1st Team Match Reports


Derby Day at Tynedale

No better way to finish off a hard pre season than a very competitive tough game at our rivals Tynedale. Blaydon once again set off at a fast pace going into a 10 – 0 lead with another well worked try by Jack Appleton and for the 2nd Alex Clarke running a lovely line for speedster Dan Marshall to collect an off load and get over the white wash.

A fight back from the blue and whites was always going to come led by Blaydon old bot Chris Wearmouth, with some bulldozing carriers down the middle of the park. This build up of pressure led to Jamie Guy taking a 10 minute rest in the sin bin. Whilst we were down to 14 another Blaydon old Boy Tom Bramwell found some space in midfield and created to well worked Tynedale tries. Blaydon responded with 3 points soon after.

Blaydon made some substitutions with Jack Davidson and Keith Laughlin coming off the bench with immediate impact. Keith pinning his ears back off a Harry Borthwick break to run in from the half way line. Blaydon eventually held on after some late Dale pressure to pip it 23-22.

Now on to the league next week and Vale of Lune on our brand new artificial pitch.

Honours even for the Baggett Cup

A strong Blaydon squad of 25 players went to Wharfedale to compete for the Baggett Cup. Blaydon set off at the usual high tempo scoring 2 wonderful tries, including a peach of a team effort finished off by Jack Appleton. Dale came back in there usual aggressive way displaying a great power performance from there pack scoring a Penalty try from a scrum and a driving maul effort. Jack Appleton scored another well timed interception which old wharfed ale boy Jamie Guy easily converted. Some great Blaydon defensive efforts saw  the game stuck at 21-21 at 80 mins which both teams saw as a fair result. Matt Thompson mentioned he was very pleased with the effort shown and improvement made week on week as well as the strength in depth in his squad which in no doubt will give him selection headaches during the season.

Competitive run out at the Boro

Blaydon took a large , strong squad down for there first run out of the season to Middlesborough who are coached by Blaydon stalwart Andrew Baggett. DoR Matt Thompson was looking forward to seeing on show a few new faces and a few old ones returning from injury. A freak collision during the warm up saw Fraser Wilson on his return hurt a shoulder which could see him out for a few extra weeks.

The game saw both teams play a good brand of attacking rugby allowing Blaydons Dan Marshall score a first half hat trick as well as some great team efforts finished off by James Cooney and Nathan Bailey.

The 2nd half saw Middlesborough come out and put together 2 well executed scores but Blaydon finished the day off with a total of 9 tries. A big Thank You to Middlesborough for hosting us, good luck for the coming season and hopefully this fixture can be made an annual event.


South Leicester 48 Blaydon 34

Blaydon’s prospects of retaining their Division Two North status for next season took a turn for the worse with this losing encounter against South Leicester from which they gained only a try scoring bonus point.
Just after the half-time break they led 22-24 and deep into the second period were only 2 points adrift at 36-34 but ultimately were let down by some indifferent tackling and a failure to cope with 2 outstanding individual performances from the home team.
Rickie Aley the South Leicester fly-half was a commanding presence throughout, constantly driving Blaydon back with mighty clearances, and on the left wing Myles Bean used his tremendous pace to run in 5 tries.
The home side took an early lead with the first of Bean’s efforts and an Aley conversion and then a penalty but from a Blaydon counter-attack hooker Cameron Bell crossed from a line-out drive and Tom Catterick added the extras.
Bean went over twice more but as the interval approached Blaydon scored again when David Kilpatrick stormed into the 22 in typical style and another Catterick conversion made it 22-17 at the interval.
South Leicester lost possession of the re-start kick for Blaydon to ship it out to Dan Marshall who scooted clear from half-way, Catterick converting, and the visitors were in front.
Bean and then Matt Cook the other winger hit back for the home side only to see Harry Borthwick grab Blaydon’s bonus point try in similar style to the earlier Kilpatrick effort.
That completed the Blaydon scoring but in the closing stages Bean was away again and then a hotly disputed penalty try put the issue beyond doubt, leaving the Crow trees side facing a vital last game of the season in 7 days time.
John Brennan

