Blaydon 26 – Richmond 31

[match id=17]

It was all too easy for Blaydon in the opening stages as the visitors seemed hell bent on a hari-kari approach of walking the ball out of defence with a short passing game. Inevitably they either coughed it up or infringed and by the half hour Blaydon had ran in 4 tries and secured a bonus point.

All too easy indeed, but it quickly turned into a false dawn as the visitors stuck to their game plan and had began to stabilise the situation by the interval and went on to assume control and pull off a remarkable victory.

Blaydon director of rugby Micky Ward put his finger on it saying ” Did we deserve those 4 tries” and summed up the turnaround in which his side conceded 24 points unanswered and fell away badly saying “We just weren’t there, we lost the physical battle, we got 2 points but we were lucky to get them”.

Simon Barber got the opener in the 3rd minute when finishing off a simple overlap followed by Nathan Bailey just as easily from a tap penalty. It was then something of a surprise when the visitors in their first attack brushed aside some feeble tackling for James Kyle, a former Blaydon scrum-half, to cross near the posts.

Normal business was quickly resumed with Jason Smithson driven over from a rolling maul and then Barber in again with a neat take it to 26-7 and a comfortable win on the cards?

With the final play of the half however Richmond proved just as adept with the driving line-out, Chris Davies touching down, and then things really went wrong for Blaydon.

Smithson and Chris Wearmouth went off injured, referee Wayne Falla awarded a string of penalties and in no time it became one-way traffic for the visitors. Winger Will Browne crossed without a finger laid on him, Louis Grimoldby brought the deficit down to 2 points with a penalty and on 70 minutes lock Harry Edwards hammered in the final nail with another close range effort.

John Brennan