Gateshead Thunder switch games to Blaydon

GATESHEAD Thunder hope their move to Blaydon will calm some of the unease created by the ongoing pitch problems at Gateshead Stadium.

The club were forced to move last weekend’s Northern Rail Cup tie with North Wales Crusaders all the way to Hull Kingston Rovers’ Craven Park ground.
This week they announced their next three home matches will be played at Blaydon’s Crow Trees ground in Swalwell.
Kevin Neighbour, Thunder’s head coach, said: “It gives us a bit of stability, more than anything.
“We have been continually looking for venues and unable to provide fans with anything concrete, simply because we haven’t had the answers to give them.”
Sympathising with those who had been anxious for an answer, he added: “You can understand a bit of unrest from the supporters’ point of view because they just want to know where the games are going to be playedand for the next three home dates at least that is sorted.
“Those arrangements have now been made, and a degree of continuity provided.
“Hopefully, we can also attract new guys to come down and watch what should all be entertaining games of rugby league and bring it to a new audience.”
Tomorrow sees Thunder’s cup quest continue at Oldham, who were 26-10 winners over Rochdale last week as Gateshead were losing 30-4 to North Wales.
“Oldham will be a tough squad,” added the head coach (pictured above), who hopes to welcome back Jack Smith (finger) and Jack Steerman (shoulder).
“Like ourselves they have a lot of new players this year, and it will be a big game down there.
“They will have home advantage, but if we can bring the best bits from the North Wales game last week then we will give ourselves a chance.”
Richard Beaumont (ankle) and Callum Cockburn (finger) are expected to miss out for the visitors after picking up knocks last time out, while the Roughyeds are expected to hand first starts to Phil Joy and Kenny Hughes.
by Mark Smith, The Journal