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Luctonians 31 Blaydon 17

Hopes of a bounce-back to National League 2 North for Blaydon were effectively scuppered in the opening 40 minutes of this play-off for promotion when the home side, playing against the elements, ran in 3 tries unanswered.
Luctonians on the day made better use of the conditions and with crisper handling and running were deserved winners, Blaydon only coming into it in the final quarter with 2 tries of their own.
Blaydon started well enough but 10 minutes of pressure brought no reward and when they dropped the ball on half-way were immediately made to pay. Man of the match Josh Watkins, the Luctonians full-back, sped clear down the wing for the first of his 2 tries and fly-half Lewis Silver added the conversion to make it 7-0.
When Blaydon erred as they had for the opening score Watkins was in again, this time from a smart diagonal break and on 35 minutes quick handling by the home side resulted in try No3 from winger Drew Cheshire with Silver once more on target.
With the interval approaching Blaydon finally got their side of the score-board moving having worked their way upfield for Jamie Guy to put over a penalty and make it 19-3 at the break.
Sadly the interval brought no relief for the visitors with Luctonians continuing as they had left off with 2 more tries in the opening 15 minutes of the second period. Their hooker Guy Kirby crossed near the posts from a forward drive and winger John Morris also touched down under the woodwork from an excellent handling movement with Silver landing a 3rd conversion to make it 31-3 with 20 minutes remaining.
Having been on the back foot for much of the previous 60 minutes Blaydon at last began to dominate the forward exchanges and salvage some pride. Five minutes of persistent pressure in the home 22, led in style by skipper Keith Laughlin, brought an opening score for centre Alex Clark plus the extras from Guy.
It was now the turn of the home side to be on the back foot and unable to cope with the power of the opposition forwards, and Blaydon at least had the consolation of finishing strongly and securing a second try when Guy went over from a breakdown and added the conversion himself.

John Brennan

 

Blaydon secure playoff spot in style, Vale of Lune 15 Blaydon 87

Blaydon will play Luctonians away on 27th April, winner takes the final promotion spot to National Two North

 



 

Vale of Lune  15   Blaydon  80
It was a case of mission accomplished for Blaydon yesterday when they picked up the 5 points needed to guarantee them a second place finish in the league and a play off for promotion.
Not that it took much accomplishing against a Vale of Lune side already doomed to relegation and that had shipped over a 1000 points in the league thus far including a 92-12 hammering at Crow Trees in the opening game of the season.
Blaydon will now travel to Luctonians, runners-up in the Midlands Division, on Saturday 27th April to determine which of them will return to National League Two North for next season.
Vale of Lune were outclassed from start to finish against a Blaydon side short of 7 regulars but still more then strong enough to take their try tally to 152, their league points to exactly 100, and in the process reach their own milestone of 1000 points registered.
Lock forward Jack Davidson got the scoreboard rolling in the 6th minute from good work by the pack and was quickly followed over the try line by Dan Marshall who skipped through the defence in typical style.
Hooker Sean Pyle was next, winger Jack Appleton raced clear from half-way when Vale dropped the ball, and by the interval Davidson had touched down twice more to secure his hat-trick.
Leading by 40 points to nil at the break Blaydon continued where they had left off with scores from Dan Taylor and Marshall his second before easing off and allowing the home side some territory and possession.
Fraser Stores, Tom Smith and Chris Haswell contributed 15 points between them for Vale but the tries were still coming thick and fast at the other end from Matt Charlton and 2 more from Appleton to make it another hat-trick hero on the day.
 
John Brennan

 

Blaydon 52 Kirkby Lonsdale 0

Blaydon  52   Kirkby Lonsdale  0
 
With just one game remaining Blaydon remain on schedule to clinch the all important runner-up spot in the North Premier League. Yesterdays 6th successive win over a disappointing Kirkby Lonsdale side was never in doubt from the 5th minute onwards when James Cooney, making his 100th appearance for the club, finished off a smart move to secure the first of Blaydon’s 8 tries.
That said however, what happened next was 20 minutes with lots of possession, lots of passing and lots of short scrums but nothing to show for it. Hooker Cam Bell eventually got the scoreboard moving again after Jamie Guy had stormed into the 22, and by the interval centre Alex Clark  with blistering pace shot through  the visitors defence to make it 19-0.
Just 90 seconds into the second period Guy Graham made a positive break into the 22 to send in Dan Taylor for the 4th try and the only question was how had it taken so long to secure what might be a vital bonus point.
Three minutes later Keith Laughlin, who had been involved in much of the first half pressure, broke from a set-piece to send in wing Jack Appleton for his 16th try of the season.
The try of the game arrived on 47 minutes with full-back Ryan Foreman running from his own 22 to release Cooney who in turn went past his man with ease, and second-row Liam Wright finished it off from 30 metres with the speed of a winger.
The one-sided affair continued and try No7 was scored, a second for Taylor, after much good handling and a bit of juggling, with the scrum-half then laying on the final score for Robert Lenderyou to make it 8 in the game and 140 for the season.
Just as they had in the first period the visitors had a spell on the front foot at the end of the half but all to no avail and they remained pointless at the end, just as they had in the home game between the 2 clubs.
Blaydon now travel to Vale of Lune in 7 days time where success will guarantee a promotion play-off with the second placed side in the Midlands Premier League.
 
