From the Touchline – Sat 2nd Nov

Today we welcome Henley Hawks to Crow Trees fresh from their excellent one point win over league leaders Doncaster last weekend. The win was achieved, according to reports, by good forward play and excellent defence. This victory, added to the list of home scalps this season which include Tynedale, Hull Ionians and Richmond with draws having been achieved against Cinderford and Rosslyn Park. However, it is noticeable that they have yet to win away on their travels and let’s hope that this pattern is maintained.

Our visitors were last in this league in 07/08 when we lost at Henley 10 – 6 scoring only two penalties by James Kyle. However, in the return game we triumphed 34 – 12 with tries by James Isaccson, James Kyle, James Burns, Andy Buist (now at Tynedale) and Andrew Fenby (now at London Irish) with James Kyle kicking three conversions and a penalty thus giving us a handsome victory and a tenth place finish at the end of the season.

On our travels last week which included a pre-match City of London Tour and for a change, an uneventful train journey, we completed a 24 – 5 bonus point victory over the most hospitable Richmond. Tries were scored by Andrew Archibald, Gavin Jones, Robbie Kilbraier and Harry Bate with Baggy slotting over two conversions. Having travelled due to late changes with three front row forwards on the bench and two backs, as early as the 13th minute we had lost Tom Bramwell and Simon Barker leaving two props and a hooker. Thankfully no more injuries in the three quarters took place!

Tonight is Bonfire Night and several players and members have volunteered to oversee the event and will they see Richard Hails in the club office no later than 4.30.p.m. when he will designate your posts and supply the necessary viz jackets. Needless to say, all volunteers will get a couple of pints!!!!

Meanwhile next week we entertain Doncaster who will surely still be top after their game with Tynedale today.

Last week’s other results saw wins for Esher, Rosslyn Park, Cinderford, Wharfedale, Loughborough Students and Coventry. This leaves Rosslyn Park second to leaders Doncaster with Esher below them on points differential. The bottom three places are Hull Ionians, Tynedale and Worthing.

TOM BAXTER – 1930/2013

Sadly former Captain of Blaydon Tom Baxter passed away suddenly last Wednesday.

Tom was a policeman by occupation and captained the 1st XV in 1959/60 after joining the club in 1957.   In later seasons he went on to captain the 2nd XV and led them to a memorable cup victory in 1962.

Tom was relocated through his job to Durham where he joined the City club where he and his wife, sadly deceased, became active members of the City club.

Our thoughts are with his son Ian and daughter Pamela and their families at this sad time.

Tom’s funeral will take place at St. Mary Magdelene Church in Belmont at 2.00.p.m. on Monday 4th November and afterwards at the Police Club in Hallgarth, Durham City.