Blaydon 24, Sale 36

When every point is precious in a relegation battle but you are up against the league leaders who have only been beaten twice all season it takes a special performance to come as close to winning as Blaydon did at Kingston Park yesterday.
In what was undoubtedly their best display thus far they led their illustrious opponents 24-12 going into the final quarter, having scored 4 tries in the process. Sadly the tremendous effort took its toll and as tiredness set in Sale regrouped to run-in 24 points unanswered in the final 15 minutes.
It all started in the 19th minute when Sale ran back a clearance only to lose possession on half-way allowing the quick-thinking Dan Marshall to pick up and race clear for a tremendous score.
The lead was short lived however with Blaydon attempting to run it from their own 22 only to knock-on and suffering the inevitable from the resulting scrum when Sale No8 Tom Ailes touched down.
Not deterred however Blaydon were soon back on the front foot and when Harry Borthwick was high tackled they kicked to the corner, moved it back and forth, and when Marshall chipped ahead Nathan Bailey was on hand to dive over.
Joe Whyman converted that effort and on 30 minutes James Cooney shot clear from some slick passing and although stopped short was able to reach over for a 3rd try.
Leading 17-5 at the interval Blaydon missed a gilt edged opportunity to go further ahead when a pass went down with the line inches away and it was the visitors who scored next. A quick tap penalty was moved through the hands for John Blanchard to score in the corner and narrow their deficit to just 5 points.
On a day when Blaydon simply never gave up however they hit back again to run in a bonus point try. Deep in their own 22 they secured possession to release Cooney who stormed up to half-way to release Borthwick who raced on unchallenged to touch down under the posts and Whyman add another conversion.
Having seen another team from their home town vanquished on the same pitch less than 24 hours earlier Sale finally got it together and tries from Dan Birchall, Ailes, and Matt Simpson turned it round to deny Blaydon a moment of glory.
John Brennan

Sheffield Tigers 26, Blaydon 34

Blaydon picked up another vital 5 points when they completed the double over Sheffield Tigers to put some clear water between themselves and the bottom three.

In a highly entertaining encounter they dominated from the start and wrapped up a try scoring bonus point within the half-hour only to see the roles reversed in the second period.
Going into the last 5 minutes they were holding onto a slender 5 points lead but the reliable Tom Catterick who had converted all the tries put over a penalty to seal an important victory.
It was a Catterick penalty that also got the scoreboard moving in the 2nd minute following an offside and heralded a 20 minute spell of Blaydon territory and possession. Flanker Rob Lenderyou grabbed the first try when he completed a move that had started on half-way and was soon followed by skipper Keith Laughlin with an almost identical effort.
Winger James Cooney and Catterick combined to release Dan Marshall for try No3 and make it 0-24 but the home side in what was their first attack pulled back 7 points when they were awarded a penalty try.
Nathan Bailey restored the Blaydon advantage when he finished off a spell of pressure in the home 22 but the Tigers struck again right on the interval with a mazy run and try from Tom Hart, converted by their fly-half Alan Farrell.
Sheffield kicked off in the second period but the Blaydon clearance was charged down by Farrell who had a simple run-in and added the conversion himself, and 7-31 had become 21-31. Worse was to follow for the visitors when prolonged pressure on their line resulted in a Brackley try, but some determined defence maintained a narrow lead until Catterick’s late penalty.

John Brennan

Blaydon 30, Luctonians 0 – Blaydon win at Kingston Park

Blaydon win moves them just above Wharfedale and currently out of the relegation places:


Pictures by Iam Smith:


On paper this was a must win for both sides in their battles to avoid the relegation trap and potentially therefore a close affair. The reality was a comprehensive 5 points win for Blaydon who ran in 6 tries without reply and with a little more composure it could have been a lot more.
In what was their first outing on the artificial surface at Kingston Park it took Blaydon 10 minutes to get the hang of it whilst the visitors pushed them around at scrums and line-outs, but they survived and gradually gained a foothold in the opposition half and there was no looking back.
On 17 minutes skipper Keith Laughlin broke off from a short scrum and when he was held up on the line Matt Charlton was on hand to dive over. Luctonians re-started, the kick was fielded and passed along the home 22 for Dan Marshall to take it on and release Jack Appleton to show a clean pair of heels in a devastating run from half-way for a second score.
Appleton was then involved in the next attack which culminated in a penalty kicked to touch and Matt Thompson crossing from the lie-out maul, before securing the bonus point try himself just before the interval with a trademark skip past his opposite number and an unstoppable burst to the line.
Much of the second half was best forgotten with Luctonians at last gaining some territory but constantly dropping the ball or being penalised in the face of a determined home defence, with Blaydon at times just as indulgent with their possession.
Going into the final quarter it was still 20-0 but once the visitors effort was spent Blaydon got back on the front foot and typically it was a howler of a back pass by a Luctonians defender that led to the fifth try. The ball went down in the 22 and Davidson was quickest to re-act and hack-on to the line where he picked up and put Joe Whyman over for a simple score.
Laughlin, who had been involved in everything, popped up twice in the final minute in what was the best Blaydon handling movement of the game that pressed and pressed again at the visitors until flanker Harry Borthwick finished off in style.