John Brennan

Kendal 21, Blaydon 57

Blaydon and Harrogate both take maximum points in the play off race, while Billingham lose at Alnwick with 2 games to go.

Midland Premier – Luctonians still in 2nd place


 

Kendal  21   Blaydon  57
 
With bonus points absolutely vital in the 3-way battle for the important second place in the North Premier League Blaydon took on 3rd bottom Kendal in the knowledge that they had not lost to anyone outside the top 4 since October, and duly despatched them in a 9 tries to 3 rout.
The home side defended well enough in the first period when their line was crossed on only 3 occasions but after the break it was one-way traffic with Blaydon seemingly scoring every time that Kendal dropped the ball.
First to score was hooker Cam Bell after Keith Laughlin had driven through the home defence to find him with a short pass, and then leading try scorer Dan Marshall took over.
The centre firstly shot through a gap at a rate that split the cover wide open and then added a second when he again showed a clean pair of heels to anyone in a home shirt – an absolute belter of a try. Jamie Guy was on target with 2 conversions to make it 0-19 at the interval.
Alex Clark barged his way through the middle to secure try No4 and although Dan Barker replied for Kendal, Blaydon were running the ball at will and further scores were registered by David Lyall and Laughlin.
Barker then grabbed his second in a lull in the visitors scoring but Blaydon full-back Ryan Foreman joined the line in style to race in from 15 metres and soon after Marshall completed his hat-trick.
Kendal wing-forward Kirk Chettleburgh crossed for a 3rd home score, all of them converted by fly-half and leading points scorer Glen Weightman but fittingly it was Blaydon that had the last word when Robert Lenderyou applied the finishing touch to a massive overlap.
Guy’s 4 second-half conversions took the Blaydon total over the 50 points mark, and his side retain second position with 2 games to go and everything to play for.
 
John Brennan

Blaydon 44, Wilmslow 20

Blaydon secure maximum points and move ahead of Harrogate who beat leaders Hull and with Billingham taking maximum points at Vale of Lune, the playoff spot is still a 3 horse race with Blaydon needing to secure maximum points from their last 3 games to ensure they finish in that spot.

Blaydon  44   Wilmslow  20
A 4th successive win keeps Blaydon on target for a second place finish and into a play-off for promotion, and was achieved comfortably enough by a margin of 8 tries to 3. Whilst the scoreboard rattled along and the result was never in doubt the visitors at times were allowed an abundance of possession and belied their lowly position with a lively showing.
Rob MacCallum the Wilmslow fly-half opened the scoring with a simple penalty on 5 minutes and his side did well to defend 3 line-out drives in quick succession. Eventually prop-forward Calum Eastwood dived over from close range however and the Blaydon onslaught had begun.
Try No2 came from another line-out, this time from a ball to the front from which hooker Cameron Bell was driven over with Ryan Foreman adding the conversion. In Wilmslow’s first real attack their centre Gus Fiennes finished off a raid down the right but Blaydon were immediately back on the offensive with 2 more tries.
Alex Clark was involved with both efforts, firstly driving into the 22 to set up the attack from which Jack Appleton went over and then securing a loose ball to repeat the move and then being on hand to take a neat pass from James Cooney to score the bonus point try near the posts, Foreman again on target.
Wilmslow then showed that they too were dangerous from a line-out drive,
scoring their second through Ayrey Jordan but by the interval Blaydon scrum-half Dan Taylor completed a slick handling move to make it 29-13 at the break. 
The result was effectively settled shortly into the second when winger Frazer Wilson ran in a brace of tries in typical fashion. The first was a solo effort from just inside the Wilmslow half when he outstripped the visitors defence in fine style and was put clear for the second by Nathan Horsfall who had only just come on as a replacement.
Wilmslow then spent some considerable time in the home 22 and were eventually rewarded with a 3rd try, a smart effort from front-rower Rob Taylor, but all the good work was undone when Appleton grabbed his second Blaydon’s 8th near the end.
John Brennan      
 
 

 

Ilkley 15, Blaydon 21

 

