31 all draw, no one could have seen that coming…. What a game, it had everything; good crowd, nearly as many officials as subs, a large Northern squad, a Spartans squad with strength in depth, having 6 subs, with a great mix of youth, (5 academy players picture below) experience players to close game out when it needed to be and speed to score from anywhere. Oh to be an independent spectator watching this game!
Thanks go to:
• academy guys, with Ethan and Karem making debuts,
• Ash, Liam and Mick from Winlaton,
• George now at Tynedale
• Michael Sturla making his Spartans Debut.
Photos, thanks to Derek Turnbull: https://www.flickr.com/photos/26086313@N08/collections
Full squad and Academy players:
These guys from Winlaton, even the cheeky looking one, looks better in red….. thanks for playing, always welcome!
Trys: Scott 3, James M, Michael Sturla
Conv: James M 3
High & Lows
• The buzz around the squad was very good, everyone jelled into a squad quickly and Paul Winter brought focus, James M captained and Ewan led the pack, both led by example.
• Great double try saving tackles on the line from Davy and Thomas
• Ash, Cameron & Liam Beck bossed the scrums, well supported by 2 sets of 2nd rows
• Ewan, Liam and Sturla were all over making hits in defence and good yards going forward
• At half time we put every sub on so everyone got a half, people were disappointed to come off, but the attitude was great, everyone just accepted it was time for other to have their turn!
• Winlaton Saxons had only just lost out to the Panthers the previous week, Panthers were please we showed up with a full squad but; weren’t so happy to see Ash, Liam and especially Mick, who had completely wound up Panthers scrum half the previous week and put him off his game, who would have thought, eh!
• Northern announced they had a couple of new guys trying out, like a South African backrow who was looking to join their 1s, but as there was no 2s game……, (which was fine as we had some 2s players) they were having a run out. I bet the SA backrow wished he’d waited a week as our back 5 forwards, both halves, just battered the Panthers, forcing mistakes.
• The sideline/dugout was just good fun, the guys on the pitch were doing their stuff and the bench were supporting them.
• Scott’s hat trick of Trys, including a good interception and foot race.
• Just as Liam had done the week before, Ethan and Karem did the academy proud on their debuts, both did way more than held their own and showed what a bright future Blaydon have coming through the youth system.
• Our trys were predominantly from distance and Crusaders were so concern about our ability to score from distance, when given opportunity to continue with the game, they kicked it off and took the draw.
• James M running a foot race in from just outside of our 22
• Lee Guest’s face, when he asked if he could wear his own testicles and go on to play rugby :-) Mrs Guest said NO! and gave me a ‘look’, I wasn’t going there!
• El Capitan had a kick from about 30m out, that could have won this, but he decide to kick to the corner, that could have been something to do with his chosen kicking tee ‘implement’ which wouldn’t have looked out of place in a torture chamber or novelty garden ……
A draw was a very fair result for this game, 2 well matched sides, played at 100mph a times, with a lot of good young players on display, suppotred by a few older heads, from both sides.
1. Ashley Merritt
2. Cameron Richardson.
3. Liam Beck.
4. Adam Turnbull (George)
5. Matthew Johnson (Ethan King)
6. Ewan Lowry
7. Liam Hills. (Nic Eatch)
8. Michael Sturla
9. Thomas Reay. (Michael Wharton)
10. James Murray
11. James Miller (Karem Toprak)
12. Peter Andrew
13. Scott Whitfield.
14. David Reay (Paul Dingley)
15. Matt Robertson (Thomas Reay)