Durham 4th Team County Shield Final – Blaydon Bricks beat Houghton Boars to retain 4th Team Shield
In what was a close encounter, Boars were beaten in the end by:
• youth coming through the Blaydon system, with 3 under 19s in the squad
• the strength of the Bricks bench, selection policy based on number of games, where we have multiple options for positions, meant we had players on the bench as good as players on the field
With scores like 12-12 and 17-17 at half time, Bricks defence had to be on its best and it was, throughout the team.
At half time Bricks turned around and spirits were lifted, as we now had the advantages, we were now down the hill, with the wind, with the sun in the Boars eyes and we knew we had a strong bench, but we still had a fight on our hands. Couple subs at half time, 3 more 10 mins in and you started to see the bench doing the damage.
Cup finals are always hard, with such a large squad (Brick’s have used 64 players so far this season) who work shifts, have other commitments, yet naturally all plan to be available for this one game, inevitably some people miss out. So we’re putting this win down to all 64 players, who got us through the season, got us to joint 2nd in the Blyth South league and through the previous rounds.
I’m not going to name the starting 15 or the finishers (thanks Eddie for that term) who came on and finished this one, remember all the hard work of the starters, we are just going to celebrate being lucky to have such a strong squad and being the Durham 4th team shield winners again and hope it continues.
Playing 4 cup matches on the same day in previous rounds stretched Blaydon’s resources, we didn’t have 7 subs as we had this day in previous rounds and got through. We could have strengthened the squad, but that would have made selection even harder.
I will single out the 3 young lads:
• Adam Turnbull U18 2nd row, who watched us play early in the season with his dad playing until injured, turned 17, signed papers to play senior rugby and has been ever present since December and MoM in ¼ final against a strong Ryton side.
• Two U19s, who brought their own shirts, as Bricks shirts were too big for them, who had previously injected pace for us, having helped us win games like top of the table clash against Gateshead 3s:
o Jak Tuck, with our scrum half away in Manchester Jak started, his tackling, goal kicking and speed caused loads of problems for Boars
o Ollie Wiliams, last year I almost wore out our front rows in the final, with a shortage of ‘fresh’ subs, so we were determined to have prop and hooker fresh on the bench to cover and Ollie covered the bench as Hooker. Our other two hookers seem to have semi-retired and didn’t make themselves available. His tackling was immense, he got round the park as fast as our back rows and what was it like, having a hooker who could throw in straight…. Well actually can’t remember now and not worth getting used too, is it…..
Three really good players destined for higher teams, the future is bright for Blaydon looking at these guys.
As far as the game, there are loads of pictures, take a look, our scrum was great against a bigger pack, line out with Mark and Adam took all our ball, forwards took the ball on well, backs lines of running had Boars scrambling in defence and everyone tackled like the shield depended on it, which it did.
Great to see Robin in the club after the game, he has patched our side up many times, as physio to keep us on the pitch in all games including finals
Photos, thanks to Derek for photos:
Talking to Marc , Houghton have a good Colts side this year and they will benefit from that injection next season, they will regroup and come back at us again next year.
So the season isn’t over, on 24th we have a hard game being a double header against Sunderland 2s on the AGP, which will finish our league off, assuming Gateshead win their remaining game they will take 1st place, but we will be very close if we can win that game and you never know, they may slip up!
A league and Cup double is still a possibility….
Trays: Toddy, Divers, Ollie 2, Matt G, Steve S ?? I missed a couple of try scorers
Conv: Jak 4+
Final score of 47-17 did not reflect how close this game was.