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Home > News > Seaham 49 - West Hartlepool Amateurs 12
Your News Seaham 49 - West Hartlepool Amateurs 12

Although they were forced into conceding their Junior Plate quarter final tie as a contest, a plucky West Hartlepool Amateurs arrived at Seaham Leisure Centre with eleven men; intent on enjoying a game of rugby. To acknowledge their positive and valiant attitude, Seaham loaned them the services of several players to make a proper game of it.

Promising young recruits Jonny Gale, Joseph Jones and Allan Patrick donned the green and white shirts and took to the field against their own team mates. They were joined by Colin Hall, who rose from retirement like a phoenix from the ashes to take his place in the middle of the West front row.

The grizzled veteran demonstrated the benefits of his vast experience at the very first scrum when he stole a Seaham put-in from the toes of their hooker. Unfortunately for him and his colleagues in the West pack, this was to be one of the very few crumbs of comfort they were to take from the game as the home pack dominated proceedings throughout.

Seaham didnt exactly have everything their own way however. They seemed to dominate the opening 20 minutes and managed to cross the line twice; only for referee Paul Candlish to adjudge that he had not seen the ball grounded. A series of handling mistakes added further frustration to proceedings with Grant Dixon dropping a pass with the try line begging, and Jack McCallum losing the ball when an inside pass would have led to a certain try. On the other wing, Dean Armstrong dropped several passes; but each of those had been from around his ankles.

Seahams replacement prop Gary Lynn took his place in the West front row after 22 minutes when their prop was forced off the field. This enabled West to contest the scrums but the youngster was up against Paul Scott and therefore had his work cut out in the set pieces. Nevertheless, West demonstrated a defiant edge to their game and looked as if they could cause problems on the counterattack with their youthful backline.

The game was halted on 24 minutes when Seaham fly half Dave Davison ran into the referee whilst running a flat line and trying to find a chink in the oppositions defence. Both parties tried to avoid a collision but leaned in the same direction twice before Davisons shoulder connected with Mr Candlishs ribs. Fortunately, it wasnt long before play resumed.

The spell leading up to the interval was dominated by the hosts yet the visitors were the first to make an impression on the scoreboard on 36 minutes. On their very first incursion into the Seaham 22, Wests pack took a series of quick tap penalties and eventually bundled over the line to the left of the posts for a converted try. So, after enjoying a lions share of possession, Seaham found themselves 7-0 down.

At this point, many of the home supporters felt a sense of dj vu as they recalled the events of the previous week when Seaham had visited Hartlepool BBOB, enjoyed well over 60% of the possession, yet contrived to lose the game 30-7 after opening the scoring with a converted try.

Seahams concerns were answered within two minutes when they broke down the right flank and worked the phases through their pack until they were on the verge of the West try line. Scrum half Brad Jones weighed up his options then found skipper John Dixon, who pounced over the line for his fourth try of the season; converted shortly afterwards by Dave Davison.

From the restart, flanker Grant Dixon took a fine catch and made a powerful run that smashed the opposition defence and took play deep into their half before being taken to ground. The ball was recycled through the hands of Dave Davison, Jack McCallum and John Dixon before the skipper offloaded a sweet inside pass to supersub Henry Brace, who crossed the line and touched down under the posts. Dave Davison added the extras and Seaham had gone from seven down to seven up within two minutes leading up to the interval.

Half Time: SEAHAM (14) West Hartlepool Amateurs (7)

Seaham resumed their momentum from the first play of the second half when Grant Dixon followed up Davisons restart kick and regained possession. Dan Cahill took an inside pass and drove upfield before being taken to the ground. Veteran prop Paul Scott then took a popped pass on the opposition 10 metre line and bulldozed his way through numerous tackles before touching down for his fourth try of the season; again converted by Davison for a 21-7 lead.

Three minutes later, after a dominant Ben Bell stole a West throws in a line-out, the ball was passed out by Henry Brace to fly half Dave Davison. He held up the opposition defence before offloading a beautiful inside pass to flying centre Glen Hardie, who took the ball on the burst and showed blistering speed to go over unopposed for the fourth try of the day. The added points from Davisons fourth conversion stretched the lead to 28-7.

West demonstrated a never-say-die attitude that won the respect of the home crowd. Their ranks were heavily bolstered when Seahams popular hatchet man Steve Sanderson joined them for a run-out on 45 minutes. The big fella added some much-needed ballast to their pack; which was to be needed as the hosts were building up a head of steam.

In spite of Sandersons presence on the field, the visitors succumbed to a fifth try after 49 minutes when the relentless Harbour juggernaut rumbled a rolling maul upfield then released their backs. Brad Green interlinked with Dave Davison before passing inside to John Dixon. The skipper then offloaded to supporting number 8 Ben Bell, who crossed unopposed for his third try of the season. Davisons fifth try took Seaham past the 35-point mark.

Seahams rock steady scrum, with Neil Howard looking solid once again, provided a nice platform for young scrum half Brad Green to play off. He was able to enjoy an armchair ride as his pack paved the way. Some crisp passing saw the hosts deep inside the opposition 22 before John Dixon crossed for his second converted try of the day, and his sides sixth, to go 42-7 ahead.

Credit to them however, West werent about to roll over and die as they looked to make a game of it. Their pack, with young Allan Patrick in the thick of everything, worked their way down the right flank and their prop pounced over for their second try in the corner to narrow the scores to 42-12. His kicker had less fortune with the conversion attempt.

Seaham appeared to develop a ruthless streak whilst going through the third quarter of the game but some sterling defence from the admirable visitors kept them at bay for prolonged spells. However, their lines were eventually breached in the 79th minute when big crash centre took a pass and crossed the line for a try.

However, the biggest cheer of the day was reserved for the oriental flyer Dave Davison as he nailed his seventh conversion of the day with the final touch of the game to secure a 100% success rate with the boot.

Full Time: SEAHAM (49) West Hartlepool Amateurs (12)

Following the game, Seaham committee man Neil Roseberry wanted to congratulate both sets of players for playing their part in a fine game of rugby Ive got to take my hat off to West for travelling here with eleven men. Weve travelled short this season and our hosts refused to loan us a single player on one occasion; but they dont warrant a mention.

Credit to West though. Not many teams would have wanted to travel with so few players to fulfil the fixture. Their lads came up here just wanting a game of rugby so our lads were happy to oblige. Our lads who volunteered to change shirts for the day to enable West to make a game of it deserve thanking as well; particularly poor Colin Hall, who isnt far short of 50 yet ended up playing in the front row. This is what grass roots rugby should be about.

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