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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

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

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

Reporter: John Brennan

Durham 4th Team Shield – 6th April

The first of the Durham Finals takes place this weekend, with

Blaydon Bricks V South Tyneside College Mariners

3pm Kick Off at Ashbrooke Sunderland

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



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

Saturday 23rd March – Ashington IIs 60 – Blaydon Bricks 12

What a difference a week makes, last week we were up on high, beating Gateshead to make the 4th Team Shield Final at Ashbrooke, Sunderland on the 6th April against South Tyneside,  a week later we were literally out gunned by Ashington IIs.
I have to hold my hands up on the preparation, we didn’t have a full set of backs, but I was told the Development had 28 players so did not see a problem, silly me, guess what, not for the first time this season, when asked, they could not help…… then went on to put 50 odd points on Novos IIs…….
We ended up with Smiler at 6ft 7inches at fullback, he wanted some fitness and certainly got a run around on the day.
The writing was on the wall, when at the kick off, Nat hit the second row row wrong, slid down him and double up on the floor with a damaged shoulder.
First half was a story of poor tackling, with attempt after attempt being too high, resulting in our players being brushed off and Ashington scoring easy trys.
Things got worse loosing Jambo with a damage knee and Keith who needed 7 stitches in a torn earlobe.
Second half was one of the proudest periods of the season, the Bricks manned up, tackles started to hit Ashington properly, knocking them back and the Bricks scored two good trys.
Injury list is a bit worrying, from the team that played in the semi;  with James Knox out – knee ligaments, Brett – fractured finger (I know he is a prop and has 9 others) Stu Reay – Hammy, Phil Divers daft bat on holiday (you would think people would know when the rugby season is) Nat – Shoulder which he could hardly move last night
Summary, a bad day at the office, write it off and play as we did in the second half for the final.
Trys Andy Scott (Smiler) 2
Conv Thacks
1.  Charlie
2.  Phil                               Keith Winter
3.  Paul Winter
4.  Windy
5.  Marge
6.  Jambo
7.  Nathan
8.  Paul Strachan – Strachs
9.  Liam
10. Thacks
11. Craig Barlow
12. Stu Bailey
13. Phil Divers
14. Paul Dingley
15. Andy Scott

Blaydon Development 72 – Novos 7

Another grey freezing day and lots of changes from last week. Toddy back to sea, Scott broken leg, Sam and Dale ill with man flu and 3 no shows. However posh was back from uni and young Haiden an under 18 colt turned up, returning from a long term injury to play 20 mins, his first taste of senior rugby. The plan: win the game, then play for the bonus point. From the kick off it was one way traffic, taking our time, moving up the pitch and releasing the ball to score at the right time from the best position the talk was great, Scott kept the front row fired up Vinni directed the forwards in the loose-dean kept the backs informed and Hamma kept watch over everyone from the fullback position pointing out what needed to be done. It was an excellent game to watch with a noticeable performance by big Steve Dryden playing his best game yet at 2nd row and young Haiden never looked out of place, when he took to the field . A time line of the game follows:

6 mins try stracks 5-0
8 mins try jack converted jack 12-0
15 mins try hamma 17-0
19 mins try si carr converted jack 24-0
35 mins try surrey 29-0
37 mins try marty converted jack 36-0 

Half time.

45 mins try lee 41-0
50 mins try marty 46-0 novo
55 mins don’t give up and score on converted 46-7.
60 mins try dean 51-7
64 mins try marty converted jack 58-7.
75 mins try ryan convery converted jack 65-7
There was one more converted try at some point but we missed it.

FROM THE TOUCHLINE – Saturday 23rd March


After a rest week last Saturday, the 1st team travel this week to league leaders Ealing who had a surprise defeat 22 – 15 at Fylde, although they were missing a couple of regular players.  By gaining a losing bonus point, they widened the gap between us to 14 points with 6 games left to play.


When we met in late November on a fine bright day, something we have missed in the past few weeks, the scoreline was 35 – 34 to Blaydon in what was one of the most entertaining games seen at Crow Trees for some time.   We scored five converted tries by Gavin Jones, Frazer Wilson, Nathan Bailey, James Hamilton and Charles Incledon with Baggie adding all the extras.   The scoreline at half time was 28 – 17 which we increased to 35 – 17 in the 6th minute of the second half but then the fightback by Ealing saw a tense last ten minutes when we hung on for victory.   Hopefully this week’s game will be as competitive!


