Wirral 15, Blaydon 19

We undertook our longest trip of the season and after a highly competitive game, came away with a narrow victory seeing us move up into second place in the table with leaders Harrogate having their game cancelled at Carlisle due to floodwater.

The game began with the Blaydon backs looking sharp and it came as no surprise when after twelve minutes winger Jack Appleton finished off in the corner for an unconverted try. However, whilst in control of lineouts the home pack were proving a handful and a yellow card midway through the half to Jack Davison saw us down to 14 men for ten minutes. It was during this period that the home side went in front when after a period of good possession, their wing forward Robbie Pearl touched down wide out for Craig Henry to convert. The home side retained their lead but immediately after the interval Blaydon scored a fine try when a three-quarter movement was finished off near the posts by second row Fred Lockwood, a late replacement for Keith Laughlin who withdrew from the game two hour before kick-off. This try was converted by Nathan Horsfall.

Despite now dominating exchanges and looking good in mid-field, Blaydon failed to make use of their possession and an unconverted try by home centre Craig Harvey brought them level after 46 minutes. During this period Wirral were on top and ten minutes later the same player added a penalty when Blaydon strayed offside. However with 20 minutes to go Blaydon finally got on top, Harry Borthwick finishing off another three quarter movement when he touched down near the posts for Horsfall to again add the points. This score then brought the home side to life and Blaydon defended admirably during the last ten minutes and with the game nearly finished and entering its last minute, a home player was badly injured and it took 15 minutes to remove him from the field of play. The game resumed with a penalty to the home side who kicked for the corner needing a try to claim victory. Five minutes of extra time saw Blaydon defending and repulsing home attacks. During this period we were penalised three times and on each occasion the home side went for the line-out and the pattern continued until the home side got over the line but Blaydon’s defence held them up and the referee blew time to conclude a very even contest.

Jim Huxley