Blaydon 29 Sheffield 23

Seeking to end a miserable 7 game losing run Blaydon ran in 3 early tries and were in the ascendancy for long spells only to finish up in danger of losing out in the dying seconds. With 4 minutes of normal time remaining their previously solid scrum began to take in water and conceded a push-over try, and then in the most tense finish imaginable were desperately defending their line in 6 minutes of time added on.

But they survived, Sheffield knocking on in the final play, and the 5 point win lifts them off the bottom and with improved prospects of survival.
“We opened them up a couple of times and left 4 or 5 tries on the field” said Head Coach Matt Thompson, “We put the game to bed with 20 minutes to go and it was our own doing that we were under pressure – it was a last gasp effort that got us over the line”.
The start could not have gone better. Sheffield kicked off, Blaydon found touch and won the line-out against the throw and moved in cross-field. Dan Marshall broke from half-way to race into the 22 and move it on to Nathan Bailey who drew his man and sent in Jack Appleton, and only 70 seconds were on the clock.
Joe Whyman saw his conversion attempt rebound from an upright but made no mistake 6 minutes later when Thompson crossed from close range.
In their first attack Sheffield pulled back a try through winger Gareth Morley but Blaydon were over again on 17 minutes when Marshall from nowhere raced in under the posts.
By the interval Stephen Depledge had scored a typical scrum-half’s try for the visitors to make it 19-12 and then put over a brace of penalties soon after the restart.
Blaydon however pressed on and on and were rewarded when Bailey stormed into the 22, leading to Andy Miller diving over in the corner for the bonus point try. They mounted more pressure 9 minutes later until Appleton, who had started it all, scooted in for try number 5.
At 29-18 that should have been that but Sheffield, who are in just as much danger near the bottom, came fighting back to force a fantastic and memorable finale.

John Brennan

Saturday 10th February – Blaydon Bricks 26, Percy Park Pumas 29

Another week with a great turn out, outside of James Murray and Josh Simpson guesting from the 2s, we had a further 11 subs on the day, looking good for getting 4 teams out next week and ongoing. The influx of players continues, as does the number of U18s transitioning to senior rugby.

This was another very good game, double header, played in the right spirit, some hard hitting by two physical sides that both knew they had been in a game on Sunday morning.

Making so many changes at half time again disrupted the team, but it’s more about getting people game time and people back playing, after struggling to get 4 teams out for a while. Good news for cup matches that all the U18s who have played infrequently are available on mass, Vets are supporting, injured are returning and people have taken holidays to be available.


Trys; Vinnie, Justin, James M, Hopey

Conv: James 3

Photos: Still not a lot, after all that hype, Finnaz had too many to drink and failed to show

Highs & Lows:

  • Forwards dominated the set piece; scrummage and line out, both halves again
  • Good to see Ian Kelly available again
  • Will Daniels helped out again as prop, he’s getting really good in there, but I kept my word and he didn’t play 80 minutes at prop, nearer 70…. Soz.
  • Stu Bailey and Toddy were tackling everything
  • Paul Winter dropped yet another kick off…. not as bad as Keith dropping the ball just short of the line. Both had good games AGAIN… and were only ones on for 80 minutes, but it’s more fun to pull out the mistakes…
  • Tony Horsefall finally got permission to make his debut in a brick’s shirt, good start
  • Tom Edmondson made his return to a Blaydon shirt and made good yards
  • Good to see Chester and Damien Ameer-Beg back from injury
  • Good interchange with James, Hopey and Damien A. which nearly resulted in a try
  • Vinnie, paul W, Keith W and James K made good yards 2nd half with Vinnie scoring
  • Justin and Callum G were all over the park
  • Lewis’s chip and chase was well executed
  • Hopey finished off a good break with a foot race to the line, given he had lots pace outside, it was good job he didn’t get caught.
  • James was unlucky to get caught down the right hand side
  • Anth cried off again, even from waterboy!


In addition to more players, good to see more management capability at the game, even though there was a Ryton/Winlaton first team game, we had Keith Richardson at the game. See photo of Keith with our sideline motivational speaker/manager, Cliff.  Also good to see Tony Horsefall, wearing a Blaydon jersey and taking part in the game in the second half. Keith was still wearing his Vulcans branding, but sure that’s just a matter of time….  once Winlaton committee read this and finds out he deserted them, he’ll surely be bared, we’ll make him welcome again, back at Blaydon….)  🙂

So next weekend is the quarter finals of the Durham Cup with Bricks away at Chester Le Street and Development away at West Hartlepool, bring it on!

