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