John Brennan

Blaydon 24 Sedgley Park 52

Both sides had plenty to play for, albeit at opposite ends of the table, and whilst Blaydon gave it their best shot and gained a deserved try bonus point it was the visitors who controlled affairs for much of the game to run out comfortable winners by 8 tries to 4.
Harry Borthwick got Blaydon on the front foot in the 4th minute, his storming run into the 22 producing a try for full-back Nathan Bailey, but the lead was to be short lived.
The Tigers hit back 3 minutes later when, for what was to be the first of many a move, their slick handling found a gap and Callum McShane was left with a simple run-in.
And then came a blitz from the visitors in which they simply seemed unstoppable, running in 3 tries in 4 minutes through Hallam Chapman, Kieran Allen and Andrew Riley, and all scored with the utmost of ease.
To their credit Blaydon heads stayed up and on 31 minutes a rolling maul was heading for the line when Park front rower Ben Black pulled it down for which he received a yellow card. The penalty went back to touch and this time Matt Thompson was driven over, Joe Whyman converting.
With half-time beckoning Bailey put up a high ball to the far corner and after the forwards had taken it on leading scorer Jack Appleton crossed near the flag, Whyman again on target to make it 19-28 at the break.
A deficit reduced to just 9 points had kept Blaydon in the game but it didn’t take long for the visitors to regain their composure and 4 minutes into the second period Riley was over for his second, and then the hat-trick on 49 minutes.
Black crossed for try No7 from a McShane line-out break and near the end replacement Matt Gallagher completed the Sedgley scoring to keep them well in contention for promotion.
For Blaydon it was a disappointing outcome in what was their last game to be played on grass at Crow Trees before the diggers move in to replace it with an artificial surface but centre Dan Marshall had the honour of scoring their final try on turf when he crossed for the bonus point score in the 61st minute.

John Brennan

Blaydon 15, Huddersfield 26

The lighter Blaydon pack were up against it in the near arctic conditions and whilst both sides struggled to hang on to the ball at times it was the Crow Trees boys who made the greater number of errors, contributing much to their own downfall.
At 10-19 early in the second period they had the one real opportunity to turn it around but with skipper Keith Laughlin leading the way they battered the Huddersfield line but just failed to make the breakthrough and the chance was gone.
“Obviously we are disappointed” said head coach Matt Thompson ” there were times in the game when we applied pressure in the right arears but didn’t come away with any points”.
Well prompted by 2 bursts into the 22 from James Cooney they started the better but failed with a simple penalty opportunity and typically on the day conceded the first try with a poor clearance kick. The visitors ran it straight back through former Blaydon hooker Fran Entressengle for centre Tom Owen to cross with ease.
When they got back on the front foot a penalty was kicked to the corner and a rolling maul held up on the line leading to a further infringement and a repeat maul from which Laughlin was driven over.
But back came Huddersfield and from a knock-on by a Blaydon back in his own 22, prop forward Adam Blades scored from the resulting scrummage. On 32 minutes they turned down a kickable penalty to opt for a scrum and winger Elliot Knight was in for a 3rd try.
In the final minute of the half Drew Davison set off on a solo run into the visitors 22 and when Huddersfield infringed again Davison was on hand to score from the line-out possession and make it 10-19 at the break.
Laughlin was over the line but held up in Blaydon’s best spell and then stopped just short from the scrum but the effort petered out and Huddersfield went on to secure a bonus point try through lock-forward Austen Thompson.
In the final minute replacement Calum Eastwood went over for a Blaydon consolation score but Huddersfield deserved their 5 points.
“We will have to play better than that to avoid relegation but we are still optimistic and I know the boys are capable” said Thompson, and Blaydon now have 6 games from which to secure their National 2 status, 4 of them at home with the final 3 due to be played on the artificial pitch at Kingston Park, home of the Newcastle falcons, whilst work commences on the installation of a similar AGP surface at Crow Trees.

John Brennan

Leicester Lions 15 Blaydon 8

Leicester Lions 15 Blaydon 8

Blaydon went down narrowly at Westleigh Park in a game that was closely contested throughout and which could have gone either way. At the final whistle Blaydon were encamped under the lions posts and piling on the pressure but for all their efforts came away with only a losing bonus point.
Driving rain and a muddy pitch made handling difficult and it was both sets of forwards that held sway.
Leicester Lions were first to score on 14 minutes when Owen Taylor their hooker was driven over from a line-out maul, and fly-half Jonathon Boden on target with the conversion.
The home side then lost a player to the sin-bin for foul play and Blaydon immediately turned the screw. The pack stormed into the 22 with hooker Matt Thompson diving over from close range for an equalising try.
Joe Whyman failed to convert, and the lions now back to full strength regained the advantage at the other end with a powerful rolling maul from which scrum-half Tom Aviss nipped over for an unconverted score to make it 12-5 at the break.
Blaydon started the second period without Keith Laughlin their injured skipper but continued to be in contention although frequently denied by some accurate defensive kicking by the home side.
With the game in the balance and time running out Blaydon were penalised for offside and Boden stretched the home lead to 15-8 leading to the fighting finale by the visitors and a bonus point that could yet prove valuable in their bid to avoid the drop zone,

John Brennan