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Home > News > Seaham 18 - Prudhoe & Stocksfield 8
Your News Seaham 18 - Prudhoe & Stocksfield 8

Prudhoe & Stocksfield may not have expected an easy match at the Leisure Centre, flying high near the top of the league, but they would nevertheless have travelled in fairly confident spirits. However, they couldnt possibly have anticipated such a tough and bruising encounter.

The opening stages of the game were fought out at a frantic pace with the Northumbrians working the phases and recycling possession well. Seaham soon regained their composure and played the ball up the field. Prudhoe were alert in defence but some over-eagerness saw one of their forwards handle the ball on the floor and concede a penalty. A deft kick from Glen Hardie took Seaham 10 metres from the oppositions line. Ben Bell took a fine lineout catch and set up a rolling maul. The ball was then shunted over Prudhoes line and referee Frank Cruise signalled a try, with Grant Dixon the scorer. The conversion was missed but Seaham led 5-0 after eight minutes.

Seaham had an opportunity to stretch their lead four minutes later when one of the Prudhoe forwards went over the top at a ruck and conceded a penalty. Dan Cahill stuck his hand up to have a pop at the three points but fluffed his opportunity badly, with the ball going low and wide of the posts.

Both sides went hammer and tongs from the restart as they look to gain the upper hand, with the ball being sprayed wide at every opportunity. Seahams speedy half backs Brad Green and Glen Hardie always looked threatening with their nifty breaks and the midfield pairing of Lee Phillips and John Dixon looked rock solid in defence.

Seahams back row of Dan Cahill, Mark Wilson and skipper Ben Bell were in dominant form around the park and made huge impacts at the breakdown. The home pack began to exert their influence on the game and make good territorial gain. From a ruck, Green passed the ball back to Hardie and the flame-haired fly half made a clean break through the Prudhoe midfield but was tackled just short of the line. The ball was recycled and dynamic prop Gary Lynn muscled his way over the line for his third try of the season to put Seaham 10-0 ahead with 26 minutes on the clock.

Prudhoe had an opportunity to narrow the deficit on 31 minutes when centre John Dixons attempted tackle was adjudged as being a little high. Their kicker hadnt missed an attempt in practice prior to the game but missed out when it counted so Seaham were let off the hook.

Imposing second row Steve Sanderson was pulled to one side along with the Prudhoe tight head on 39 minutes following a brief exchange of fisticuffs. Mr Cruise cautioned both and sent them off for a 10-minute rest. Sanderson was heard saying that he had been bitten and showed evidence of teeth marks on his right hand. This proved to be the last significant event of the first half.

Half Time: SEAHAM (10) Prudhoe & Stocksfield (0)

Prudhoe were quickest out of the blocks following the break and their efforts were awarded on 44 minutes when they kicked a penalty after Seaham went over the top at a ruck. The penalty was the first of many conceded by the hosts in a 20 minute period of madness and very poor discipline. Many of the penalties could well have been avoided had Seahams forwards shown more patience in defence. Lucky for them, most of the penalties were in opposition territory so they werent made to pay with points conceded.

With the clock running down on Sandersons sin bin, Seaham looked forward to getting back to full strength and competing at the set piece; scrums having been uncontested for 10 minutes due to Prudhoe having no front row cover. However, as the second row returned to the field of play, Dan Cahill went in the opposite direction for encroaching at a maul.

Seaham soaked up the vast majority of the visitors pressure and even looked to counter-attack at every given opportunity with full back Graeme Steel and Jack McCallum running some clever angles and kicking down the touchline well. Prudhoe managed to take advantage of their extra man just before Cahill returned to the fray when they passed crisply and evaded some poor tackling to cross in the top left-hand corner and close the gap to 10-8. Luckily for the hosts, the conversion sailed to the right of the posts so they retained their lead approaching the hour mark.

Seaham regained their composure, sorted their discipline and cut out all of the silly penalties; although Steve Sanderson and the opposition tight head were once again seen exchanging blows with the referees attentions elsewhere. The hosts pressed onwards and kept Prudhoe deep in their own half with some energy-sapping scrums. Seaham had enjoyed a dominant afternoon in this area and had seemingly shunted their opposition around at will, with props Gary Lynn and Paul Scott in awesome form.

Tight head Paul Scott capped a strong performance with a try on 74 minutes. A clever break by Jack McCallum took play to the verge of the visitors try line. With his forwards in hot pursuit, McCallum was able to keep his composure and coolly recycle the ball. Scott then emerged from the pile of bodies and forced his way over the line with three defenders clinging to him. For the third time, a conversion attempt was missed but Seaham were ahead by a score with time ebbing away.

Seaham went for a fourth try and battered away at Prudhoe in pursuit of a bonus point. They were awarded a penalty with three minutes remaining and opted for a scrum. Twice they shunted the visitors over the line only for their scrum to collapse. The partisan home supporters screamed for a penalty try but Mr Cruise called the scrum again. Prudhoes loose head prop was unable to compete due to injury so, yet again, the scrum had to go uncontested.

Following a further series of uncontested scrums, and determined defence by the visitors, Seaham were awarded another penalty. Realising that time was running out, replacement scrum half Henry Brace cleverly pointed towards the posts and gave the ball to Grant Dixon. He coolly nailed the penalty with the last play of the match and secured Seaham their fifth consecutive league win; whilst at the same time denying the visitors their losing bonus point.

Full Time: SEAHAM (18) Prudhoe & Stocksfield (8)

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