1st Team Match Reports

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Blaydon had little difficulty in registering a 5th successive victory, dominating from start to finish and scoring 6 tries in the process whilst denying the home side a single score.
They were on the front foot from the kick-off and after a number of attempts to cross the line had been thwarted ran in their first try when Nathan Bailey collected a poor clearance. The full-back made progress into the 22, moved it on to Nathan Horsfall and was then on hand to take a return pass and touch down, James Guy adding the conversion.
Ten minutes later Kirkby were hit with a replica score, Horsfall and Bailey again combining with the same outcome and Guy once more on target.
The home side  then held out for the remainder of the half which ended with the score at 0-14 but had little by way of territory and possession after the break despite Blaydon now facing the severe elements.
Try No3 was secured when Keith Laughlin picked up a loose ball near to his own line and moved it onto Horsfall who in turn released James Cooney on the 22 metre line, the centre  taking off at pace and racing 70 metres for a superb score.
At this point both sides lost a player to the sin-bin but Blaydon wisely moved a back into the forwards to retain their domination and run-in 3 more tries.
Alex Clark finished off a flowing movement and then from some excellent interplay between backs and forwards front-rower Anthony Harvey drove over from close range.
In the closing minutes the scoring was completed when Bailey made a decisive break to release wing-forward Rob Lenderyou and from his pass Clark crossed for a second time, Guy landing a 3rd successful conversion to put the seal on what had been a more than comfortable win.
 
John Brennan

Blaydon 31 Kendal 15

 
The visitors proved to be a bigger stumbling block than their league position might have suggested, 3rd top versus 3rd bottom, and it took Blaydon deep into the second period to finally assert some authority. The visitors were lively throughout and a number of solo breaks kept Blaydon on their toes but ultimately they only had themselves to blame as the home side ran in a couple of tries on both occasions when they were facing 14 men.
Blaydon were caught napping in the 8th minute when Steve Nelson and Kirk Chettleburgh easily penetrated the home defence to send in fly-half Nathan McCloy who also added the conversion.
On 20 minutes the home side hit back with a tap penalty move that took them over the try line but unable to ground the ball and from a line-out prop forward Anthony Harvey squeezed over. Chettleburgh was yellow carded for his part in that action and Blaydon were soon in front when a long pass out gave Jack Appleton a simple score.
A McCloy penalty made it 10-10 at the break but in the 46th minute Kendal lost a second player to the ‘naughty step’, Chris Downham for a flying tackle, and from some constant pressure on the visitors line Blaydon skipper Keith Laughlin dived in to secure try No3, James Guy converting.
With the dust not yet settled Blaydon broke quickly down the right through James Cooney, play was switched to the left and with the visitors defence wide open Guy Graham strolled in for the bonus point try, Guy again on target.
There then followed a severe battering of the Kendal line with seemingly everyone having a go until Laughlin was sent in under the posts for his second, Guy completing the Blaydon scoring at 31-10 with his 3rd conversion.
The game was now virtually wrapped up but the visitors were still going forward in the closing minutes and were rewarded when replacement Jack Lashley broke off from a line-out drive to score in the corner.
John Brennan
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Wilmslow 5 Blaydon 38

A first half hat-trick by winger Jack Appleton put Blaydon comfortably on the road to a 3rd consecutive victory but after racking up a 31 points lead made very little of their advantage in the second period.
Facing a Wilmslow side on an 8 match losing run the visitors  stormed into a 10th minute lead when Appleton got possession from a flowing move and found himself confronted by 3 defenders but beat them all on route to the line, Jamie guy converting.
On 15 minutes the lead was doubled by centre Dan Marshall who intercepted on half-way to race clear and give Guy another simple conversion kick. Lots of forward pressure then led to a 3rd score, the move finished off by Appleton, who then crossed for his hat-trick and the bonus point try on 26 minutes when finishing off another smart handling movement that started in the Blaydon half.
Guy again added the extras and at the break it was 0-26 with the home side having made very little impact. Five minutes into the second half hooker Cameron Bell added a 5th try from a catch and drive but with the game effectively won by that point Blaydon seemingly lost concentration and wasted a number of scoring opportunities.
When the visitors lost possession on half-way Wilmslow took full advantage with their fly-half Brendan McCullum scoring a fine individual try to bring it back to 5-31 but Blaydon should have been much further ahead.
Nathan Bailey did secure a 6th Blaydon try when he finished off a move in which he had twice been involved, Guy landing his 4th conversion, to complete the scoring in what had been a disappointing second half.
 
