Blaydon 33, Darlington MP 6

Last game of the campaign, no promotion or relegation issues, just local bragging rights up for grabs and once Blaydon had survived an early spot of pressure there was only going to be one winner.

When the sides met on the opening day Blaydon just scraped home by a single point but yesterday’s return fixture was an entirely different affair and a more than comfortable 5 tries to nil victory.

A delighted director of rugby Micky Ward said “I was really pleased, I felt our defence was top drawer and we got more and more confidence as the game went on”.

It all started in typical ‘derby’ fashion with a fight in the 2nd minute and 2 yellow cards, and for a while the sides looked evenly matched. Garry Law put the visitors in front with a penalty but they had no answer to Blaydon’s first rolling maul, flanker Harry Bate touching down in his last game for the club.

Law landed another penalty but that was to be it for the visitors as Blaydon steadily took control. On 37 minutes Darlington were clearly expecting another home drive from a line-out and left a large gap when Blaydon let it out for hooker Victor Guignouard to stroll over in the corner.

Leading 12-6 at the break Blaydon rapidly asserted their authority and went further ahead when Bate stormed into the 22 and then popped up on the overlap to take a pass from Zach Kibirige and touch down his second score.

Playing in his first game for over a year because of injury Kibirige, who came on as a 29th minute replacement, then secured the bonus try with a typical flash of brilliance, scooting in past 2 defenders.

Now totally dominant in the scrums Blaydon piled on the pressure and try No 5 came near the end courtesy of a storming crossfield run from half-way by winger Tom Jeffrey, also playing his final game in a Blaydon shirt.

John Brennan