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Weʼre raising £15,000 to support Blaydon Rugby Football Club during the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown.

Many of us are celebrating privately in our own homes the recent confirmation by the RFU that Blaydon RFC has been promoted from the Northern Premier League to National 2 North, effectively from the 5th level of national rugby to the 4th level.

Such celebrations however must wait as the Club faces a far more significant immediate challenge – survival.

The disaster of Covid 19 has bought dire consequences to all manner of organisations and there is a real danger that our Club will not survive unless we all work together to raise the funds that are needed to see us through this period of inactivity.

Like all businesses Blaydon survives by ensuring its annual income at least equals its expenditure. Our main sources of income are through the weekly car boot sales, outside hire functions such as circuses and events, the bar and associated functions. All of these sources have ceased for the foreseeable future and yet our overheads, although reduced, continue. We have a considerable number of monthly outgoings and borrowings to continue to pay . We have operated for many years now with overdraft facilities but no cash reserves. If this continues we will take years to recover if at all in the immediate short term.

We’re refinancing the club, Possible funds/loans that have been publicised as available by the RFU and Durham County Rugby Union, and are being applied for, and we have taken steps to minimise our expenditure including furloughing our staff to protect their employment.
Blaydon Rugby Club is close to many of us. Hundreds of past players have benefitted from camaraderie and playing experience over the years, and today we continue to provide facilities for our very successful boys and girls youth teams, adult playing and social membership. It would be disastrous if this were unable to continue.

It is for this reason, in these exceptional times, that we are appealing to all of you, as we establish an Appeal Fund to get us through the next few months. Whilst other Clubs have launched similar appeals we have thought long and hard before doing this as we are aware that these are difficult times for so many of you and there are many organisations appealing for money at this time.

However this is YOUR club and perhaps think of the enjoyment you have had over the years or more recently in being associated with Blaydon RFC

We’re hoping to achieve an initial target of £15,000 and realise it depends on your personal circumstances to how much you could donate. A donation of any size would help at this time and this can be done by:

• Via a Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/blaydonrugbyappeal

• Online payment, mail us at contact@blaydonrfc.co.uk and we’ll provide bank details.

Any one who can help, by providing a donation of £500 or over will be granted life membership to Blaydon RFC or a season ticket to attend 1st team League matches for the next 5 seasons

If we are successful with applications to government or RFU funding, any money donated to the club not used to cover the day to day operation of the club at this time, will be put towards club and grounds improvements.

Please circulate this message to as many friends and potential sponsors who may be able to help as possible. A regular update on funds received will be provided on our web site and through social media

Come on – you CAN do it

On behalf of Blaydon RFC,
Bill Locke – President
Bruce Costello – Chairman of Executive

 

Blaydon RFC – North Premier 2019/20 Champions

 

Blaydon Rugby Club are pleased to confirm receipt of the Rugby Football Union’s decision to promote the club to National Two North for the 2020-21 season.

Blaydon were 4 points clear at the top of North Premier competing with Sandal, Harrogate, Macclesfield and Billingham for promotion, when the RFU took the decision to cancel the remainder of the season due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The RFU committed to undertake a review to ensure fair and balanced outcomes for the game, and that review has concluded.

Proposals from the RFU governance committee to conclude the season for those leagues at both professional and community level were ratified by the RFU Council. It was agreed that final standings for the Greene King IPA Championship and men’s and women’s community game would be calculated on a best playing record formula, maintaining promotion and relegation for those leagues.

RFU President, Peter Wheeler, said: “We believe that the decisions made provide fair and balanced outcomes for the game and maintain the integrity of the competitions. We have listened to recommendations from the heart of the game and the approach has been ratified by the RFU Council.

“This has been a difficult decision to make in the most unprecedented of circumstances. There is no single solution that will suit every club, but the approach taken is one that we believe best reflects the nature of league rugby in England.

“With 80% of the season complete for the community game, we believe our approach is fair and the right one for our leagues. We have clubs that are clear league leaders and worthy of promotion, but also other clubs who have said they would benefit from relegation, to play more meaningful rugby.”

Blaydon Head Coach, Keith Laughlin said, “This is a huge achievement for the club and one which has taken a lot of hard work and buy in from players, coaching staff and club staff over the season.”

“It could not have been easy for the RFU to come up with a process for predicting the outcomes for all the leagues, there will obviously be disappointment amongst the leagues but we feel the outcome is a fair one.”

“I would like to make special mention to all the players at the club, there were a lot of changes and new ways of working at the start of the season and the buy in and commitment shown really paid off in the latter parts of the season. Our style of play achieved us 16 try bonus points this year. This was pivotal considering our predicted points total was less than a point greater than Harrogate, who will join us next season.”

