Loughborough Students 35 – Blaydon 7

Blaydon had little reward for their efforts at the Abbey Road ground, eventually going down by a score remarkably similar to last seasons 36-8 reversal in the same fixture.

Despite an early set-back they were soon on level terms, fell away in the periods before and after the break, but dominated in the final quarter only to be repeatedly on the wrong side of the referee’s whistle in the scrums.

Blaydon knocked on from the kick-off and were caught napping when man-of -the-match Will Edwards, the Loughborough scrum-half scythed through their defence and then added the conversion.

On 10 minutes however a penalty to the corner saw flanker Matthew Jenkinson touch down from the line-out drive and Andrew Baggett added the extras to level the scores.

Possession was then shared equally for a time but Blaydon paid the price for too often handing theirs back to the opposition for winger Josh Linney to twice race in for excellent tries.

An Edwards conversion and a penalty made it 22-7 to the home side at the interval but with the slope in their favour Blaydon had hopes for optimism. Disappointingly they failed to take advantage and allowed the students other winger Yiannis Loizias to break through the centre for a 4th try, again converted by Edwards who along with Tom James added 2 more penalties to complete the scoring.

Despite the set-backs Blaydon had all the territory in the final 20 minutes, often pressing for the line through the forwards but time and time again were penalised at attacking scrums and could make little progress.

John Brennan