Last week saw the Grand Slam disappear as England were outgunned in every department with Wales running away in the last quarter of an hour a fact enjoyed by a Welsh stag party from Trimsaran RFC who turned up at the club at midday and left very late!   Thanks for coming – you certainly enhanced the bar take!


The past two weeks have seen all our junior sides progress to their respective County Cup Finals.   Blaydon have agreed to toss a coin for venue in each case but already South Tyneside College have refused and the game against our Bricks will be played on 6th April at Ashbrooke.   When decision on the finals are reached, they will be circulated to members and posted on the club website.   Let’s support our sides who currently hold all cups at senior level.


Weather permitting, next Sunday 24th March Gateshead Thunder because of pitch problems, will be playing one of their Northern Rail Cup Ties at Blaydon against Gloucester kicking off at 3.00.p.m – all of course if the weather permits.




Other items for your diary are – PLANET CIRCUS – 24th/30th APRIL








Back to rugby – and the next home game is against Cinderford on EASTER SATURDAY 30th MARCH when we will kick off at 2.00.p.m. enabling the visitors to get an early start on their long journey home.


Elsewhere, last week several sides played catch up which resulted in Macclesfield recording their 6th consecutive when they beat Coventry 16 – 13 and they are now only one point behind Wharfedale who lost at home to Old Albanian 12 – 15 and just above them are Tynedale who overwhelmed Cambridge 64 – 14 and have created a gap between themselves and the bottom four clubs.   Already, Cambridge and Sedgley Park are in a hopeless position and the three clubs mentioned above are fighting to stay out of the third bottom spot.


Jim Huxley

Gateshead Thunder switch games to Blaydon

GATESHEAD Thunder hope their move to Blaydon will calm some of the unease created by the ongoing pitch problems at Gateshead Stadium.

The club were forced to move last weekend’s Northern Rail Cup tie with North Wales Crusaders all the way to Hull Kingston Rovers’ Craven Park ground.
This week they announced their next three home matches will be played at Blaydon’s Crow Trees ground in Swalwell.
Kevin Neighbour, Thunder’s head coach, said: “It gives us a bit of stability, more than anything.
“We have been continually looking for venues and unable to provide fans with anything concrete, simply because we haven’t had the answers to give them.”
Sympathising with those who had been anxious for an answer, he added: “You can understand a bit of unrest from the supporters’ point of view because they just want to know where the games are going to be playedand for the next three home dates at least that is sorted.
“Those arrangements have now been made, and a degree of continuity provided.
“Hopefully, we can also attract new guys to come down and watch what should all be entertaining games of rugby league and bring it to a new audience.”
Tomorrow sees Thunder’s cup quest continue at Oldham, who were 26-10 winners over Rochdale last week as Gateshead were losing 30-4 to North Wales.
“Oldham will be a tough squad,” added the head coach (pictured above), who hopes to welcome back Jack Smith (finger) and Jack Steerman (shoulder).
“Like ourselves they have a lot of new players this year, and it will be a big game down there.
“They will have home advantage, but if we can bring the best bits from the North Wales game last week then we will give ourselves a chance.”
Richard Beaumont (ankle) and Callum Cockburn (finger) are expected to miss out for the visitors after picking up knocks last time out, while the Roughyeds are expected to hand first starts to Phil Joy and Kenny Hughes.
by Mark Smith, The Journal

Upcoming Calendar Events

Please take note of the following events in the Clubs calendar.

Annual Past Players/Members Lunch- Saturday 20th October
On the day of the Blaydon v Old Albanians game
Tickets £22 incl 3 course lunch, match entrance(normally £10) and
Season Ticket holders – £18.
12:00 noon for 12.30.
Please contact Jim Huxley or Linda Barlow for further details and tickets

Finance Annual General Meeting – Wednesday 24th October.
7:00pm start

Bonfire Night – Saturday 3rd November
Gates open at 17:00
The nights event will include
William Clarks Fairground
Bonfire and Fireworks
Live Music in the Derwent Suite with Special Brew.

Adults – £4
Children – £2
Family concessions (2 adults 2 children) – £10

Tickets are available from Bar and Fit4less.