“It has been a tough few seasons for this group of players where they have learnt a lot, built resilience and now have something positive to build on. This is a surreal ending to the season and we fully appreciate the bigger picture regarding COVID-19. I hope everyone is staying safe and staying healthy at this tough time. With that in mind, celebrations are overshadowed with thoughts for everyone who has been affected by the whole situation.”
#OTB

 

 

Ilkley 5, Blaydon 32

Blaydon 34, Morpeth 29

 

 

Match report to follow

 

 

 

 

 

Sandal 51 Blaydon 5

🔴⚫️ Match Report 🔴⚫️

Saturday 29th February 2020

SANDAL 51 – 5 BLAYDON

Throughout the home side were dominant with their abrasive pack on top and consequently their three quarters finished off in style. By half time the game was won.

The game began on a bright if somewhat windy day with the home side not fielding Blaydon’s kick off and for the first 7 minutes Blaydon probed but a determined home defence kept them at bay. The home side’s first meaningful attack on the clubhouse side saw Blaydon penned in the corner and despite winning the line out, indecision allowed No. 8 Declan Thompson to brush off several would be tacklers to open the scoring and Greg Wood slotted the first of his 3 conversions.

A period of mid field play saw the scoreline unchanged until the 21st minute when James Eller finished off a mid field break and the home side then began to dominate with 2 further tries following in quick succession. However, just before the interval, Blaydon had a short spell of enterprising play and the forwards drove over Alex Charlton to reduce the arrears. Not for long however, as Joe Allott burst through to give a scoreline of 22 – 5 at the break.

After the interval the pattern of play was the same with the home forwards continually providing good ball for their three quarters and by astute use of the elements, they always had territorial advantage. Scrum half Joe Bedford a late replacement from his coaching duties, finished off a forward drive followed shortly after by scrum half Tom Baxter. Sandal then lost direction and Blaydon had their best period of the game handling errors saw them continually coughing up possession and the home team weathered the storm and in the final minute a good forward drive saw another try with Wood adding the conversion.

Sandal now move up into third place behind ourselves who are still top and Harrogate second

Next week we are at home to second bottom Morpeth – kick off 3.00.p.m. and we need to get back to winning ways.

JIM HUXLEY

 

Lymm 28, Blaydon 34

🔴⚫️ Match Report 🔴⚫️

Saturday 15th February 2020

LYMM 28 BLAYDON 34

Both teams emerged into a howling gale and driving rain which continued throughout the game.
With the benefit of the wind advantage Blaydon kicked off , Freddie Lockwood gathered, gained ground, and passed to Elliot Beattie who scored in the corner in the 1st minute. Ably converted by Ryan Foreman, who then followed up with two long range penalties, Blaydon led, rather against the run of play, 0-13 after 25 minutes. Lymm pressure finally told and before the half was over poor defending and a little good fortune with ball bounces, allowed them two tries by Pilkington and Kimber, both converted by McCormack. At 14-13 down at half time Blaydon were looking at a struggling second half into the gale against an increasingly dominant Lymm. This was quickly exacerbated by yellow cards to fly half Carey and centre McMillan within five minutes of each other, and immediately followed by an injury to Captain Jack Davidson which saw him leaving the field. Two further Lymm penalties and an unconverted try by full back Nolan gave Lymm an apparently unassailable lead of 25-13 as the game entered the last ten minutes. However with Blaydon back to full strength a series of drives on the Lymm try line allowed prop David Lyall to score an unconverted try , which was then rather unluckily followed by a Lymm penalty. 28-20. Into the last 5 minutes and despite the elements, an increasingly determined Blaydon then repeated their driving forward efforts resulting in a converted try under the posts by the impressive Freddie Lockwood.
Could Blaydon come back again with the clock running down on the last play of the day ?. Gathering the kick off in their own half the forwards individually slowly drove their way upfield to the Lymm line after 37 passages of play and no handling errors which finally enabled Elliot Beattie to score under the posts from close range much to all Blaydon supporters and players delight. Converted by Ryan Foreman the score ended 28-34 and 5 points to take Blaydon to the top of the Northern Premier League table
This was a truly remarkable victory and credit to the whole squad who believed in their ability to turn things round right to the very end.