1. Paul Winter
2. Keith Winter
3. Ian Kelly (Will Daniels)
4. Mark Todd (Oliver Henry)
5. Tom Edmondson (James Knox)
6. Cameron Richardson (Justin Clarke)
7. Stuart Bailey (Callum Gascoigne)
8. Paul Strachan (Paul Vinnicombe) )
9. Liam Bradley (Josh Simpson)
10. James Murray (Lewis Hill)
11. Damien Ameer-Beg (Paul Dingley)
12. Steven Davidson (Tony Horsefall)
13. Lewis Hill (Peter Andrew Bath)
14. Craig Oliver (Craig Barlow)
15. Mark Hopewell (James Murray)

Physio by Windy

Chester 29 Blaydon 7

Disappointingly another defeat for the Crow Trees boys but it was not until well into the second period that the home side took control. Blaydon gave it everything in defence but in the end were beaten by a heavier and more experienced pack that revelled in the quagmire conditions.

Blaydon missed with an early penalty attempt when Joel Matavesi slipped in the mud and it was Chester who took an 8th minute lead from an excellent three-quarters move. Their full-back Tom Foden completed the touchdown with fly-half Josh Morris adding the conversion.

On 22 minutes Blaydon were awarded a penalty in an eminently kickable position but mindful of the conditions opted for the kick to touch. Possession was secured at the line-out and the ball moved through the hands as the Chester backs came up for Matavesi to dart through and fall on the chip ahead.

This time the Blaydon centre put over the simple kick and at 7-7 it was everything to play for. For the remainder of the half Blaydon more than held their own only to concede a second try just before the break when Chester second-rower Ross White barged over, Morris once more on target.

The second period proved to be a different story however as the home forwards gradually got on top and went on to pick up three more tries, none of them converted.

Morris darted through for the first of them in the 54th minute, followed by Jonathon Charmley from a driving maul and finally hooker Alex Reid from close range.

John Brennan

Bricks’s numbers were boosted for visit of West End – league leaders. With Bricks still in an injury and availability crisis it was good to see a number of new and returning faces swelling the ranks yesterday:

  • Matt Goodall made his first appearance of the season and with U18s now playing midweek, as coach he brought some of them along to play:
    • Matty Johnson – 2nd row
    • Callum Gascoigne –  back row
    • Jak Tuck – 9
    • Cameron James Coates – 10
    • Max Nellie – Centre
    • Mitchel Smails got called into work and missed the game
  • James Murray guested from the 2s who had no game
  • Peter Bath made a return to rugby in centre after a number of years out and scored a good try on his debut for the Bricks
  • Rodders made a return after his ankle injury at the end of last season
  • We had Anth. back, on the side line (always his best position, some would say!) this time not with water bottles, but pushing a buggy, he is threatening to play next week!
  • Vinnie, had been threatening for some time made an appearance and ouch! did a West End guys know he was back….


For context the players not available yesterday included; Savs, Chester, Divers, Damien A, Coatsey, Stu B, Arran, Finnaz, Harry, Horse, Matt P, Steve S, Oliver (late withdraw – referred to court assessment) Brett, Craig McB, Derek T, Will D & Tom E


West End also showed up with a squad of around 22, good to see the club starting to stabilise after struggling some seasons to field a team, they’ve managed to run 2 teams on a couple of occasions this season. They have built a good squad and it’s hard to see anyone stopping them from winning the Blyth League, good luck to them!

We noticed they decided to play Matt Allmond in the centre, we took the micky out of him after the game, saying he never had any hands, (expected, I’m sure as he left Blaydon) but he had a good game there, his partner at 13 was rapid and did all the damage on the day with West End’s chip and chase game.



Sorry yet again, I spend too much time watching the game to take photos, so hardly any photos, mainly set pieces etc! We desperately need someone who will take photos….


