Bricks retained the Shield in a hard fought battle with Houghton at Ryton, establishing a 20 nil lead, only for Houghton to pull it back to 20-12 before the Bricks forward power took control. Had it not been for Houghton losing their flyhalf and centre early in the encounter it may have been a different result.
This was a very entertaining game and was watch by a cowd of about 300 people.
Thanks to Kevin Costello for taking the photos 700, so it will take a while to view them.
Trys: Lowsey, Horse, Stu Biley, Keith, Matt
Con: Lowsey 2
It was a Cup final which meant 13 subs available from the Bricks squad alone and at least 2 players could play each position, choosing a starting line up is hard, choosing 7 subs was going to be just as hard. As it happens the game was so tight (7 points scored on final whistle) we only got 5 subs on the pitch on the day, but the whole squad support the outcome. 2s had a cup final and the 1s & 3s league games but they still contacted us to see if we had any injuries and needed cover. There was never going to be anyone but Bricks Players on the pitch for the final, every player had earned their Bricks Polo shirt.
We started with our usual travel to the game, a coach to Ryton was a short hop, but it got everyone at the ground together and had our usual array of past Bricks to support us.
The game, good chance if Davy Hall hasn’t lost his notes we will get a match report this year, wonder if it will include last years…. here’s an interim for what i remember anyway:
The game started with the traditional walk from the club house
Highs & Lows:
- First scrum was eagerly anticipated, they held us, which came as a bit of a surprise and was a concern in our attempts to restrict their possession, thankfully 2nd and subsequent scrums were dominated by our forwards and Houghton Boars got very little clean ball from the scrum.
- Line outs – Ryan and Finnas lifting Horse at the front meant Houghton tried to go to the middle over the top of two 6 foot blokes lifting a 6ft 5″ bloke, so Boars lines outs were a lottery and again possession was restricted and Blaydon lineout worked really well. Windy took good ball first half and STu B in the second
- Houghton had a very dangerous back division, good young scrum half, Fly half and 2 very strong running centres and when they got the ball they made yards, but Bricks defensive tackling, especially Coatsey, Divers and Savs was class.
- Finnas has to be commended (as many others i have no doubt) wise words before the game was, Yellow cards for close the the edge is part of the game, but no one get cards for reacting or lashing out, twice he was hit, out of sight of ref (assistant ref on our side said he was only allowed to run touch) his arm came up and then straight down and words like, ‘that all you got’ were spoken and the ‘Winter’ kept the teams apart and kept the peace, yes I have just written this and it was unusual to say the least
- Stu Reay came on and with 5 minutes (ish) he was yellow carded for not being able to punch properly, swung twice and missed, thankfully or it would have been a red, insists he was hit and provoked, may be the backs can learn from the forwards restraint…. we all know retaliation usually gets seen. He is the angry-est little man we know….
- Matt Goodall got put in flight by the smallest guy on the pitch and took the ribbing in the bar afterwards, but always looked dangerous with ball in hand and they is a very good photo of his hand off skill
- Stu Bailey was everywhere, stealing ball, making big hits and scoring off his own charge down.
- Les did a good job of refereeing the game, keeping it fair but allowing levels of advantage to keep an entertaining game flowing.
- Joe did some good line kicking, but after prematch warm up, where he was sloting every conversion he missed a couple.
- Joe and Matt lookd dangerous when they had the ball, Chester made a couple of good breaks, as did Divers. Lowsey was playing like a man possed, probably the beard, which came off after the game, took 5 years off him and half a pork pie he found in there.
- Tackling from Boars was stopping our back division, which doesn’t happen too often
- Got to mention Savs tacking, anyone who got through was taken down and the bearded winger was sent up in the air and knocked back into his own team member, he did well to get back up and into the game.
- Ryan, Finnas, Paul, Adam, Cliff, and Horse all made big yards in open play
- Our mauling also gained good ground
- Sure they was much more, but just cant rememeber :-)
Houghton Boars were great sports at the end of the game and in the bar, it was a very good side and a credit to their club, see you next year.
The travel back was equally as short, singing was loud and we got bak in time for Beer Pong against the 2s and Karaoke, led by Horse, Harry and Anth. It looked like no one was ever going to leave and I have to say half naked (some possibly a little more) YMCA was in there somewhere and Windy hugging a John Smiths Beer jug, (big thanks to Jimmy Simpson who left money behind the bar for our return) then announcing he was tired and going home when it was empty… :-) yeah right.
Outcome: fantastic day, Shield back at Blaydon 5th year in a row and 6 out of 7 years, good drink had by all who wanted it, good fun in the club house after the game, magic day.
Next week we’re back at Ryton for our last League game.
Forwards; Paul Winter, Finnas, Ryan, Keith Winter, Richard Pike, Criag McBurnie, Horse. Adam, Cliff , Strachs, Stu Bailey, Windy, Ian Bennie, Harry
Backs: Lowsey, Stu Reay, Coatsey, Thacks, Divers, Chester, Hopey, Anth, Joe Snowdon, Liam Bradley, Matt Goodall, Craig Barlow, Phil Rayson, Savs