Ilkley  15   Blaydon  21
Blaydon racked up another win on the road which despite the closeness of the final score was a comfortable enough victory in which they led by 3 tries to nil until the final minutes.
In difficult conditions on a sodden pitch at Stacks Field Blaydon were much the more decisive and although the home side huffed and puffed with plenty of possession they could make little progress against an excellent defence.
Winger Jack Appleton applied the final touch to a smart handling move to get the ball rolling and Jamie Guy was on target with the conversion. Ilkley fly-half Charles Ramsay pulled back 3 points for his side with a simple penalty in front of the posts but by the interval some intense pressure from the Blaydon forwards involving much re-cycling resulted in a try for skipper Keith Laughlin with Guy again adding the extras.
Leading 3-14 at the break Blaydon continued to press and were rewarded with a 3rd score when Matt Jenkinson went over after umpteen phases of possession. Guy landed his 3rd conversion but that was to be the end of Blaydon’s scoring, with  possession being lost too easily there-after and a number of opportunities wasted.
And as Blaydon sat back with a comfortable lead the home side were allowed to come more into it in the final quarter and grabbed a try through their winger Rick Talatio. Their deficit was now 8-21 and in the final play of the game another 7 points were secured when lock-forward Ben Waddington crossed in the corner and Ramsay put over the conversion.
 
John Brennan

 

Wirral 20, Blaydon 55

 

 

 

Photos by Stephen Billington

 

Wirral  20   Blaydon  55
Facing a Wirral side that had won all but one of their last 9 league games, and that against runaway leaders Hull, Blaydon trailed by 17-7 at the interval having had a lesser share of possession.
What followed next was an astonishing turnaround in which they took complete control in what was undoubtedly their most scintillating performance of the season. The backs simply ran riot, some brilliant handling and running producing 7 more tries including 3 in the final 10 minutes by which time the home side were a spent force.
A Craig Harvey penalty had given Wirral a lead on the half-hour but the Blaydon forwards responded immediately by driving Matt Jenkinson over with Ryan Foreman adding the extras, the first of 6 successful conversions by the fly-half.
By the interval the home side had added 2 more converted tries through Joe Murray and Matt Loon and with a 10 points advantage at the break probably felt in a comfortable position and with no premonition of what was to hit them in the second period.
Blaydon were immediately on the offensive only to lose the ball but quickly won it back with a Hugh Mongan interception on half-way, the winger racing back up-field for a brilliant score. Scrum-half Nathan Horsfall dashed over for a solo effort and then a Foreman penalty made it 17-24 and a 7 points lead.
Into the last 25 minutes and wave after wave of Blaydon attacks had the home side at sixes and sevens and helpless to stop the flow.
Handling of the highest order resulted in Dan Marshall, Frazer Wilson, Keith Laughlin and Guy Graham all crossing the try line, and in the final minute Liam Wright brought the spectacle to an end with his first ever try for the Blaydon senior team.
 
John Brennan


Blaydon 61 Rossendale 10

 

 

Blaydon  61   Rossendale  10
Blaydon put the set-back of the previous week well and truly behind them with a more than comfortable 9 tries to 2 victory over opponents that were on a 5 match losing run. A try bonus point was in the bag before the interval but surprisingly it was the visitors that had the bulk of the first half possession.
Rossendale were quite proficient at breeching the home 22 but not so good at getting over the line, and having flattered to deceive were caught out time and time when the Blaydon backs ran at them.
A tremendous 30 metre break by Harry Borthwick set up the opening score for scrum-half Dan Taylor, and on 20 minutes Dan Marshall jinked his way into the 22 to initiate the move finished off by Jamie Guy. Full-back Nathan Bailey added a 3rd before the visitors finally crossed the line, lock-forward Tom Jones benefiting from a quick tap penalty.
Just before the interval Bailey went clear again to release Frazer Wilson, who was in again within seconds of the re-start.
Having trailed 28-5 at the break the visitors rather lost their way in the second period, their successful rolling maul was a thing of the past, and by the final quarter the Blaydon backs were rampant.
An attacking line-out went astray but having won possession Rossendale foolishly tried to run it from the 22 giving Marshall a simply interception for home try No6, and within a minute Rob Lenderyou was over for a 7th.
Davis Strong the visitors winger was on the end of a flowing move for a Rossendale consolation but a Borthwick effort at the other end brought up the half century for Blaydon.
The one-sided affair was finally brought to an end when prop-forward Alex Dodds with the neatest of off-loads released skipper Keith Laughlin to score in the corner, Guy, after 8 successes, failing with the difficult conversion, and the referee blew for time thereby saving the visitors from any further punishment.
John Brennan

14 man Blaydon unlucky to lose out in the last play of the game, Billingham RUFC 24, Blaydon RFC 22

Blaydon playoff campaign was dealt a big blow yesterday in a game where things just went against us; we lost 2 props so had to play with 14 players, (not being allowed to put on a sub when we went uncontested) a gale was blowing across the pitch so a penalty hit the post, we lost possession too cheaply in opposition 22 and then lost to the last play of the game.

