dominant and taking ball against the head, 2 push over trys to Harry, thanks to front 5
- First half, Paul, Keith, Adam, James and Harry made big yards and Steve S and Justin we all over the park
- 2nd half similar Steve P, Keith, James, Derek, Paul & Keith made yards and Mark Strong and Justin were all over the park
- Somebody ask Adam K what he was doing kicking in our 22 please, next time just batter someone!
- First half Rodders, Divers and Liam made good yards in the backs,
- Second half again Rodders, Sean and Ryan made yards, but we didn’t get as much ball in the backs.
- Some good tackling all round
- Stracks then had a couple bad minutes, stripped in tackle in one possession and then ‘shot’ in the Achilles by a sniper in the next, which sees the end to his season, unless we can add studs to his surgical boot….
- And Hopey made a good tackle….
- I was on Morretti again and notes were sparse, also the promised input from Windy and Keith, well didn’t truly make the cut! – to show willing I’ll add a couple of the comments ‘Ting a Ling’ and ‘Jolly good game today’ which don’t truly add much value….
At the end Bricks’s were a bit disappointed, to lose by 20, but if someone had said we would score 36 points V Northern 2s a couple seasons ago, I would have asked what they were taking. Someone is going to get a real good hiding from this Bricks team soon….
Next week sees our U35s players with the Development squad at Ryton IIs, while all over 35 players will be playing the vets game against Stracks’s Army team, who will be without him, feel free to join him on the sideline, game should be entertaining. 12 midday kick off to ensure we’re finished and in the bar in time for the Calcutta Cup at 4pm.
- Paul Winter
- Keith Winter (Craig McBurnie)
- Adam Keeler (Steve P Palmer)
- Janes Knox (Derek Turnbull)
- Steve Sewell (Keith Oliver)
- Cameron Richardson (Mark Strong)
- Justin Clarke
- Harry (Strachs)
- Liam Bradley (Hopey)
- Alex Twinn
- Craig Barlow (Damien Ameer-Beg)
- Chester (Sean Pyle)
- Divers (Tony Horsefall)
- Damien Shaw (Ryan Robson)
Crow Trees, Hexham Road,
Swalwell, Newcastle Upon Tyne,
Tel: 0191 4200505