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Home > News > Seaham 13 - 11 Sedgefield
Your News Seaham 13 - 11 Sedgefield

Seaham got 2011 off to a winning start with a hard-fought win over fourth placed Sedgefield. Although they were more customised to playing an expansive game, the visitors attacking prowess was negated by the heavy conditions underfoot at Deneside.

Unsurprisingly, the game got off to a sluggish start, with both sides looking a little ring-rusty following an enforced seven week break. Seaham's forwards looked to take the game by the scruff of the neck but Sedgefield showed their mettle in defence and held their hosts at bay whilst looking to counter attack and spin the ball wide at every given opportunity.

One such break led to them earning an 18th minute penalty when referee Stewart Malcolm adjudged that one of the Seaham forwards had strayed over the top at a ruck. The visitors fly half kept his cool and slotted the ball between the posts for a 3-0 advantage.

From the restart, Seaham's forwards once again looked to establish dominance as they provided a solid platform for lively young scrum half Brad Green to direct operations from. His sniping breaks often caught the opposition on the hop and provided extra time for fly half Dave Davison to distribute quality ball to his centres Chris Bland and Scott Pattison. They in turn ensured that wings Glen Hardie and Jack McCallum saw plenty of possession. The russet raiders launched some searing breaks down the flanks but were denied by a combination of strong defence and unfortunate handling errors.

The hosts' intensive pressure eventually paid off when their pack fought their way deep inside Sedgefield's 22 and worked several phases, sucking in defenders each time, before Brad Green saw a gap and sniped though to touch down for his first try of the season. Second row Andy Hogwood attempted the conversion but his kick went under the bar; so the hosts had to content themselves with a narrow two-point advantage nearing the break.

Half Time: SEAHAM (5) Sedgefield (3)

The opening stages of the second half were fought ferociously at close quarters with Seaham's heavier forwards looking to sap the energy out of their adversaries. Gary Lynn, Steve Meir and skipper John Dixon took the ball into contact in the loose and Ben Bell once again ruled the lineouts. Nevertheless, Sedgefield's half backs marshalled their ball well and kicked cleverly down the touchlines to relieve the pressure each time.

The visitors broke deep into Seaham territory on 48 minutes and recycled their ball well through multiple phases before rumbling menacingly close to their try line. The hosts seemed to be holding them at bay only for flanker Grant Dixon to concede a penalty when he went over the top at a ruck. The kick was slotted and the visitors found themselves a point ahead at 6-5.

Sedgefield stretched their lead even further after 64 minutes when some clever interplay between their backs and forwards took them within five metres of Seaham's line. With several defenders sucked into the breakdown, the visitors' scrum half popped a neat inside pass to one of his second row. He in turn found a gap in the defence and fell over the line to take the score to 11-5.

Seaham weren't about to leave matters there and stormed upfield to set up camp in the Sedgefield 22. They were forced back downfield following several howitzer-like kicks from the Sedgefield fly half but stayed resolute and returned the ball with interest. Their efforts were rewarded when veteran hooker Andrew Baxter finished off a 17-phase attack by burrowing over the line for his fourth try of the season. Grant Dixon took his turn at a conversion from the right touchline but drifted it just wide of the posts.

With Seaham throwing everything bar the kitchen sink at Sedgefield's defence, and the visitors denying them each time, it looked as if it simply wasn't going to be their day. However, fly half Dave Davison lined up directly behind a scrum on the visitor's 22 and, following a crisp pass from Brad Green, launched a drop goal. The crowd held it's breath as the ball sailed towards the posts then chinked the crossbar before crossing for three points with seconds left on the clock.

Sedgefield attempted to claim the restart but transgressed and conceded a penalty. With time up on Mr Malcolm's watch, Dave Davison kicked the ball into touch and the final whistle was blown. In this instance, thirteen proved to be Seaham's lucky number.

Full Time: SEAHAM (13) Sedgefield (11)

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