John Brennan

Blaydon 36, Ilkley 10

 

Despite conceding a 3rd minute try Blaydon never remotely looked like losing and with a considerable advantage at both scrum and line-out went on to run-in 6 tries unopposed. Their Yorkshire visitors had a reasonable share of possession but ran most of it laterally and into the hands of a solid Blaydon defensive line, and more often than not were unable to guarantee their own ball at the set-pieces.
The home defence were however caught napping by an early Ilkley raid down the left, finished off nicely by left-wing Struan Connor, and took 5 minutes to respond. It came in the form of a line-out drive finished off by hooker Cameron Bell, and was then followed by 2 more first half efforts.
Jack Davidson stormed into the Ilkley 22 on 20 minutes, an infringement followed, Blaydon opted for the scrum and promptly drove the visitors backwards for Keith Laughlin to touch down and Jamie Guy add the extras.
Another prolonged attack  saw the ball moved one way and then the other until a long pass went out to Frazer Wilson who charged the line to set up a score for Davidson and make it 17-5 at the break.
The pattern continued and 4 minutes into the second period Laughlin, who as usual was ‘everywhere’ in the loose led a line-out break only to be stopped short. Prop forward Anthony Harvey was next to attack the line but likewise was held up and finally centre Alex Clark went over near the posts for the bonus try, Guy converting.
Try No5 started typically started with the visitors being robbed of their scrum ball leading to much possession in the Ilkley 22, Matt Jenkinson held up over the line before Laughlin touched down for his second and 2 more points for Guy.
In the closing minutes Blaydon were still looking dangerous and when Wilson was given possession just outside the 22 the right-wing simply put his head down and charged full pelt at the visitors line and went over despite the attentions of 3 defenders.
Having done little else since the 3rd minute the visitors at least had the satisfaction of also having the last word when No8 Sam Waddington scored in the final play.
 
John Brennan

Blaydon 29 Wirral 24

 

Blaydon finally got back to winning ways but having made a blistering start to lead 26-3 gradually saw their lead whittled away and by the end it was down to a fragile 5 points.
With their backs running riot a try scoring bonus point was in the bag after just 18 minutes but by the interval the visitors had pulled back 2 tries and with a superior pack were threatening to turn it round.
Alex Clark burst into the Wirral 22 in the 3rd minute to hand on to Dan Marshall who zipped past a bewildered defence to touch down under the posts for the opening score with Jamie Guy adding the conversion. Six minutes later winger Frazer Wilson made a searing break leading to a short scrum from which Keith Laughlin broke off to send in Marshall for a second try with a neat diagonal run.
On 11 minutes lock-forward Jack Davidson went over from close range, Guy converting, to make it 19-0, three tries having been conjured from three attacks.
James Annetts landed a penalty for the visitors but Blaydon quickly secured their 4th try when they elected to run from their own line with some excellent passing for Jack Appleton to race in from 30 metres, and Guy once more on target.
And then the cracks began to appear with Wirral spending a long period in the home 22 culminating in a try for prop-forward Ryan Higginson on the half-hour. Blaydon were now regularly under the cosh in the scrums and leaked another try right on the interval, live-wire Wirral fly-half Annetts strolling through a massive gap and adding the extras himself to make it 26-17 at the break.
Guy extended the Blaydon lead with a 53rd minute penalty but the home side were no longer an attacking force, constantly finding themselves on the back foot mainly through failures to secure possession and then losing Dan Taylor to a yellow card.
Scenting victory the visitors piled on the pressure and were rewarded with a Matt Dalton try and Annetts conversion to narrow their deficit but Blaydon valiantly held on for a much needed win.

John Brennan

 

Rossendale 27 Blaydon 19

 

 Rossendale  27   Blaydon 19
 
Blaydon’s poor run continued with this third consecutive defeat, due in part to some poor tackling and being caught on the breakaway by the home side. They scored first and were just 5 points adrift at the interval and then denied a losing bonus point in the final minute.
Winger Jack Appleton finished off a break by Jack Davidson for his 7th try of the season in the 4th minute but Rossendale were quick to respond, levelling through back-rower Phil Mills.
Constant pressure in the home 22 then brought reward firstly for No8 Keith Laughlin and then Liam Wright 4 minutes later, both from close range. Jamie Guy put over a couple of conversions to give Blaydon a substantial lead on quarter time but the rest of the half belonged to Rossendale.
Mills again, along with Dominic Moon and Jack Ward all took advantage of  ineffective tackles to race in for tries, two of them converted by Lewis Allen, and turn the score around 24-19 at half-time.
The 3rd quarter was then dominated by the Lancashire side without them being able to add to their lead and Blaydon came back into it, pressing hard to pull back the deficit. With time running out Rossendale appeared to collapse a maul on their own line but the expected penalty try was not awarded and to rub salt into Blaydon’s wounds Allen landed a last minute penalty to deny them a deserved bonus.
 
