Wharfedale 19 Blaydon 27

Inspired by a superb kicking game by fly-half Joel Matavasi Blaydon raced to a 24-0 half time at fellow strugglers Wharfedale and whilst the home side made a better fist of it after the break Blaydon ran out well deserved winners.
Not only was this an important league fixture it was also the inaugural playing of the Andy Baggett Cup, a tribute to the fly-half whose long and distinguished career playing for both Blaydon and Wharfedale ended at the end of last season.
From the outset Matavasi kept his side on the offensive with some astute kicks into the bottom corner from which Wharfedale struggled to escape, and Blaydon took full advantage. Second row Harry Borthwick went over from a catch and drive early on, Matavasi adding the extras, and then in a remarkable burst ran 45 metres to outstrip the home defence for a second score.
With the visitors well on top Matavasi landed 3 penalties and then on the stroke of half-time put over a 42 metre drop goal to make it 0-24 at the break.
Wharfedale had the use of the slope in the second period and were soon on the score-board thanks to a Tom Barrett try, the fly-half also converting. On 64 minutes flanker George Hedgley added a second following a 7 minute siege on the Blaydon line in which the visitors were penalised on 4 occasions and also received a yellow card.
When Blaydon got back up-field inevitably it was Matavasi who secured 3 more points when Wharfedale infringed at a ruck, moving the score to 14-27. The home side then had the final word when winger Oli Cicognini grabbed a 3rd try for them but it was that Blaydon secured the win, leap-frogging their opponents in the process.

John Brennan