Blaydon 42 Harrogate 36

Blaydon’s late rally secures 5 point win against Harrogate who led for a large portion of the game and sees Blaydon go top of the league, as Billingham lose at Rossendale
Local results
Mid-way through the second half of this uncompromising affair, skipper Keith Laughlin was off  injured for 20 minutes following a late tackle, Blaydon were trailing by 15 points and looking to have nowhere to go. But then the game turned in dramatic fashion as the home backs were finally able to cut loose, resulting in 3 tries in rapid succession all converted by the reliable James Guy, and suddenly the boot was on the other foot.
Even then however the outcome was uncertain as Harrogate drove into the home 22 in the final minute only to be held up over the line.
Nathan Wyman, the visitors centre, struck an early penalty and was later to land 4 conversions but Blaydon began the try-fest when Dan Taylor ran round the defence to score under the posts. Sam Brady crossed for Harrogate but Taylor was in again when he robbed one of the opposition and on the half-hour it was 14-10.
The absence of Laughlin was now keenly felt and when Blaydon lost a scrum on their own line Brady pounced from close range, followed by Luke Edwards shrugging off some weak tackles to score in the corner to give Harrogate a 10 point lead at the break.
Nathan Horsfall scooted in just after the break but the visitors pack continued to dominate and lock-forward Andy Boyde made it 5 tries and that 15 points lead.
Hooker Cameron Bell touched down from close range to start the home revival, centre Dan Marshall jinked his way over from a tapped penalty and then streaked down the left wing to set up the winning score by James Cooney on the other flank.
Six tries for Blaydon, a 5 points win, but where did that late rally come from.
John Brennan