John Brennan

 

Blaydon 14, Billingham 18

Blaydon  14   Billingham  18
 
There was much at stake in this clash with Billingham, the sides being separated by just 2 points in 2nd and 3rd positions in the league, and going into the last 10 minutes of normal time Blaydon were encamped on the visitors line.
Needing a try to regain the lead they attacked and attacked again and again without finding a chink in the Billingham defence and when they were awarded a 5 metre scrum had the ignominy of being pushed off their own ball.
And that in a nutshell was the story of the game. Billingham excelled in retaining possession, took their chances when they came along, did not spill ball and did not concede many penalties – all in clear contrast to the home side.
It was against the run of play when Blaydon took a 12th minute lead from a Dan Marshall break with James Cooney putting Jack Appleton over in the corner, Jamie Guy converting. Billingham fly-half Evans pulled back 3 points with a penalty and his side were constantly on the front foot only for Marshall to intercept on his own 22 to race upfield for another Blaydon score.
Despite the reversals Billingham continued to press and with the last action of the half were rewarded with a try from right wing Hopley to make it 14-3 at the break.
The second period proved to be totally unproductive for Blaydon whilst the visitors were ever dangerous. On 45 minutes they were held up over the line but retained possession from the scrum to move it with trade-mark slick passing to the far corner where full-back Husband finished off.
Evans failed with the conversion but 5 minutes later their No8 Dixon broke from a scrum to storm upfield and set up more passing from which Kirby touched down the winning try.
Blaydon then had that great opportunity to grab victory from the jaws of defeat, and typically on the day coughed up possession 3 times in quick succession in the closing stages leaving the visitors to take the honours which they richly deserved.
 
John Brennan
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Sandal 43 Blaydon 33

Sandal RUFC photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/onionbag/albums/72157672315575867/

Blaydon slumped to a second defeat of the season with a disappointing performance at Sandal in which they woefully failed to exploit the conditions when it was their turn to have use of the wind.
The home side were sharp out of the blocks and took the lead with a splendid solo effort by Colin Johnson who raced clear from half-way and then scored again through lock-forward James Whittaker and then Jon Gillespie.
When Blaydon finally got going centre Dan Marshall finished off a multi-handling movement to touch down under the posts with Jamie Guy on target with the conversion and by the break were just 5 points adrift.
Inexplicably they were then hemmed in their own half for long periods and some poor decision making and handling errors saw Sandal advance their lead to 36-14 with further tries from Gillespie, Alistair Johnson and Tom Johnson.
With defeat staring them in the face Blaydon at last began to assert with full-back Nathan Bailey on the end of some slick passing to race in from 30 metres. Skipper Keith Laughlin went over from a forward drive and then a Cameron Bell effort from close range brought it back to 36-33 and everything to play for.
With 4 minutes remaining another swift attack produced a 3 on 1 overlap and an almost certain try only for the referee to stop play for an injury. The chance was lost and to add insult to injury they then lost possession allowing Jon Wainwright to add another late try for Sandal.

John Brennan

 

Blaydon 42 Harrogate 36

Blaydon’s late rally secures 5 point win against Harrogate who led for a large portion of the game and sees Blaydon go top of the league, as Billingham lose at Rossendale
Local results
Mid-way through the second half of this uncompromising affair, skipper Keith Laughlin was off  injured for 20 minutes following a late tackle, Blaydon were trailing by 15 points and looking to have nowhere to go. But then the game turned in dramatic fashion as the home backs were finally able to cut loose, resulting in 3 tries in rapid succession all converted by the reliable James Guy, and suddenly the boot was on the other foot.
Even then however the outcome was uncertain as Harrogate drove into the home 22 in the final minute only to be held up over the line.
Nathan Wyman, the visitors centre, struck an early penalty and was later to land 4 conversions but Blaydon began the try-fest when Dan Taylor ran round the defence to score under the posts. Sam Brady crossed for Harrogate but Taylor was in again when he robbed one of the opposition and on the half-hour it was 14-10.
The absence of Laughlin was now keenly felt and when Blaydon lost a scrum on their own line Brady pounced from close range, followed by Luke Edwards shrugging off some weak tackles to score in the corner to give Harrogate a 10 point lead at the break.
Nathan Horsfall scooted in just after the break but the visitors pack continued to dominate and lock-forward Andy Boyde made it 5 tries and that 15 points lead.
Hooker Cameron Bell touched down from close range to start the home revival, centre Dan Marshall jinked his way over from a tapped penalty and then streaked down the left wing to set up the winning score by James Cooney on the other flank.
Six tries for Blaydon, a 5 points win, but where did that late rally come from.
John Brennan

Lymm 13 Blaydon 26

Despite being in arrears for much of the first half Blaydon pulled off a comfortable bonus point win on their trip to Cheshire. With the pack generally on top they had the lions share of possession throughout and with better application might have won by a much bigger margin.
They got off to a perfect start when Jamie Guy broke from half-way to send in Dan Marshall but failed to capitalise further and it was the home side that grabbed the initiative. Callum Nolan the Lymm full-back put over 2 penalties in quick succession and was then on target with the conversion when winger Ali Sutherland crashed over in the corner to make it 13-5.
That was to be last scoring by the home side however and with the interval beckoning they incurred a yellow-card and Blaydon put the numeric advantage to good use. From a prolonged attack in the 22 the ball was fed out to Marshall from a ruck and the centre finished in style for his second score with Guy adding the extras.
Trailing by just one point at the break Blaydon had their best spell in the second period and added a 3rd try following four phases of excellent possession with hooker Cameron Bell finishing off in front of the posts.
Lymm rallied and spent some time at the other end but then spilled the ball in attack allowing Blaydon to move it through the hands and release winger James Cooney who raced in for the important bonus point try.
John Brennan