Blaydon 26 Richmond 19

A first half riddled with knock-ons and clearances directly into touch from outside the 22 was truly forgettable and gave no warning of the entertainment to come later.

Richmond had led at the interval thanks to a Ben Lonergan try from a rolling maul but spectators had to wait until the 57th minute for the game to spring to life. But when it did it was worth waiting for with a Blaydon purple patch producing 3 tries in 13 minutes.

Tom Penny made the initial break to set up the first when he stormed into the 22 and then took it on again when it was re-cycled for Nathan Bailey to scramble over. Andrew Baggett added the conversion and was on target again 8 minutes later after he had held on to a head high pass to set up a score for James Christie who had only just come on as a replacement.

Christie then returned the favour by sending in Penny at speed and at 19-5 Blaydon were well and truly in the ascendancy, only for Richmond to finally get their act together.

Their No8 Joe Burton crashed over from close range after a concerted attack and Blaydon had to re-group. This they did and when a rolling maul was held up Harry Bate let it out and 2 passes later Bailey in a flash was in for his second, Baggett once more adding the extras.

With just 2 minutes of normal time remaining Blaydon at this point should have just concentrated on retaining possession but they went seeking another try and paid the price when a pass was intercepted.

Richmond sprinted up-field to reduce the deficit to 7 points with a Jordan Burns try, and were still on the attack at the final whistle.


John Brennan