Doncaster 24 – Blaydon 19

Blaydon were seeking a double over runaway league leaders Doncaster and for much of yesterdays clash at Castle Park could easily have achieved that goal. They had all the early pressure and possession and spent 75% of the second period in their opponents 22 only to be denied a try on 4 occasions they were over the try line.

The home side however had the happy knack of soaking up the pressure and then capitalising on an error to break up-field and score

They did exactly that on 16 minutes when former Blaydon centre Matt Clark produced a perfect side-step to beat his man and touch down and then flanker Mike Hills finished off a move after the visitors had contrived to lose possession on half-way.

Doug Flockhart converted both scores and Chris Walker took their advantage to 19 points with a 3rd try before Blaydon finally got some reward for their efforts when No8 Jason Smithson went over from close range right on the interval and Andrew Baggett added the extras.

Flockhart completed the Doncaster scoring soon after the restart from an excellent three-quarters move to make it 24-7 and from then on it was all Blaydon.

Somehow the home line remained intact, the referee consistently failing to confirm a touchdown, until neat work by Andrew Davies led to a Zach Kibirige try, the winger having to twist out of the tackle to force his way over.

The Blaydon pressure continued but with all the replacements having been used they were reduced to 14 men for the final quarter when Kibirige went off injured. Still the pressure on the home line continued with the Blaydon forwards encamped in the 22 until finally Smithson crossed for his second, Baggett again converting.

A bonus point was ensured but the final whistle put paid to what could have been a notable victory.

John Brennan