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Home > News > Seaham 27 - Richmondshire 19
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Your News Seaham 27 - Richmondshire 19
01
NOV

Seaham may well have been forgiven for underestimating their North Yorkshire rivals in the lead up to this league fixture. After all, they were at opposite ends of the table prior to kick-off. However, the visitors seemed to relish their underdog status and hit the game running with a nothing to lose attitude.

Seaham were made to do without the services of several key men prior to the game with front row forwards Gary Lynn and Dan Cahill both working, along with full back Graeme Steel. Lynns ball carrying attributes were a great loss throughout the early stages but the gap he left in the front row was more than filled by Andy Hogwood. Although the bulky second row was out of position, his sheer size ensured he was able to adapt throughout his first game for seven weeks following a shoulder injury.

Richmondshire showed plenty of ambition throughout the first few moments and set their stall out from the onset. Young second row Chris Bland took an excellent catch from the kick off and set the ball up well, in spite of the pressure form the visitors big pack as they looked to turn possession in their favour.

Territory and possession were evenly contested for the first 8 minutes with both sides attacking and defending equally well. The visitors were first on the scoreboard when they capitalised on a handling error. Seaham flanker Mark Wilson took the ball into contact but lost possession whilst trying to pass out of the tackle. Richmondshires scrum half then launched a huge kick downfield, which was excellently caught and ran under the posts for a converted try and a 7-0 lead.

Falling behind seemed to spur Seaham into action and they began to enjoy a good spell of dominance. After working their way upfield following a punishing sequence of rolling mauls, the home packs pressure eventually paid off as they found themselves camped on the Richmondshire try line. Following several phases, Paul Scott (pictured below) eventually picked the ball up and drove over for his second try of the season with 21 minutes on the clock. Brad Greens successful conversion levelled the scores at 7-7.

Seaham maintained the ascendancy and continued to attack at every opportunity with the ball being sprayed wide to flying wingers Joey Jones and Jack McCallum. The youngsters, alongside speedy fly half Glen Hardie, had plenty of opportunity to make good ground but were held at bay by some resolute defending. Seahams new centre partnership of Graham Aldus and Jon Dye also proved productive; with both enjoying plenty of possession and keeping their team on the front foot.

The visitors had a good scoring opportunity just after the half-hour mark when slick handling and tidy recycling of the ball took them into the Seaham 22. However, they made a single handling error and second row John Dixon was on hand to claim the ball and storm up the field with the defence in his wake. The chasing defenders did eventually catch him up but by this time he was over the line and touched down for his fifth try of the season to the left of the posts. Greens conversion was missed but the Harbour were good value for their 12-7 advantage.

The lead was extended three minutes later when a fine run by Joey Jones took them deep into Richmondshire territory. He popped a lovely offload to Green who passed infield to Barry Siddle. The replacement second row, on for Chris Bland, carried the ball forward and sidestepped inside before being caught by a high tackle. Referee Mark Wise awarded a penalty for careless play and Green (pictured below) did the honours and took the lead to 15-7.

Seaham registered a third try with the last play of the half when Jon Dye ran a clever angle and sucked three defenders towards the touchline before offloading inside to Joey Jones. The bright young prospect then touched down for his third try in four games to put his side 20-7 ahead. Green missed the conversion but his side looked comfortable at the break.

Half Time: SEAHAM (20) Richmondshire (7)

The third quarter was a rather tight affair as both sides went about their business. The visitors seemed determined to wrestle their way back into the game whereas the hosts appeared to take their feet off the gas and saunter through the game as if the points were already in the bag.

Seaham did eventually stretch their lead to 27-7 just before the hour when Jon Dye caught his opposite number in possession, stripped him of the ball then fed Graham Aldus. The powerful centre then smashed a gap in the visitors defence before passing back to Dye. The player-coach then powered his way through the defence before offloading a scoring pass to John Dixon. The second row then dropped over the line for his second try of the day; and more importantly Seahams bonus point try, followed by Greens second conversion of the day.

Whilst many other teams may have wilted under the pressure, the gutsy visitors kept plugging away and their efforts were rewarded on 63 minutes. Following an energy-sapping rolling maul, the Richmondshire pack found themselves inside the Seaham 22. They then broke away and crossed the line for a second try to narrow the deficit to 27-12. Unfortunately for them, they had less success with the conversion attempt.

The visitors carried on where they left off following the restart and proved a thorn in the side of the hosts, as they looked to battle their way back into the game and avoid returning home empty-handed. They deservedly recorded their third try of the day on 67 minutes when they made a mockery of some poor Seaham tackling and crossed under the posts. The conversion took them within eights points at 27-19.

Although they appeared somewhat shell-shocked after conceding a brace of tried in a short spell, the timely inclusion of grizzled veteran Henry Brace (pictured below) appeared to steady the ship and they regained their composure. They had two good scoring opportunities but both were pulled up by Mr Wise for forward passes.

The hosts much-improved fitness levels stood them in good stead going into the late stages as they looked to consolidate their lead. Richmondshire were caught offside on the edge of their 10 metre line after 74 minutes and Andy Hogwood opted to kick for goal. Although he gave the ball a good lick, it drifted just wide and the visitors were let off the hook.

Both sides maintained the tempo throughout the dying minutes but there were to be no further scores. Mr Wise blew time on Seahams seventh successive league victory to secure a 9-point lead at the top of the table

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