Tynedale 17 – Blaydon 27

There was little festive cheer for Tynedale in this derby clash, going down by 4 tries to 2 and rarely looking capable of avoiding a 6th consecutive defeat. For Blaydon it was sweet revenge for an early season reversal in the home fixture and a 5 point win to end their own rocky spell.
A crowd in excess of 500 saw the visitors use their wind advantage to run-up a 15-3 lead in the first half and then add two more tries into the elements to virtually seal the result early in the second period.

After 10 minutes of probing by both sides Blaydon No8 Gavin Jones stormed into the 22 to break the deadlock. Rhodri Adamson was put clear only to be pulled down inches short but possession was regained and centre Toby Bain crossed in the corner.

On 18 minutes Adamson was again the initiator, Tom Bramwell taking it on to send in Tom Jeffery for a second score. This time Andrew Baggett landed the conversion followed by a penalty success for both he and Tynedale full-back Brett Connon but by the interval Blaydon were down to 14, Tom Grimes being yellow-carded for a deliberate knock-on.

Despite the advantage in numbers and wind Tynedale fell further behind soon after the restart when Blaydon moved it quickly through the hands for Baggett to put Jeffrey clear for the wingers 2nd try.

Worse was to follow when their replacement forward Adam King followed Grimes into the bin and Blaydon ran in a 4th try. Baggett was again involved, moving it on to Chris Wearmouth, the big lock storming over with a couple of defenders hanging on.

The Baggett conversion ended the Blaydon scoring and director of rugby Micky Ward declared himself to be ‘chuffed to bits’, saying “We needed to get a win before Christmas” adding ” The really pleasing thing for me was that some of the tries we scored weren’t just through the forwards, we were throwing the ball around and threatening from all positions”.

Tynedale however almost had the last word, scoring 2 tries to greatly reduce the deficit. At three rolling mauls in quick succession they had Blaydon in full retreat, one of them resulting in a penalty try and another sin-binning for the visitors.

Ironically for Blaydon when they finally broke free of the pounding and gained 30 metres from their own drive they were robbed of the ball (not for the first time) and Tynedale raced clear to record a fine effort though flanker Matthews Charters.

A philosophical chairman of rugby John Shotton said afterwards “We battled on but overall I thought we were poor today, our confidence is down and Blaydon deserved to win”.

John Brennan