First of all I would just like to thank Simon Morgan for stepping in at the 11th hour to referee. We are 6 weeks into the season and the injury list just keeps getting longer. 10 changes from last week saw Adam Keeler, Ryan Convery, Stevie Dryden and former colt Dan Grey join the forwards with Andy Richardson, Lowsey, Matty Bell, Jack Emerson, Thaxs and Joe (the flash) Snowdon join the back division.
A good physical warm up by Scott and Bumbum had the forwards fired up and a run of back play taken by Lowsey and mr coyne looked impressive so we were as ready as a team that had made as many changes could be.
On the river side pitch we elected to play up the slope the first half. Our trademark aggressive contact from the kick off put Durham under pressure just outside the 22, from the turn over ball we moved within 5 metres of the line but in the thick of it all lee took a short arm in the face, and in our hast to score we spilled the ball close to the try line, Durham broke free and ran the length of the pitch to score 0-5.
Lee retires with a broken nose 5mins into the game Rob Pyle moved to centre and Matty Bell made his debut on the wing. We were back on the attack from the kick off but after being sucked into a ruck Andy our scrum half emerged hobbling from an old war wound, Lowsey moved to scrum half and Dan grey another one of Scott Finlay’s colts made his senior début at centre. Durham used the confusion to score a second try 0-10. We all knew that if we stuck to the game plan our chances would come and we were rewarded after good inter-passing and support play scoring three times. Rob (daisy cutter) Pyle ran a fantastic line to cut through the centres and score under the posts converted by jack , Joe (the flash) Snowdon from a pass to the wing 50 meters out took off quick as lightening to score in the corner and a Blaydon forward scored near the post from a ruck again converted by jack , which i missed. Half time score 17-10.
Joe Millia had to go to work and on came Steve Dryden. We kicked off having the advantage of the slope and the surprise appearance of the sun at our backs. Durham came out the more determined of the two teams. We seemed happy just to plod and they grabbed another score converted making the score 17-17. A wakeup call but still Durham came back at us. Then for me the turning point of the game.
After soaking up more pressure and big defensive tackles from Rob and Callum we regained the ball. Taking a few seconds to look up Mr Coyne placed a high cross kick to the wing which had our back line running after the ball, landing just short of the 22 meter line, the ball hanging in the air the sun blinding the Durham players long enough for Lowsey to arrive just as the ball landed, as he bent down to pick the ball up it bounced off his knee for Joe (the flash) Snowdon to kick the ball forward and chase it over the line for his second try. Unconverted but a 4th try and bonus point 22-17.
We picked up the intensity and began to batter the away team. With 20 mins remaining Stevie Dryden got knocked clean out. Glass chin Dryden as he is now known left the field of play replaced by Steve Thaxs who suffering with man flu took up position on the wing. Now in full flow we scored another 4 try’s all converted by jack. We attacked at will not sure who scored3 of them but it was a great all-round performance to watch.
The score at 43-17 we allowed Durham to rally one last time but 5 meters out a dropped ball was fly hacked down the field by the man of the moment the flash, rampaging down the pitch he again kicked the ball forward running past the defence and with 8 meters to go he tapped the ball forward with deft skill to dive on the ball inches in front of the chasing defender for his hat trick. Final score 50-17