  • Trys: Matt G, Jak & Peter
  • Lewis, James


It was great to have a sizable squad, we’ve had many games with few or no subs this season. We again followed the principle of everyone plays (thanks to West End for agreeing to more than 7 subs) so we made 11 changes for the 2nd half and having nearly 2 teams with lots of players who hadn’t played together recently or before meant a settling in period. Unfortunately West End with a more settle squad took early advantage with a chip and chase game and we were two try’s down in minutes, but we recovered as time went on and were unlucky not to have more trys as we started to dominate more towards the end of the first half with a number of push over try’s being prevented (cant understand why it wasn’t a penalty try, but hey, referee had a good game all round)  and Hopey being tackled before he had hold of the ball, only a few yards out.


We had a similar settling period in the second half with almost a new team out there and came very strong at the end with a Vinnie try not awarded as the referee was unsighted and even some of the West End lads said we could have won if the game had been a few minutes longer.


As it was, West End tackled well and took their chances on the day, scored more points, which in any rugby game is the key aspect.


Highs and Lows of the game:

  • Blaydon scrummage worked very well
  • Matty and Callum played well in the Bricks forwards
  • Matt Goodall took a good line in the 22 and ran in a good try
  • Max Nellie had a very strong debut in the centre
  • Good mauling by the forwards to make good yards
  • Alex’s kicking kept us going forward
  • James picked up a long ball in his 22 and just got stopped in West’s 22.
  • Vinnie bouncing West End players out the way
  • Jak was a live wire on his debut at 9 in the second half.
  • Cameron was kicking the ball around 60 yards from penalty kicks
  • Rodders just got caught going into the 22 or would have been away
  • Goggle made a good break into the 22


Next week was designated as a Vet’s weekend, so no Bricks game, there is a development game against Gosforth so anyone U35 will be involved in that squad


  1. Paul Winter
  2. Keith Winter
  3. Tom Hirst.     (Steven Palmer)
  4. James Knox.   (Keith Oliver)
  5. Matty Johnson.
  6. Justin Clarke.      (Cameron Richardson)
  7. Callum Gascoigne
  8. Paul Strachan     (Paul Vinnicombe)
  9. Liam Bradley.  (Jak Tuck)
  10. Alex Twinn.    (Cameron James Coates)
  11. Mark Hopewell.   (Craig Barlow)
  12. Matt Goodall  (Robert Pyle)
  13. Max Nellie.  (Peter Andrew)
  14. Damien Shaw.  (Paul Dingley) Â
  15. Lewis Hill.   (James Murray)

Saturday 13th January – Blaydon Bricks 24, Berwick 50


Knew it was going to be a hard afternoon when Berwick turned up in force; with a bus, squad of about 25, about a dozen spectators, you guessed it, no first teams fixture……

The score did not do this Brick’s side justice, Berwick had pace to burn in the backs and finished off every opportunity they had. The Bricks with a changed team again, made a couple of wrong decision or dropped a ball at the wrong time, we were a little rusty, otherwise it would have been a lot closer. Good that we had a few backs returning from games out and Stu Bailey helped, starting in the centre for us.

This was a good performance from the Bricks, when a team brings the amount of pace Berwick did we were never going to win, but everyone stuck at it, played for each other and the Blaydon Badge. It’s the league, I’d take a defeat every game (league not cup) if the team worked as a unit, supported each other and played like that every week, reality is not many teams could have beat us on Saturday, certainly non in our league would have. Paul Winter summed it up well at the end, ‘this was a passionate, committed performance from the Bricks and he was immensely proud of everyone and the overall performance’ totally agree.

Anyway really enjoyable game, we sent Berwick home knowing they had been in a game and there was some big hits put in all round the park, they would have had some bruised bodies on Sunday…..

As it happens we scored 4 try’s and get 4 points to help our league position.


Try: Keith W, Strachs, Liam & ??

Conversion: Alex 2


Pictures: sorry again from me, just did not get many taken, come back Finnaz….



  • Alex Twinn made his first start of the season at flyhalf after taking time out to work on his house
  • Divers was back after a few weeks out
  • Stracks clattered the flyhalf as he hesitated with the ball and came down right on top of him, you could hear the wind come out of him, my recommendation – don’t show boat in future!
  • Bricks always looked dangerous with the ball in hand, good interplay within the backs and forwards and linking between both.
  • Liam made some good hits, got cut in half in return but finished his try well.
  • Keith stole a short range try from Paul, at least that’s how the factual match report goes……
  • Brick’s forwards made good yards taking the ball on and controlled the set piece.
  • The 2nds finished early and 4 lads came up as they knew we had no subs and came on halfway through the second half as we started to feel the pace, thanks to Alex, Andrew, Cameron and Nathan
  • Mind haven said that, we didn’t score anymore points after they came on…. true fact but probably not related..
  • Got to mention, what we can only assume was expected to be a miss ‘7’ move…. Cameron smacked Divers on the side of the head with a pass, when he was a yard away… it bounced off his head into a Berwick players path and he was off…