Credit to Billingham their defence was good as Blaydon dominated possession and territory.

The playoff spot is now  3 team race with Harrogate coming into the mix, with Billingham holding the initiative, both Billingham and Harrogate have to play Hull. Blaydon have no remaining fixtures against top 4 teams, so Blaydon are not out of this yet

 

Billingham  24   Blaydon  22
The battle for the play-off spot in the North Premier League goes on after this close encounter that was only decided in the last play of the game. Billingham eventually took the honours with a score by Dan Burns, who appeared to have come from an offside position, and the final whistle was blown immediately after the Pete Evans conversion giving Blaydon no chance to respond.
Not only had it been a dubious winning score but Blaydon were reduced to 14 men for the last 5 minutes of the first half and all of the second because of injuries, prop Darren Fearn having gone off in only the 2nd minute with a serious knee problem.
The visitors made by far the better start and opened their account in the 4th minute after moving it through the forwards before full-back Nathan Bailey came in on the short ball to cross in the corner.
Jamie Guy was off-target with the conversion but put over a penalty on 18 minutes and then added the extras when Bailey went in again with an identical effort to his first.
Blaydon had dominated the first half up to the final minute when Billingham in a rare attack pulled back 5 points through winger Eldon Myers who found a gap at the end of a handling movement.
Trailing 5-15 at the break Billingham were immediately on the offensive and within 60 seconds of the whistle scored a second try when centre Luke Wilson went over, Evans converting, and then took the lead for the first time with a Sean Richardson effort.
Despite now playing against the wind and with a man short Blaydon were still the dominant force and regained the initiative with 8 minutes remaining. Great patience was shown in the build-up and after a long period of possession the ball was moved out to the wing and then quickly back again for second-row Harry Borthwick to touch down near the posts, Guy again on target.
With time running out they were still attacking but a wayward drop goal attempt was caught by the opposition and sent downfield. The home side now attacked and were twice repulsed but a Blaydon knock-on led to a ruck and the last minute try.
Billingham had started the game in 3rd position 1 point behind their rivals whom they have leapfrogged, but Blaydon with a losing bonus point are now 2 points in arrears with everything still to play for.
 
John Brennan

Blaydon 69 Sandal 12

 

5 point win for Blaydon RFC puts us back in playoff spot, as Billingham Lose at Wirral

 

 

 

Blaydon  69   Sandal  12
Blaydon put their disappointing recent form well and truly behind them with this 11 try romp over a Sandal side that simply had no answer whenever the hosts made a clean break, and it all started within 60 seconds of the whistle.
Sandal fluffed the kick-off ball just outside their 22 and when the Blaydon half-backs moved it on from the scrum Dan Marshall put Frazer Wilson over in the corner, whilst spectators were still taking their seats.
Jamie Guy added the conversion and then added the extras again in the 6th minute after Marshall had scored a contender for ‘try of the season’. The centre set off on a mazy run from his own 22 weaving in and out of a bewildered defence, and not a hand had been laid on him when he touched down at the other end for a fantastic score.
And so the pattern of the game was set – Sandal coughing up possession and then parting like the Red Sea in the face off some slick Blaydon running.
Nathan Bailey started and then finished off the next score to make it 21-0 but in a rare attack full-back Jack Townend pulled one back for the visitors.
Matt Jenkinson then did a ‘Marshall’ when he intercepted and raced in from 50 metres for the try bonus point, and by the interval Marshall was in again, collecting his own chip ahead, and Sean Pyle had added a 6th right on the whistle.
Leading 31-7 at the break Blaydon were quickly back into their stride with Pyle crossing for his second 2 minutes after the restart. The hooker was then prominent in the build-up to a Guy Graham effort whilst prop forward David Lyall went in from a line-out drive following a high tackle.
Another penalty for a similar offence led to an almost farcial 10th try when Harry Borthwick took a quick tap and whist everyone stood still simply set off up-field to run 50 metres unchallenged.
Sandal scrum-half Bill Morecombe took advantage of a long pass to score a second for his side but basically it was one-way traffic and when Foreman broke from a scrum in the visitors 22 Graham strolled in for his second, with Foreman (4) and Nathan Horsfall (1) adding to the 2 earlier Guy conversions to complete a more than satisfactory result that takes Blaydon back up to 2nd place in the table.
 
John Brennan