Match Report – Blaydon RFC V York RFC 9th December 2023
Slightly different conditions greeted both teams as they took to the pitch at Crowtrees. The reverse fixture, back in September, had seen the game played in a temperature of over 30 degrees. Today’s game also signified the half-way point in the 2023-24 campaign.
Blaydon got the game underway, kicking to York’s 22-metre line. York kicked the ball to touch, with Blaydon securing their first lineout. After a number of attacking phases, Blaydon got the ball over the half-way line, Blaydon gave a forward pass giving York the first scrum of the game. A pick-up and drive by York’s 8 resulted in a York penalty for a high tackle. The resulting kick gave York a lineout on Blaydon’s 10 metre line which Blaydon stole and Dynan drove well up-field. Unfortunately, a knock-on ended our boys progress giving York a scrum. Whilst the Blaydon scrum looked solid the awarded a penalty which York kicked into the Blaydon half. From the resulting lineout, Shackleton, the York Fly-Half, made great space, throwing an outrageous dummy, which even the crowd fell for, and ran in to score the first try on 8 minutes which he also went onto convert.
Blaydon restarted, and York received the ball and kicked it back mid-way. Blaydon secured their own lineout and carried the ball back into York’s half and Blaydon were awarded a penalty, which Gough kicked into touch. Lineout secured, Clarkson darted up the pitch. Another Blaydon penalty and another Blaydon lineout sees a slick handling move and young Forster, making his first team debut, dotted down for Blaydon’s first, and unfortunately, unconverted try.
Despite resolute defence by Blaydon’s tight five, and some good penetrative runs from the likes of Milkes and Dynan, the majority of the first half went York’s way. York’s set-piece worked well allowing their half-backs to combine and release their backs resulting in tries on both 23 and 26 minutes, both converted by Shackleton, who would go on to be Yorks’s man of the match, and, arguably difference in the teams.
At the break, the score stood at Blaydon 5 York 21.
York got the second half underway, with a wintery sun just starting to shine through, giving hope to the home crowds spirits. The resulting kick-off was secured by Barry and Blaydon took the ball back to the mid-way point before the Referee awarded a penalty to Blaydon for a high tackle, which was kicked to the York 22 metre line, to a fantastic attacking position. Unfortunately, despite making sure of our own line out, a handling mistake in mid-field gave York a scrum.
After an awful lot of back-and-forth play between both sides 22 metre lines, York found themselves with a penalty close to the Blaydon try line. Blaydon’s defence was incredibly impressive and seized upon a York error, ending up with our Red boys moving the ball back up-field and securing a line-out on the York 22 metre line. The line-out won, and the ruck was formed, Blaydon trundled over with Daz Fearns securing the try, duly converted by Gough with 56 minutes gone. At this point it looked like the fight back was on.
However, York had a different agenda, aiming to stay at the top of Regional 1 North East, and turned on the pressure. Eager for the bonus point score, and after some good phase play, they achieved that wish after 65 minutes, via Atkinson and converted by Shackleton.
Following the kick-off Blaydon exerted a good period of pressure, a yellow card for a York defender, and a well taken try by Coates on 73 minutes, unfortunately unconverted, made the score 17-28.
Unfortunately, one more well-constructed, and converted score, three minutes from time, ensured the win for York.
Final Score Blaydon 17 York 35