Our visitors Durham city were a lot better than their position in the league indicates. When the uni lads are available they can be a real handful and today they had come prepared. Our prep for the game was not the best we had forgotten the league is not won until the last game of the season, and to win it you have to work hard right to the end. We started on the riverside pitch and after only 5 mins we were 3 pts down however 3 mins later Joe why i man returned the favour 3 -3 the game trudged on in the mud with no direction , indiscipline from Blaydon leading to two more penalty’s on 20 and 25 mins both converted by the Durham kicker. Unfortunately towards the end of the first half Scott Whitfield broke his leg .it was over 40 mins before Scott was taken to hospital by ambulance a unacceptable amount of time to be left laying on a cold pitch.
The talk at half time was about discipline. The 2nd half started on the 1st team pitch and blaydon set about the task of winning the game. Playing to our strengths, from a trade mark catch and drive Scott Finlay was over for the try, unconverted score 8-9. The tide began to turn, the blaydon forwards took control and moved the ball into Durham territory. Once again on 55 mins it was the Blaydon back line that scored try converted 15-9 Durham regained their composure and their lively back line scored on 60 mins score 15 -14. A warning shot from Durham had Blaydon on the back foot but hard work from the forwards linking up with our back line denied Durham the ball and in frustration to regain it forced a penalty. A well placed kick by Joe why i man put Blaydon within striking distance .from the lineout another catch and drive had Scott over for his second try converted 22-14.
At last day light between the two teams and that’s when it all went down the pan. With our tails up we continued to pressure Durham phase after phase positioned Blaydon 4 mtrs out .with our backs lined up ready to score from a commanding position our forwards had secured for us it was a sure bet ,the ball passed out to the back line over for the score under the post converted 7 points and a bonus point for try number 4 but white line fever swept over the forwards, a botched drive for the line was held up and Durham overturned the ball.
Quick as lightning the Durham back line ran off with the ball and scored converting the try the final score 22- 19 and a what has turned out to be a very valuable bonus point lost