Blaydon 92 Vale of Lune 12

The first day of a new season, the first game in a new league, and the first game on a new playing surface at the Crow Trees ground – the stage was set for Blaydon to shine, and they did not disappoint.
Their visitors were also playing in the Northern Premier League for the first time, via a promotion last season, and simply had no answer to the speed and guile of the Blaydon backs who ran in 14 tries, most of them with consummate ease.
It took Blaydon 3 minutes to record their first score but they then raced to 52-0 by the interval and added another 6 in the second period with centre Dan Marshall finishing with 4 and winger Jack Appleton a hat-trick.
So comfortable was the win that the ball was scarcely in the air as there never a need to clear the home lines although Vale did manage a couple of second half efforts by way of compensation.
Skipper Keith Laughlin twice led a charge into the visitors 22, leading to the opener when full-back Nathan Bailey was handed a simple score by Marshall. Hooker Cameron Bell barged his way over in the corner for the second and then the floodgates opened.
The common denominator in most of the tries was Blaydon grabbing possession in their own 22 and a back beating his man to run to the other end and  hand it on to a support runner, and Vale were powerless to do very much about it.
By half-time Marshall had a hat-trick whilst David Lyall, James Cooney and Dan Taylor also got their names on the score sheet.
It was quite a shock when the visitors crossed the try line within a minute of the re-start, scrum half Charles Lomas over from close range and Harry Finan converting. On 58 minutes Lomas scored again when sniping from a short scrum but that was the limit of their efforts.
Marshall with his fourth, Rob Lenderyou and Taylor with his second and finally an Appleton hat-trick in 13 minutes finished it off for Blaydon.
No doubt the opposition will be stronger in the weeks ahead but what a start to life in the Northern Premier.
John Brennan.