Tynedale Take The North East Bragging Rights

The game started at a frantic pace and the first score came in the first 2 minutes with Blaydon dropping the ball as they were forming the maul on the Tynedale 22 metre line and Tynedale reacted quickest.
They transferred the ball from left to right wing within a few seconds and cleverly they kicked ahead. The kick was perfectly weighted and with no one covering across, it was an easy chase and touch down for winger Toby Ferguson. Which was well converted by Jake Rodgers.
Blaydon’s response was immediate and from a line out 10 metres out they caught and drove the maul over the line with hooker Danny Gray controlling at the back and touching down. Blaydon Scrum half John Clarkson converted.
Blaydon pushed hard for the next score and spent the 10 minutes pretty much camped in the Tynedale 22 but to their dismay there was no just reward coming, although Ralph Appleby was adjudged to be held up over the line, certainly Ralph and other Blaydon players around him were convinced he got the ball down but unfortunately there is no TMO in National 2 North.
On 22 minutes Tynedale kicked ahead and Blaydon didn’t deal with the kick well at all, which gave Tynedale the ball just short of the Blaydon 22. From the next phase Blaydon were penalised at the break down albeit from my Blaydon biased eyes I could not see what for and from the resulting penalty Jake Rodgers dually converted to take Tynedale back into the lead.
The policing of the break down was a bone of contention for both sides for the whole game and the referee chose not to talk to either team to explain where things were going wrong from his perspective which didn’t help matters. As a result, there were numerous penalties throughout the game bewildering players from both teams and stopping the flow of the game.
Blaydon responded well to going behind and found themselves with a 5m scrum which they ran the ball in the backs and a relatively simple move gave the ball to centre Alex Clark who ran a great line to score near the posts. The conversion was easily knocked over by Clarkson to put Blaydon 14-10 ahead.
But frustratingly the next score came within a few minutes. Blaydon were again penalised again just inside their own half and the kick to the corner was a good one which gave Tynedale a 5m line out and the subsequent catch and drive resulted in a score for Hooker, Louis Frankland, which was again converted by Rodgers.
Blaydon had another opportunity to score as Tynedale spilled the ball in the back line on the half way line and John Clarkson was on hand to fly hack the ball ahead but with a clear run to the try line, the ball wouldn’t bounce up for him and as he went down to gather the ball he knocked it on and Tynedale survived again. On another day the ball would have bounced up higher and made gathering it a lot easier for him, as with the rest of the game small margins costing the home side.
Frustratingly a few minutes later the usual reliable boot of Clarkson, missed a penalty kick in front of the posts to level it just before half time.
Half time: Blaydon 14 v Tynedale 17
The second half started fairly frantically but with Tynedale definitely edging things territorially and within 5 minutes Blaydon were penalised in front of the posts for not releasing the man in the tackle and Rodgers easily converted to take Tyne further into the lead.
The pressure continued from Tynedale just 5 minutes later, another Blaydon infringement at the breakdown gave Rodgers another penalty in front of the posts which was easily converted to take Tynedale further ahead 14 v 23.
Blaydon responded well this time and from a line out on halfway, some good hands in the backs got the ball quickly out wide to James Cooney who cut inside but was just held up just short of the Tynedale line.
The ball was quickly recycled and Ethan Clark was on hand to carry the ball over the line to a good team try for the home side. The try was wide out but the conversion was excellently executed by Clarkson. Blaydon 21 v Tynedale 23.
But frustratingly for the home side the resurgence was short lived, and the next score came from a 5 minute period of sustained Tynedale pressure and just when Blaydon thought they had survived by bundling Tynedale into touch just short of the line. But a loose tap back from the resulting Blaydon line out was gathered by Tynedale and a few phases later 2nd row Chris Wearmouth used his substantial weight to get over the line. This time the try was converted by replacement fly half Josh Leslie taking the score to 21 v 30.
Blaydon responded well again, working their way to the Tynedale line and from a penalty and kick to the corner, the line out ball was driven over with Ethan Clark with the ball when we crossed the line. The try was scored wide out and this time conversion was missed, leaving the score 26-30.
There was 5 minutes left and their was still hope of a home win but unfortunately there were no more opportunities, Tynedale fairly professionally kept possession and closed the game out well.
The only consolation for Blaydon being the 2 bonus points.
Bailey, Greenwood, Simpson, Clark, Cooney, Marshall, Clarkson, Rewcastle, Gray, Appleby, Wright, Phillips, Varley, Charlton, Clarke
Replacements: Chaplin, Gerrard, Inglis, Horsfall, Dowell
Parker, Ferguson, Cramb, Roue, Todhunter, Rodgers, Telford, Carmichael, Frankland, Caudle, Wearmouth, Dunn, Cousin, Bell, Blackburn
Replacements: Batey, Dodd, Wainwright, Leslie, Cooke
REFEREE: Owen Taylor
STAR MAN: Jake Rodgers – Tynedale
Blaydon 26
Tries: Gray 5, Clark 28, Clarke 54, 75
Conversions: Clarkson 6, 29, 55
Tynedale 30
Tries: Ferguson 2, Frankland 32, Wearmouth 65
Conversions: Rodgers 3, 33, Leslie 66
Penalties: Rodgers 22, 45, 51
Many thanks to Chris Nunn for the match report and Iain Clyne for the fabulous photos.