1st Team News
So close but we go again. Edge of your seat stuff in our local derby versus Billingham. Again the elements had a huge impact on the game with gale force winds straight down the paddock. Playing on familiar AGP we started well going in at half time 15-5, unfortunately though having to play 5 mins at the end of the 1st half and all of the 2nd half with 14 men due to two nasty injuries to front rowers Darren Fearn and Calum Eastwood making us to go to uncontested scrums and 14 men.
A titanic effort in second half by all players saw us winning the game against the elements with last play to come. Well done to Billingham who found a way past our magnificent defensive effort winning by 2 points.
On a sour note I did think Billingham’s reactions to their victory were not in the spirit of rugby and the crowds reactions reminded me more of an aggressive football crowd than rugby supporters.
Moving on to Rossendale, having lost to them earlier on in the season in a hard, closely contested game I know our boys want to return the favour.
Thanks for all Blaydon supporters who travelled to Billingham to cheer the lads. Hope to see you all in the bar afterwards.
We go again
We welcome our visitors today from Rossendale a former mill town centred on the valley of the River Irwell , being immediately south of the more populated town of Burnley, east of Blackburn and north of Bolton, Bury, Manchester and Rochdale, centred 15 miles north of Manchester.
Now you all know where it is, I can confirm that we visited there in October and lost 27-19.a result that seemed to give us a big kick as we then went on to win the next 6 games. They are going through a rough patch and yet to win since 8th December. Lets make sure today is not a turn round in their fortunes. As ever we were welcomed in their shared Clubhouse and it is a pleasure to have all their representatives here today.
Last weekend was as frustrating as it gets for all the Blaydon supporters who travelled to support the team at Billingham. A last minute extra time dubious try saw us lose 24-22 having played much of the match with 14 men. Billingham’s celebrations were on a par with their delight when they won at Crow trees in October and now sets us a more difficult task to regain 2nd place by the end of the Season. Unfortunately our 2nd XV lost as well and when Newcastle United let in a last second goal at Wolves on Monday night I did suggest to my wife that I should give up as a sport supporter and read a book instead on Saturday afternoons, but I am back for more somehow !
In the leagues above Fylde, after a shaky start, have now gone top of National 2 North, and in National 1 Old Elthamians are looking increasingly likely to go into the Championship despite their crowds of less than 300. Clearly money talks. We can all hope that the Falcons aren’t hosting them next Season.
Finally our apologies to Aaron Traill of Gosforth Ventilation Services who did sponsor Nathan Bailey but I was not made aware until after the programme was printed at the beginning of the Season by which time Eric Hall had kindly stepped in.
Lets hope for a good open game today
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
5 point win for Blaydon RFC puts us back in playoff spot, as Billingham Lose at Wirral
This last fortnight has been a rollercoaster of emotions for the 1st XV lads.
We ground out a 5 point result against Lymm 2 weeks ago, boys feeling it was an error riddled game. The sign of a strong team is playing poorly and winning. In the huddle afterwards emotions were mixed as we won but the performance was not up to our standard we demand from each other. We then get the great news that we moved into second spot with our rivals Billingham slipping up. We feel promotion is in our own hands.
We then have a hard fixture for both our 1s and 2s at Harrogate. The home fixture was a tight affair with their forwards really getting a role on and the backs being very capable. Unfortunately last Saturday was not our day and give credit where credit is due, they deserved the 5 points. They did their homework on our lineout denying us any clean ball. That was a first for the season as it has normally been exceptional. From that they gained vital field position and really pressurised us in that respect. When we got possession they attacked our breakdown well and we did not really get our normal expansive wide game up and running. With this loss we relinquish playoff spot.
We welcome today our visitors from Sandal, located on the edge of Wakefield. We lost there in October so now is the time to make amends. Whilst they have had poorer form recently, they have nevertheless in the last three games lost narrowly to Billingham, beaten Rossendale away, and last week lost narrowly to Wirral 28-31. Another close game is therefore expected and it is a pleasure to have their team and supporters with us today.
For our part following a reasonably comfortable win at home to Lymm we went to Harrogate with high expectations for both our 1s and Georgians teams but lost both games. Frankly we were 2nd best on the day and Harrogate deserved their 24-3 win. Let’s put that behind us and see what we can do today
The team bus stopped in Harrogate on the way back and we had a drink or two at Weatherspoons Winter Gardens pub, formally part of the Royal Baths – built so that visitors could relax and stroll in any weather.. During the 1920s, people could relax there, amid potted palms, listening to music from a grand piano. In the 1930s, the Municipal Orchestra played every morning throughout the year, with free admission for the patients of the baths. Nobody had a dip whilst we were there, but I for one enjoyed the experience. It really is a lovely town.
Disappointingly we have been advised that the game against the RAF on 13th March has been cancelled (they are playing a Junior team called Coventry on that date ! ) but we anticipate that they will fulfil their promise and come to Blaydon during the 2019/20 Season .
Money is always tight for us at this time of year, so if anyone can persuade a Sponsor to celebrate a game with his clients and staff at Crowtrees please let me know . They would be made very welcome
Finally we have produced a thorough Safeguarding policy concerning Youth players in particular which will be available on the Web site for all those interested. It is vital that we act in a professional manner to ensure our standards in all areas remain at the highest level
Our next game is on 9th February away to Billingham. Travel is by cars rather than a team bus, but I hope as many supporters as possible can be there for this important derby game
Crow Trees, Hexham Road,
Swalwell, Newcastle Upon Tyne,
Tel: 0191 4200505