Blaydon 5 Hartpury College 47

The league leaders arrived at Crow Trees with a 100% record which they never remotely looked like relinquishing. A big powerful outfit, they excelled in all departments except goal kicking, and looked capable of scoring whenever they ran at the line.

Blaydon never gave up, and there were some outstanding individual performances, but it took them until the 48th minute to penetrate the visitors 22. When they did it was a penalty to the corner that came to nothing but the forwards stuck at it and after 5 minutes of pressure Trevor Davison went over from close range after second- row Chris Wearmouth had secured possession 4 times in the move.
But that was it, never able to put together a concerted effort and tiring near the end when Hartpury took advantage of some poor tackling, just as they had at the start, to take their try tally to 8.
A James Forrester penalty in the 2nd minute got the visitors going and 2 minutes later winger Elias Caven intercepted a disastrous pass to race in from 30 metres, a terrible start for Blaydon. By the interval it was 0-23 after man-of-the-match Jake Polledri had handed off some ineffectual tackles to score near the posts and then picked up a loose ball to stroll in unopposed.
A Caven try right on the interval had secured the bonus point and 2 minutes after the restart Hartpury centre Len Steven eased through a very comfortable gap to add another.
At this point the floodgates might have opened but the visitors were not to score again until the 70th minute and Blaydon did give their supporters some encouragement with the Davison response.
In the end class told and the Crow Tree boys can take consolation in that Hartpury have dealt exactly the same with the other 6 teams they have encountered so far. Polledri took his tally to 4 with another brace near the end along with a neat solo effort from Jonas Mikalcius, and Caven and Robert Shaw were at last successful with conversion kicks, the one visible weakness of a very professional team.

John Brennan