1st Team Match Reports

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Tynedale 32 Blaydon 31

As ‘derby’ games go this one had just about everything – 4 tries to each side, a result that was in doubt until the end and only a single point between the sides on the whistle.

Given the respective league positions Tynedale would have been clear favourites before the start but found themselves 17 points adrift within 20 minutes having lost Graeme Dunn and Guy Pike to the sin-bin for a deliberate knock-on and a high tackle.
Blaydon had taken full advantage of these home lapses with Dan Marshall crossing in the corner and then flanker Jack Davidson touching down after a storming break by Harry Borthwick. Fly-half Ryan Foreman converted both efforts and also landed a penalty but once Tynedale were restored to full strength the pattern began to change.
Pike went in from close range, James Spencer converting, and with an Ash Smith penalty the home side had pulled it back to 10-17. Back down at the other end Borthwick grabbed a 3rd Blaydon try from a bullocking run by Blaydon skipper Keith Laughlin but in the final play of the half prop forward Richie Elliot crashed over for Tynedale and Smith’s conversion brought a breathless first half to an end.
Nothing much happened in the opening exchanges of the second period until the 55th minute when a Smith penalty reduced the home deficit to just 4 points but then Tynedale shot themselves in the foot once more. Attempting to run the ball from their own 22 an optimistic pass was easily intercepted by Blaydon’s Tom Small who ran in unopposed and the visitors had a try bonus point and a 20-31 lead.
Tynedale however continued to look dangerous with ball in hand and Joe Miller’s barnstorming run laid on a score for Will Miller, and going into the final minutes they were just 6 points adrift.
The outcome was finally settled by fittingly what was the try of the game by Oli Walker who weaved in and out of the visitors defence for a brilliant solo effort under the posts. Another Smith conversion eased Tynedale in front for the only time in the game and having led for so long Blaydon were left with only the consolation of 2 bonus points.

John Brennan

Sale 54, Blaydon 12

 

Blaydon were unable to build on last weeks dramatic late victory, going down heavily against a powerful Sale side in what was a first ever meeting between the two clubs.
The home side had a massive advantage in the forwards, driving Blaydon back at every scrum to create scoring opportunities at will with Andy Hughes and Dan Burchall crossing for the first 2 early on with 6 more to follow.
As half-time approached however Blaydon finally got their hands on the ball which they retained for 3 phases before second-rower James Zino dummied his way between the posts. Fly-half Ryan Foreman added the easy conversion to make the interval score-line of 35-7 slightly more respectable.
The turnaround made little difference to the balance of play but Blaydon did well to grab a second score when skipper Keith Laughlin was driven over wide out but this time Foreman’s conversion effort was off target.
Sale remained well on top to the end and with their fly-half Chris Johnson adding the extras to 7 of their tries took the final score over the 50 points mark, showing exactly why they are so close to the top of the table.

John Brennan

Blaydon 36, Sheffield Tigers 34

Blaydon left it more than just a ‘bit late’ to secure their 5 point win, winger James Cooney touching down with the final play of the game. Trailing by 3 points going into the last ten minutes they attacked incessantly only to be repelled by some desperate defence, the Sheffield side losing 2 players to the sin-bin in quick succession, and until a last minute penalty was kicked to the corner the opportunity to end a losing run looked to be beyond them.
The visitors struck first when they ran it up-field after Blaydon had collapsed a scrum and Henri Packard finished off in style. The lead was short lived however as home prop David Kilpatrick stormed into the opposition 22 to send in hooker Matt Thompson who held off 2 defenders to cross under the posts.
Back came Sheffield with a smart effort by man of the match James Broadley but this was quickly cancelled out by Blaydon winger Jack Appleton after good work by Nathan Bailey and Keith Laughlin. Thompson then completed his hat-trick with 2 close scores from driving mauls and a try bonus point had been secured by the 36th minute.
Leading 24-12 Blaydon were in the ascendancy only to concede a try to Broadley in the last play of the first half.
And then things went from bad to worse when within 3 minutes of the re-start lapses in concentration let in Peter Swatkins and Packard for Sheffield scores and in the 55th minute their scrum-half Ryan Holmes nipped over from a set-piece for a 6th try.
A 24-12 lead had now become 24-34 deficit but Blaydon responded well and went on to dominate the final quarter. A prolonged attack that went back and forth with some excellent handling looked to be ended when the ball went down. Scrum-half Andrew Miller reacted first, quickly securing possession to burst into the 22 for Rob Lenderyou to finish off and Ryan Foreman to land a 3rd conversion.
The late line-out ball was moved cross-field by Thompson, Foreman and Dan Marshall to send in Cooney for a 6th and winning try but it had been a mighty close thing.

