Blaydon 13 – Wharfedale 43

As the programme notes reminded us matches between these two clubs are generally close affairs, but sadly for Blaydon, yesterdays encounter was very much the exception to the rule with the visitors running away with it.

The Wharfedale backs proved far to elusive, breaking tackles at will to release runners, particularly Dan Tai Sen Choy on the left wing who created havoc throughout and could easily have doubled his brace of tries.

Blaydon were 3 tries adrift after just 26 minutes but then at last got their act together and applied some pressure in the visitors 22. A promising attack was halted by a high tackle and from the penalty to the corner Gavin Jones gathered in and Tom Gulland was driven over. Andrew Baggett landed the conversion and then a penalty on the stroke of half-time to add to another earlier effort and make it 13-17 at the break – all set then for a second half revival – but it was not to be.

Wharfedale simply carried on from where they had left off in the opening quarter and in what rapidly became a rout ran in 4 more tries without reply against a creaking defence. Former Blaydon fly-half Jamie Guy was on target with 4 conversions but his 14th minute failure indirectly led to the opening score when the home side failed to secure the restart and Choy ran it back at them at great speed. Centre Cameron Hudson touched down from a chip ahead and then Choy was in again on the end of a flowing movement, albeit with the benefit of a fortuitous bounce.

The second half one-way traffic brought simple scores for Hudson, Huw Morgan, Maxime Labasse and then finally an effort that summed it all up when a Wharfedale centre slipped his marker on half-way and released replacement James Doherty who showed a clean pair of heels to some demoralised defenders.

John Brennan