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Home > News > Seaham Over 35s vs Seaham Under 35s
Your News Seaham Over 35s vs Seaham Under 35s

Players past and present from the Horden and Houghton rugby clubs joined forces with Seaham to play an Over 35 vs Under 35s fixture for the Charity Cup. Although torrential rain had a significant effect on ball handling, it never dampened the spirits of the players; who managed to offer up a fitting spectacle that did justice to the occasion and entertained a crowd of around 100 supporters.

The veterans forwards, playing in black, appeared to have the upper hand in the opening stages as they pushed their younger counterparts about at will in the scrums. However, the younger side, playing in red, soon realised that they had the advantage of speed and versatility and spun the ball along their backline to keep the elders on their toes.

The Blacks were to make the first impact on the scoreboard on 6 minutes when prop Dave Drinkwater set up a rolling maul and they rumbled menacingly towards the line and number 8 emerged and bundled his way over for a try. In keeping with the occasion, young Connor Drinkwater took the conversion but drifted it agonisingly wide from a difficult angle, so the score remained 5-0.

The Reds looked to run their back into the game and succeeded when their lively attacking play took them into the opposition 22. Mark Wilson was tackled and a ruck was set up but Blacks hooker Andrew Baxter was penalised for going off his feet. Ryan Giblin stepped up and slotted the ball neatly between the posts to narrow the deficit to 5-3 with eight minutes gone.

Former Seaham back row Richie Whitmore looked equally comfortable in attack and defence and made his presence felt throughout the early stages. His efforts were awarded on 23 minutes when he found himself on the end of a neat pass and touched down for the Blacks second try of the day to stretch the lead to 10-3.

The gap was narrowed within three minutes when powerful centre John Dixon took a pass near halfway and set off on a jinking run that ploughed a path through the opposition midfield. A combination of clever footwork and brute force held the Blacks defensive efforts at bay and he crossed the line for his first try of the season. Ryan Giblin was unsuccessful with the conversion attempt but they were back in it at 10-8.

Play was fairly evenly contested going into the break as both teams threw everything into their game. Young scrum half Brad Green enjoyed a fascinating duel with his opposite number Rob Thornton and the opposing back rows both looked to gain the ascendancy. However, it was the efforts of the Reds young backline that were rewarded right on the stroke of half time as Scott Pattison rounded off a fine handling move to score a try to the left of the posts. Returning fly half Jonny Morton added the conversion and the Reds turned around five points ahead.

Half Time: Over 35s (10) Under 35s (15)

The Reds stretched their lead two minutes after the break when Dave Drinkwater strayed offside at the breakdown and was penalised. Jonny Morton stepped up and nailed the kick to push his side two scores ahead at 18-10. All of a sudden the Reds looked as if they were capable of running away with the game.

Not to be outdone by their young charges, the veterans resumed play with vigour and launched a series of forward drives that took them deep into Reds territory. Several phases later they were on the try line and Paul Price pounced over the line for a captains try. Connor Drinkwaters successful conversion narrowed the deficit to a single point at 18-17.

The youngsters maintained a lively pace to their game and were on the front foot for a good ten minutes before Brad Green found himself with the ball in hand and the try line wide open. He jinked inside the full backs flailing challenge and touched down ten metres infield to push his side 23-17 ahead.

The lead was to last eight minutes before the Blacks bullied their way back into the game courtesy of their dominant scrum. Powerful number 8 Rob Hebron shunted his pack forward and they rumbled over the line for him to touch the ball down for a pushover try. Connor Drinkwaters conversion was slotted and the Blacks once again found themselves in the lead by 24-23 with a quarter of the game remaining.

The final quarter was battled out in a hard but clean spirit and both sides did their cause great credit. Colin Renton enjoyed a fine run down the right flank for the Blacks before being forced into touch and Grant Dixon led from the front as he tried to rally his troops for a winning score. However, it was the veterans who were to emerge victorious as referee Ray Sutherland blew for full time to signal a second successive win for Paul Prices Over 35s

Full Time: Over 35s (24) Under 35s (23)

Following the game, Seaham chairman Neil Roseberry tried to put into perspective the significance of the occasion and ponder the positive effects that grass roots rugby can have on the wider community:

Although final figures have still to be calculated, its estimated that our lads have raised in excess of 1000 from todays fixture. All proceeds will now be donated to the Intensive Care Unit at Sunderland Royal Hospital; a small gesture of thanks on behalf of local lass Claire Lavery who received life-saving treatment there last year.

Its amazing what can be achieved by a bunch of lads throwing a ball about in the torrential rain. There were three or four clubs represented on the field today, as well as several lads who pulled a rugby shirt on for the very first time, but they all forgot their differences for the day and raised serious money for a fantastic cause.

The events of today confirmed what Ive thought for a long time. We might not be the most glamorous or successful club in the area but I reckon weve certainly got the biggest hearts and theres nothing we love better than supporting causes that are greater than our own.

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