16 names on paper but another 5 changes from last week, was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Having to play so many players out of position the team was never going to balance and the result was a fair reflection on the state of the Blaydon team this week rovers kicked off downwind with the sun at their backs.
Using their knowledge of the home turf they used the long kick down field putting Blaydon under pressure scoring the first try after 3mins. After 10mins we were 14 points down. Blaydon began to turn things around and scored when Coyne jinked his way into space and ran in under the posts converting to make it 14/7. We continued to fight back but Moggas caught a head in the face which left him seeing double, he was replaced by young Roddas from the bricks. When it looked as if we would be ending the first half 14-7 a bad clearance kick gave the ball to a Rovers centre, to score on 43 mins and finish the half 21-7.
The strong wind had helped rovers but it was our turn now, and we all thought we could turn the game around. From the start we began to put a few plays together, edging our way deeper in to rovers 22,but at a ruck Rovers had numbers and turned over the ball for their backs to run in try number 4 score 26-7. This was a kick in the teeth we were finding it hard to move the ball around having so many players out of position and this 4th try came against the run of play. Rovers became more dominant in the forwards arriving in numbers and working hard to turn over the ball resulting in another score 33-7.
Jack Harding who had been persuaded in to playing despite having a bad back had to retire on 60 mins we went down to 14 men. To our credit we never gave up and we were rewarded when Coyne broke the line to score his second try 33-14. Adam Heddon who at half time had rubbed deep heat on his package in an attempt to ease a groin strain had to limp off with his overcooked sausage and we were down to 13. Moggas returned to the field of play. Hartlepool were by now the better team but we stuck at our task and after some good phases of play we were awarded a penalty 15mtrs out, quick thinking by Ryan Denholm saw him take a quick tap and power over the line 33-21. With 15 mins to go our tails were lifted. However from the KO Moggas caught another boot to the face and had to come off. Going back down to13 men allowed rovers to score again 38-21.
The home team began to finish much the stronger but we still had a bit left in the tank. On 70 mins from loose play 15 mtrs out bumbum wrestled his way clear to score in trade mark style leaving a trail of bodies 38-26. In the last 5 mins of the game as rovers attacked our line another Blaydon player had to leave the field because of injury. To rovers credit they gave us a player and managed to score the last try of the game to make it 45-26 today Hartlepool were the best team and deserved the win. No game next week time for us to lick our wounds but let’s hope the club solves the player shortage because travelling with a under strength team does nothing for moral.