John Brennan

Sedgley Park 43, Blaydon 26

Sedgley Park 43 Blaydon 26

Blaydon were simply not at the races in the first half in which they lost out 26-0 to 4th placed Sedgley Park, contributing much to their own downfall in the process.
Time and time again their clearance kicks were misdirected, allowing the home side to counter quickly and run in tries through scrum-half Callum McShane (2),centre Matt Riley and winger Jamie Harrison.
Influential fly-half Steve Collins was on target with 3 conversions and at the interval it would have looked to a casual observer that there was no way back for a disappointing Blaydon side.
Whatever was said at half-time however certainly had the desired effect as the game was transformed within 5 minutes of the restart. Possession was retained through countless phases with Sedgley now on the back foot, and Blaydon hooker and head coach Matt Thompson was first to pierce their defence when he stormed over from 20 metres out.
Ryan Foreman added the conversion as he did for the second try, this time scored by scrum-half Andy Miller who was driven over from the tail of a line-out after a spell of constant pressure. Prop forward Dave Kilpatrick was next to cross the home line and with another Foreman conversion it was now 26-21 and almost a complete turnaround.
Rob Lenderyou secured a try scoring bonus point for the visitors but Sedgley avoided any further set-backs and near the end added further scores through Callum Chapman and Ben Lloyd but if Blaydon had only competed in the first half it might well have been a different story.

John Brennan

Blaydon 13 Leicester Lions 17

On a day when little went right for Blaydon they got themselves back into contention with a remarkable burst of scoring by winger Jack Appleton who ran in two tries in two minutes to make it 13-17 with 13 minutes to play.
Sensing a victory that for much of the game had seemed unlikely they continued to press but when the visitors got up-field Blaydon attempted to counter from their 22 only to run into trouble and were penalised, giving James Morgan a simple kick in front of the posts with which to extend the Lions lead.
Going into the final minute Blaydon themselves were awarded a penalty which they kicked to the corner in anticipation of a line-out drive. Sadly they overthrew at the line-out and the chance was gone when they lost possession, an outcome that just about summed up a disappointing all-round performance.
Both sides had plenty of ball in their opponents 22 in the first half but from all the effort only one scoring opportunity was created and it fell to the Lions who made the most of it. A Blaydon clearance had failed to find touch and was run straight back at them by Ian Smith the Lions full-back and after three more players had handled,the ball was shipped out to the unmarked James Wise who crossed in the corner, Morgan converting.
Seven points adrift at the break Blaydon pulled back 3 of them when Joel Matavasi landed a penalty, but the impetus was lost soon after when the Lions in a rare visit up-field drove into the home 22. The maul went down, Blaydon were adjudged to be guilty and a penalty try was awarded.
Now 11 points in arrears Blaydon at last grabbed the initiative, Matavasi putting out a high kick to the far corner for Appleton to gather in and storm over.
Two minutes later and he was in again in similar style but significantly neither effort was converted and at the end only a losing bonus point had been achieved.

Report by John Brennan

Pictures by Iain Clyne

Huddersfield 48, Blaydon 22

The Blaydon backs were in excellent form, particularly in an even first half, but up front it was a different story where the lack of bulk was a distinct disadvantage along with the issue of 3 yellow cards against the Crow Trees side.
Man of the match Harry Davey landed an early penalty for Huddersfield, the fly-half finishing with a personal tally of 14 points, but it was the visitors who secured the opening try.
Joel Matavasi and Dan Turland combined in a smart move to put winger Tom Gorman clear to score under the posts with Ryan foreman adding the conversion, but in rapid succession came two of the yellow cards.
The home side were quick to capitalise, scoring first with a disputed penalty try and then No8 Dickie Piper from a forward drive, and finally a length of the field effort finished off by scrum-half Joel Hinchcliffe.
Leading 27-7 at the break Huddersfield continued where they had left off and added further scores through lock Adam Malthouse and winger Brendon Conway, and then with Blaydon on the back foot and under pressure were awarded another penalty try.
Going into the final quarter Blaydon were trailing 48-7 but now found themselves with a lot more ball and general possession and began a remarkable revival.
Front row forward Cameron Bell crashed over in the corner from a spell of pressure but the conversion opportunity was turned down on the basis that a try bonus point was now the only possibility left available.
Second-row Rob Lenderyou then went in near the posts but again with time running out the conversion was ignored, and the policy was fully justified 4 minutes from the end when skipper Keith Laughlin crossed from a catch and drive for try No4, the bonus point moving Blaydon one place up the table.

John Brennan