Bill Locke

BLAYDON 32 – 26 ROSSENDALE

As expected, Rossendale proved a handful and the game was a close encounter which was much like our first way back in October.   Whenever opened up a lead, the visitors immediately replied with with still 15 minutes remaining, Blaydon’s three point lead looked precarious but unlike previous matches our game plan was to get into the opposition’s 22 and see out time.   A task which Blaydon achieved as the opposition visibly tired.
Early exchanges were controlled by the home side this, despite losing prop Daz Fearn with a shoulder injury which saw him retire from play and eventually after 20 minutes scrum half Sam Stuart, soon himself to go off injured and take no further part in the match, put in Elliot Beattie from 30 metres ( he tells me) but probably nearer 12, over between the posts for the former player to add the points.
The home side continued to hold the initiative despite good work by the visiting pack and eventually winger Jack Appleton capitalised on a poor bit of visiting play and shot between two players to add to Blaydon’s score with an unconverted try.  Soon after, however, thing were to change and on only their second visit to the Blaydon half, prop Dan Rylance barged over after good forward play for fly half Lewis Allen to kick the first of his three conversions.
Half time arrived with a 12 – 7 scoreline and everything to play for and sure enough it was enterprising visiting back play which saw winger Tom Waring (also soon to leave the field of play) score an excellent try and Allen converted to put Rossendale two points in front.
Blaydon however were not dismayed and patient patterns of play eventually saw hooker Frazer Wilson and James Cooney combine from the half way line for the former to put Blaydon in front, a lead which they never lost with replacement Ryan Foreman adding the extras with an excellent touchline kick.
Immediately from the re-start, a 60 metre handling movement saw Wilson again, this time combining with Alex Charlton to outpace the visiting defence again on the right hand side and Jack Appleton finished off in style for his second try of the match to widen the gap to 10 points.   However, the marauding visiting pack had other ideas and their outstanding No. 8 Dominic Moon drove over for a converted try to immediately reduce the arrears only for Dan Marshall to thread through on the hour for his first try since before Christmas.   Sloppy play in the backs on their own 22 allowed Chris Mayor to gratefully take possession and shoot over for an unconvered try and narrow the gap to 3 points with 15 minutes remaining.   Squeeky bum time!!
However, Blaydon kicked off and continued to run down the clock in the last 15 minutes from inside the visiting 22.   At this stage the visitors were visibly tiring and not able to mount any worthwhile attacks and in the final seconds Ryan Foreman gratefully kicked a late penalty to widen Blaydon’s victory.
Both sides would wonder at the scoreline – Rossendale for not appearing in the first half and Blaydon during this period wasting several good opportunities.   In the end the home side triumphed in a game which last year they would have lost.
Next week we travel to Lymm who are comfortably lying in mid table and like us have an AGP.

 

This week’s results see no change in the league top three but Billingham, who lost again and have not won since Christmas, have now dropped down to 5th place by virtue of Sandal leapfrogging them into 4th place.

JIM HUXLEY

 

Billingham 5, Blaydon 24

 

 

Match Report:

 

BILLINGHAM 5 BLAYDON 24

With a superb second half display, Blaydon blew away Billingham in an emphatic fashion with their pack which included winger Frazer Wilson at hooker due to the injury situation and their backs posing a constant threat to the home side’s lack of direction.
The first half was fairly even with both sides nullifying each other in forward exchanges and when the ball eventually reached the three quarters, the windy conditions did not help.   However, a late James Cooney try gave Blaydon the lead and the second half display took the game away from the home side.
The game evolved slowly with firstly the home pack testing their visitors who stood firm and repulsed several attacks.  Blaydon then came more into the game with their three quarter attacks making good ground and looking dangerous.   However, two injuries in quick succession just before the half hour saw Captain Jack Davidson retire with a leg injury and then centre Alex Clarke suffered a severe hand injury necessitating a hospital visit.  Blaydon then changed their team with second row Alex Charlton making a welcome return after a four month lay off and new signing Sam Stuart making his club debut at scrum half with Dan Taylor moving to 10 and Jordan Carey into the centre.
For some reason, the enforced changes saw Blaydon up their game and five minutes of forward pressure in the home 22, eventually saw the ball smartly released and James Cooney popped up in the centre to score the first of his two tries.
After the interval, Blaydon continued to dominate, and a superb Harry Borthwick run from 22 to 22, breaking several tackles, began another siege of the home line and eventually influential scrum half Stuart darted over for Carey to add the points.   The expected home revival did not materialise, continually losing possession and struggling in the tight, and it was again three quarter initiative and a series of fast attacks which saw Keith Laughlin burst over from ten metres to increase the lead and Carey again to add a successful kick.
The home side then had a period of territorial advantage and after a Darren Fearn yellow card, they reduced the arrears with an unconverted try in the corner but gradually the Blaydon depleted pack regained control and finally upon Fearn’s return to the field, Blaydon scored their bonus point try when scrum half Stuart cleverly kicked over his forwards for the home opposition to be caught in possession, dispossessed of the ball, and that man Cooney again popped up to race in from 15 metres to increase the lead to 24 – 5.
This was the final score line with the Blaydon side arguably producing their best display of the season, particularly in the second half, with a combined team display.   The win sees Blaydon now in joint second place behind new leaders Macclesfield who emphatically beat Harrogate with Billingham slipping down to fourth having recorded their fourth successive defeat.
Well done lads!!  Keep it going!!
JIM HUXLEY

Blaydon 46 Wirral 10


 

🔴⚫️ Match Report 🔴⚫️

Saturday 18th January 2020

BLAYDON 46 – 10 WIRRAL

An 8 try demolition of Wirral along with Alnwick defeating neighbours Morpeth, pushed our visitors down into the bottom three and saw ourselves maintain our position in the championship race with the four top teams now separated by 5 points or less.

