Blaydon crashed to their biggest ever league defeat in a disastrous visit to the College Stadium, conceding 10 tries to a fitter, faster and all-round more skilful students side. Third placed Hartpury, one of the league’s highest points scorers with more than twice the Blaydon total for the season so far, racked up their 8th try scoring bonus point of the campaign in what as the score-line indicates was a very one-sided affair.
The sides were level for the opening 9 minutes but Chris Wearmouth, the Blaydon lock-forward, was then given 10 minutes in the sin-bin for coming in from the wrong side at a ruck and the home side promptly scored their opener. Just as quickly however Blaydon were back on terms when winger Tom Grimes intercepted 40 metres out and raced clear for a simple try to which
Brett Connon added the conversion.
Then it all went wrong and the floodgates opened and 7-7 become 33-7 by the interval. Playing an expansive game Hartpury moved it wide at every opportunity and quite simply overran the Blaydon defence, bouncing off tackles with ease. Their winger Jonas Mikacius, until recently a
flank-forward, had the speed and power to cross the visitors line on 4 occasions as did scrum-half Ben Zellcott. Jacob Perry added another as did ‘man of the match’ Luke Eaves, a centre with experience in the Premier League who co-ordinated everything, and full-back Gareth Thompson weighed in with 8 conversions.
Blaydon did manage to pick up a second half try when the prolific Jason Smithson went over from a line-out drive but there was little consolation from what had been a chastening experience.