Henderson Scores 5 as Sedgley Take the Points at Crow Trees!

With Sedgley Park coming to Blaydon as yet undefeated and given we were looking for our first win this was always going to be a tough game. The same fixture last year ended in a 16 – 66 defeat but we faired a little bit better in the away fixture last season so there was still hope of some improvement on last seasons efforts.
So for the first 7 or 8 minutes it was very much Blaydon on the front foot, we were at 5 metre line out number 2 or 3 when Sedgley Parks counter to our driving maul forced Blaydon to give up the driving maul and look to the phases and that was going well until we dropped the ball 1 metre short of the try line. To be fair to Sedgley Park they were very quick to react, and within seconds the ball had been transferred from the right wing to the left wing and into the hands of Jamie Harrison and he turned our defenders inside out before racing to score in the corner. This first try was very well converted by fly half Oliver Glasse.
The next 10 minutes both teams were exchanging mistakes between the two 22 metre lines until Blaydon were attacking on the half way line and scrum half John Clarkson looked to spin it wide left but unfortunately his pass was well anticipated by right winger Rhys Henderson who intercepted to go in for the second try unopposed from 40-50 metres out. Glasse again converted well.
The next score came from another Blaydon handling error in midfield, which Sedgley attacked quickly at a disjointed Blaydon defence and a few phases later the ball was passed out to Henderson who out-paced the despairing Blaydon defence to score, again converted by Glasse.
Without wanting to sound repetitive, the next score was also for Sedgley Park, again they forced a Blaydon error and again the quickly jumped into life and again just a few phases later the ball found itself in the hands of right winger Rhys Henderson and he duly finished off without being touched, this time for his Hattrick. It was again converted by Glasse.
Finally on the stroke of half time Blaydon managed to build some phases and got into the Sedgley 22 and when it looked like we were struggling to break the gain line, a clever chip by James Cooney and a friendly bounce saw him gather his own kick to score Blaydon’s first try of the game. The conversion was missed by Clarkson.
Half time: Blaydon 5 v Sedgley Park 28
Sedgley started the 2nd half brightly and were looking likely to score again down the right wing but in an attempt to intercept / thwart the Sedgley attack Blaydon left winger Nathan Greenwood was given a yellow card for a deliberate knock on which was probably a fair call. Unfortunately a man down and on the left wing of all places, Sedgley scrum half Cameron Crampton, went blind down their right wing from a ruck on the 15 metre line and with no Blaydon left winger on the pitch it was Henderson once again who was unopposed to score. Glasse was again successful.
The next 20 minutes was messy to say the least with lots of injuries and substitutions for both side, which left Blaydon with a back row consisting of one back row, a scrum half and a prop, but to be fair to the home side we kept fighting and on 65 minutes Lewis Williams made a half break and fed in Nathan Greenwood who finally got the ball in space and he raced passed fly half Glasse to score in the corner, Clarkson again missed the conversion.
Frustratingly this mini revival was short lived and Sedgley park replied immediately and once again Henderson was the scorer, his 5th of the day, and as with all the Sedgley Park tries, Glasse converted.
Blaydon hadn’t given up yet and some good defensive pressure by Cooney forced an error in the Sedgley backs and the ball fell to substitute Nathan Horsfall 40 metres out and he duly ran in to score.
Unfortunately for the home side that was the final score of the game as Sedgley Park looked the more likely to get another score in the dying minutes but it was Blaydon who held out.
Full time: Blaydon 15 v Sedgley Park 42
Blaydon Bailey, Williams, Cooney, Thompson, Greenwood, Marshall, Clarkson, Fearn, Gray, Appleby, Barry, Phillips, Roy, Varley, Clarke.
Replacements: Dodds, Siddle, Edginton, Horsfall, Simpson
Sedgley Park: Riley, Henderson, Maher, Riley, Harrison, Glasse, Crampton, Blanchard, Maher, Black, Birtwell, Crowe, James, Bentley, Goodman
Replacements: Downham, Mallinson, Nonleh, Stelmaszek, Benbattouche
REFEREE: Daniel Woods
STAR MAN: Rhys Henderson
Blaydon 15
Tries: Cooney 39, Greenwood 65 Horsfall 73
Drop Goals:
Sedgley Park 42
Tries: Harrison 8 Henderson 21, 28, 32, 47, 68
Conversions: Glasse 9, 16, 29, 33, 48, 69
Drop Goals:
Many thanks to Chris Nunn for the Match Report and Iain Clyne for the fantastic photographs.