We began as usual using our pack as a platform but several handling errors saw us unable to open our account until the 15th minute when well won ball in mid field saw Captain Jack Davidson run in from 50 metres brushing off some poor tackles. Scores then followed at regular intervals despite us losing influential full back and kicker Ryan Foreman in the 8th minute with a leg injury followed shortly after by second row Jack Inglis on his home debut, retiring with a hand injury necessitating a visit to hospital.

Wirral then equalised when fly half Chris Crowley cleverly shot through a defensive gap for an uncoverted try but Davidson soon after put the home side in front following a good run by Alex Clarke and he finished off from 25 metres. The visitors then had their best period of play but could not break down a resolute home defence and then Blaydon spurned three good opportunities by poor handling and it was kept to Captain Davidson to put Freddie Lockwood away and the second row, showing a remarkable turn of speed, and finished off from 35 metres and Jordan Carey added the extras.

After the break, the game became a little one sided and the opposition fell away and Rob Lenderyou cleverly put Sean Pyle in for Carey to convert and then Lenderyou again was prominent being involved in a superb three quarter movement which was winger Jack Appleton touch down in the corner. Surprisingly, the next score was from the visitors who on a rare visit to the Blaydon half, saw No. 8 Richard Pearl drive over. However, it was not long before Blaydon were back on the score sheet when another length of the field move allowed Alex Clarke to put in Nathan Bailey to increase the home lead.

With time running out, Blaydon ran in 2 final tries, firstly following an interception by the prominent Lenderyou, as the visitors tried to run out of defence and then leading try scorer Harry Borthwick picked up from a ruck, outracing the home defence, to touch down between between the posts for Carey to add his third conversion.

In all, a much improved performance notwithstanding the early injuries, and better handling in the first period could have seen us out of sight by half time.

Next week sees a break in fixtures allowing some of our ‘walking wounded’ to recuperate and we are then away to BILLINGHAM who, similar to last season, have fallen away following the Christmas break losing 3 on the bounce.

This week’s results sees the top four, which includes ourselves, separated by 5 points and we have them all to play in the coming weeks.

JIM HUXLEY

Alnwick 7, Blaydon 0

🔴⚫️ Match Report 🔴⚫️

Saturday 11th January 2020

ALNWICK 7 – 0 BLAYDON

Producing probably their worst display of the season, Blaydon failed to trouble the scoreboard and after facing a gale force wind in the first half and finishing level, they failed to capitalize on their advantage in the second period. It must be said that the wind died down considerably and added to the home side’s intensity particularly after their early second half try which saw Blaydon struggling to gain any territorial advantage.

The game began with Blaydon as usual moving the ball around but being used to the wide expansive spaces of Crow Trees, they found themselves constantly thwarted by the resolute home defence. It was Alnwick who had the first chance to open the scoring midway through the half when flyhalf Callum Burn optimistically trying with a 42 metre penalty and although with wind advantage, his effort failed. Towards the break, Blaydon began to put a number of attacks together and were well on top but despite being near the line on occasions nothing materialised and the scoreline remained blank in a game littered with errors and wrong options.

Immediately after the break it was the home side who looked the more enterprising winning ample possession at breakdowns and keeping the game tight. It came as no surprise when Alnwick scored following a 5 metre scrum, pushing Blaydon back for number 8 Ben Gothorp to be presented with an easy touchdown, Callum Burn making no mistake with the extras and all of a sudden Alnwick realised the game was within their grasp. Blaydon had possession within their own half but unfortunately failed to capitalise and it took 28 minutes to get over the halfway line and enter the home 22. At this stage Blaydon introduced Jack Inglis a product of their youth section in his 1st team debut – no doubt it will be a game he will remember but not for the right reasons.

However, Alnwick continued to defend resolutely and in the end ran out worthy winners on the day recording their first victory over Blaydon in 22 years although to be fair for most of that time we have both been in different leagues.

Next week we are at home to Wirral and with leaders Billingham again being defeated, all is not lost but an immediate improvement is required.

Jim Huxley