  1. Paul W
  2. Keith W
  3. Stephen P (Alex Dodds)
  4. Keith O (Arran Poad)
  5. Steve S (Andrew Steinburg)
  6. Arran P (Stu Bailey)
  7. Justin C
  8. Stracks


  1. Liam
  2. Alex Twinn.
  3. Craig O  (Nathan Johnson)
  4. Stu B  (Cameron Coates)
  5. Divers
  6. Damien S
  7. Hopey

Otley 40, Blaydon 17

For the second week in succession Blaydon were up against fellow strugglers from just outside the drop zone in National League 2 North and yesterday’s outcome was just as disappointing as 7 days earlier.

Having matched the home side for much of the first half they lost inspirational skipper Keith Laughlin through injury just before the break and all momentum was gone. Otley dominated the second period whilst Blaydon got on the wrong side of the referee, losing two players to the sin-bin and had little more to show for their efforts.
Earlier they had started in fine style with a try in the 3rd minute, a brilliant solo score by Andy Miller. The scrum-half scooped up a loose ball 40 metres out and beat 2 men before chipping over the full-back to race through and touch down. Joe Whyman added the extras but Otley built up a ferocious attack to draw level when winger Mike Coady broke down the middle and leading points scorer Joe Rowntree secured the conversion.
Rowntree and Whyman then exchanged penalties before Otley second-row Brett Mitchell finished off another strong attack. Blaydon however got back into it, retaining possession through several phases for Harry Borthwick to burst into the 22 for an excellent score to level at 17-17.
But that was to be it for the visitors who went in at the interval 7 points adrift with Otley hooker Joe Graham having crossed just before the whistle.
Shortly after the restart Otley were awarded a penalty try but despite now having the lions share of territory and possession could only manage to land 3 more penalties, taking Rowntree’s personal tally to 18 points.

John Brennan

Blaydon 34 Macclesfield 52


The old adage that a good big-in will always beat a good little-in was never better illustrated than at Crow Trees yesterday when a youthful Blaydon side were brushed aside by bigger and stronger forwards alike who in the first half ran at them almost non-stop.
Tackles were broken at will as Macclesfield found gap after gap to record 5 tries before the interval to lead 10-35.
For a while after the break it was a different story with the Blaydon youth showing what they can do when on the front foot and taking the deficit to 29-38 and raising hopes that a second bonus point could be obtained and even a win.
But sadly it didn’t last and by the end it was a comfortable win for the visitors who as a result moved above them in the league.
At the outset it was the worst possible start for Blaydon when two backs failed to secure the kick-off, allowing Macclesfield winger James Hampson to score after just 20 seconds. Their fly-half Tom Morton put over the conversion as he did with the other six tries and also a penalty, his points ultimately the main difference between the sides.
Blaydon skipper showed his worth with a powerful early response and Dan Marshall finished off a break by Harry Borthwick but by half-time Parkinson, Morton, Burden and Hampson again had crossed the home line with ease.
The second half purple patch took off when centre Ben Stevenson broke fast, feinted to pass out and cut back inside to beat 2 more defenders for an excellent score. James Cooney and Charlie Wilson combined in a break to send in flanker Jack Davidson under the posts, winger Jack Appleton scooted in down the left with another fine solo effort and Andy Richardson landed 2 conversions.
At this point the visitors woke up from their temporary slumber to restore normal service for Macclesfield. After a prolonged spell of ball retention their full-back Dan Lomax was sent in near the posts, Parkinson grabbed a second from forward pressure and 29-38 had become 29-52 – game over.
In the dying seconds another Stevenson break saw Davidson get his second but the result was long since determined.

John Brennan

Tynedale 32 Blaydon 31

As ‘derby’ games go this one had just about everything – 4 tries to each side, a result that was in doubt until the end and only a single point between the sides on the whistle.

