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Home > News > Seaham 28 - Chester Le Street 0
Your News Seaham 28 - Chester Le Street 0

Seaham were made to work hard against Chester-le-Street in their County Plate quarter final tie at the Leisure Centre. Although they had defeated their visitors in a convincing manner two months earlier, Chester looked to have arrived with a much stronger team this time.

Several handling errors by the hosts throughout the opening 15 minutes made for a tense atmosphere as they looked to register the first score. Joey Jones found himself in a good scoring position with the try line wide open but an uncharacteristic poor pass by second row John Dixon forced a knock-on.

Dixon (below) made amends in the 19th minute when he took a pass from Brad Green and drove over for his seventh try of the season to make it 5-0. Green missed the conversion attempt but Seaham were good value for their lead; with their back row of Mark Wilson, Ben Bell and Dan Cahill in superb form.

Jon Dye had a great chance to extend the lead six minutes later but was held up over the line. With referee Alan Temple already signalling a Seaham advantage, play was brought back infield for a penalty after Chester were adjudged offside in the backs. Brad Green put the ball over and Seaham were 8-0 ahead on 26 minutes.

On characteristic of Seahams play was their variation in the lineout. Stuart Fowler, making his starting debut for the Harbour in the second row, made the middle of the lineout his own and took some athletic catches. Ben Bell also enjoyed his usual dominance at the front.

Coach John Whitehead made a controversial substitution on 33 minutes when he withdrew scrum half Brad Green following a spot of dissent and replaced him with Henry Brace. Fourth official Steve Wilkinson was then forced to take over the reins from Brace and fill in as replacement touch judge. Brace soon stamped his authority on the game and kept his side going forward with some excellent box kicks.

Chester defended well at all times but also threatened in attack. They broke free and threatened scores on numerous occasions but a remarkable try-saving tackle by Jon Dye on the stroke of half-time kept their line clear.

Half Time: SEAHAM (8) Chester-le-Street (0)

Seaham maintained their momentum following the break and earned a penalty. Andy Hogwood narrowly missed from 40 metres. The big second row was forced to leave the field shortly afterwards when he aggravated a recent shoulder injury. Barry Siddle, on for Hogwood, remained as solid as ever in the set pieces and also added an extra dimension to the loose play.

Teammate Jon Dye enjoyed better luck with the boot and kept the scoreboard ticking over. Chester were adjudged offside in the backs on 51 minutes and were punished by Dyes mighty left boot. He stretched the lead to a healthy 14-0 three minutes later when full back Glen Hardie (below) was tackled high.

Although the visitors were still in defiant spirits, the hosts kept up the intensity and battered away at the opposition line. Jack McCallum ran the show from fly half and unleashed his speedy backs at every opportunity. Centre pairing Jon Dye and Graham Aldus made good ground and wingers Stuart Tisseman and Joey Jones saw plenty of ball as a result. Hardie also showed blistering pace when attacking from deep and ensured that his side enjoyed healthy territorial gain each time.

The hosts pack kept on a par with their backs and dominated the breakdowns and forced the visitors into errors. Seaham scored their second try of the day on 68 minutes when dynamic prop Gary Lynn (below) finished off a rolling maul to chalk up his fifth score of the season; Dye converting to make it 21-0.

Although the tie was never ill-tempered at any stage, a few questionable tackles had been spotted by Mr Temple; both captains being asked to have a word with their players. One of the Chester centres was then yellow-carded on 74 minutes for a high tackle on hooker Andrew Baxter.

Seaham took immediate advantage and wonderful handling by Graham Aldus, Jack McCallum and Ben Bell saw the ball sprayed right. Joey Jones then capped a fine performance with his fourth try of the season. Dye added the conversion and Seaham were safely through to the semis.

Final Score: SEAHAM (28) Chester-le-Street (0)

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