Bladyon unlucky not to take a bonus point from the game – Plymouth Albion 16 Blaydon 5

Blaydon were unluckily deprived of a losing bonus point when conceding a try from the last play of the game, having fought manfully in the most appalling of conditions.

With most games on the south coast being cancelled it was touch and go whether this fixture on a semi-waterlogged pitch got started. In a howling gale and constant driving rain running rugby was out of the question, few line-outs were won on the throw. and even fewer passes went to hand.
Plymouth with the wind at their backs opened the scoring when Matt Shepherd their 18 yr old full-back put over the penalty when Blaydon were adjudged to have collapsed a scrum. The same player made it 6-0 with an identical effort in the final minute of the half and in-between Blaydon lost their skipper Keith Laughlin, recently appointed captain of the England Counties side, with a badly cut eye.
From the turnaround Blaydon were quickly onto the front foot and pulled back 5 points with a catch and drive try by flanker Andrew Archibald but typically in the conditions Andrew Baggett slipped and fell when attempting the conversion.
The home side hit back when man of the match Shepherd won the race to touch down from a kick ahead but looked to have knocked on in the process.
Blaydon’s driving maul took them close to a second score but with time running out a bonus point appeared to be their only reward only to have it snatched away when Cameron Setter the Plymouth scrum-half ghosted through from a set-piece in the dying seconds.

John Brennan