Given the respective league positions Tynedale would have been clear favourites before the start but found themselves 17 points adrift within 20 minutes having lost Graeme Dunn and Guy Pike to the sin-bin for a deliberate knock-on and a high tackle.
Blaydon had taken full advantage of these home lapses with Dan Marshall crossing in the corner and then flanker Jack Davidson touching down after a storming break by Harry Borthwick. Fly-half Ryan Foreman converted both efforts and also landed a penalty but once Tynedale were restored to full strength the pattern began to change.
Pike went in from close range, James Spencer converting, and with an Ash Smith penalty the home side had pulled it back to 10-17. Back down at the other end Borthwick grabbed a 3rd Blaydon try from a bullocking run by Blaydon skipper Keith Laughlin but in the final play of the half prop forward Richie Elliot crashed over for Tynedale and Smith’s conversion brought a breathless first half to an end.
Nothing much happened in the opening exchanges of the second period until the 55th minute when a Smith penalty reduced the home deficit to just 4 points but then Tynedale shot themselves in the foot once more. Attempting to run the ball from their own 22 an optimistic pass was easily intercepted by Blaydon’s Tom Small who ran in unopposed and the visitors had a try bonus point and a 20-31 lead.
Tynedale however continued to look dangerous with ball in hand and Joe Miller’s barnstorming run laid on a score for Will Miller, and going into the final minutes they were just 6 points adrift.
The outcome was finally settled by fittingly what was the try of the game by Oli Walker who weaved in and out of the visitors defence for a brilliant solo effort under the posts. Another Smith conversion eased Tynedale in front for the only time in the game and having led for so long Blaydon were left with only the consolation of 2 bonus points.

John Brennan

Sale 54, Blaydon 12


Blaydon were unable to build on last weeks dramatic late victory, going down heavily against a powerful Sale side in what was a first ever meeting between the two clubs.
The home side had a massive advantage in the forwards, driving Blaydon back at every scrum to create scoring opportunities at will with Andy Hughes and Dan Burchall crossing for the first 2 early on with 6 more to follow.
As half-time approached however Blaydon finally got their hands on the ball which they retained for 3 phases before second-rower James Zino dummied his way between the posts. Fly-half Ryan Foreman added the easy conversion to make the interval score-line of 35-7 slightly more respectable.
The turnaround made little difference to the balance of play but Blaydon did well to grab a second score when skipper Keith Laughlin was driven over wide out but this time Foreman’s conversion effort was off target.
Sale remained well on top to the end and with their fly-half Chris Johnson adding the extras to 7 of their tries took the final score over the 50 points mark, showing exactly why they are so close to the top of the table.

John Brennan

Blaydon 36, Sheffield Tigers 34

Blaydon left it more than just a ‘bit late’ to secure their 5 point win, winger James Cooney touching down with the final play of the game. Trailing by 3 points going into the last ten minutes they attacked incessantly only to be repelled by some desperate defence, the Sheffield side losing 2 players to the sin-bin in quick succession, and until a last minute penalty was kicked to the corner the opportunity to end a losing run looked to be beyond them.
The visitors struck first when they ran it up-field after Blaydon had collapsed a scrum and Henri Packard finished off in style. The lead was short lived however as home prop David Kilpatrick stormed into the opposition 22 to send in hooker Matt Thompson who held off 2 defenders to cross under the posts.
Back came Sheffield with a smart effort by man of the match James Broadley but this was quickly cancelled out by Blaydon winger Jack Appleton after good work by Nathan Bailey and Keith Laughlin. Thompson then completed his hat-trick with 2 close scores from driving mauls and a try bonus point had been secured by the 36th minute.
Leading 24-12 Blaydon were in the ascendancy only to concede a try to Broadley in the last play of the first half.
And then things went from bad to worse when within 3 minutes of the re-start lapses in concentration let in Peter Swatkins and Packard for Sheffield scores and in the 55th minute their scrum-half Ryan Holmes nipped over from a set-piece for a 6th try.
A 24-12 lead had now become 24-34 deficit but Blaydon responded well and went on to dominate the final quarter. A prolonged attack that went back and forth with some excellent handling looked to be ended when the ball went down. Scrum-half Andrew Miller reacted first, quickly securing possession to burst into the 22 for Rob Lenderyou to finish off and Ryan Foreman to land a 3rd conversion.
The late line-out ball was moved cross-field by Thompson, Foreman and Dan Marshall to send in Cooney for a 6th and winning try but it had been a mighty close thing.

John Brennan