Tynedale 25 – Blaydon 24

In the end there was just one point in it but Blaydon gave themselves a mountain to climb with a wretched start and a first half deficit of 16 unanswered points. To their credit they turned it round in the second period and but for conceding a string of penalties might have gone on to sneak a 4th ‘derby’ win in a row.

At the start however they were caught stone cold by a Tynedale side that ran with purpose from the kick-off and were 13 points clear after just 10 minutes courtesy of some excellent short sharp passing. Gavin Beasley got the ball rolling with a second minute penalty and then added the points when brother Grant scooted over in the corner.

Another lightning break saw full-back Jack Harrison stopped inches short but Hamish Swales in support was over in the corner, and Blaydon had scarcely laid a hand on the ball.

Things improved slightly for the visitors but after another Beasley penalty on 40 minutes the half ended with Blaydon not having set foot in the home 22.

Whatever was said during the break had an instant effect as the forwards set off in determined fashion and within 3 minutes of the restart four of them had charged the Tynedale line leading to an Andrew Baggett penalty and a score on the board.

Good work by Jason Smithson got them back upfield in quick time to again set siege to the home line, and after a dart by Jonny Burn had almost succeeded hooker Fran Entressengle burrowed over. Baggett put over the conversion and it was now 16-10 and everything to play for.

Sadly, Beasley was presented with 2 more straightforward penalties and then another for replacement Craig Willis, but once more Blaydon hit back when an up and under from Baggett was pounced on by Tom Jeffery who stormed into the 22 for James Hallam to touch down and Baggett convert.

Into injury time and still with an 8 point deficit Blaydon were set on having the last word and a now ragged Tynedale again failed to hold the visitors pack.

Chris Wearmouth gathered in at a short line-out, a rolling maul looked promising but was halted and when the ball was released Jeffery stormed over by the posts.

The successful conversion brought the game to an end and a Tynedale win but Blaydon had secured a well earned bonus point and the satisfaction of having outscored their opponents by three tries to two.

John Brennan