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Home > News > Chester le Street 12 - Seaham 16
Your News Chester le Street 12 - Seaham 16

Seaham were missing key men in several areas for this game with prop Paul Scott and centre Jon Dye working away, wing Glen Hardie laid up with flu and full back Graeme Steel in bed nursing a hangover. Still, they showed plenty of good intentions in the early stages of the match and spun the ball out to wingers Joey Jones and Stu Tisseman at every opportunity. A fifth minute flash of genius saw Jack McCallum dart through a gap in Chesters line and show a clean pair of heels to the chasing defenders before touching down in the right corner for his second try of the season. Brad Greens conversion attempt sailed narrowly wide but the Harbour looked good value for their 5-0 lead.

The visitors demonstrated every intention of monopolising possession and building a big score, but poor discipline particularly at the breakdown area was to be their downfall. They carried the ball forward well, with Grant Dixon, Gary Lynn and Andy Hogwood in rampant mood with ball in hand. Unfortunately, a lack of support and commitment to the breakdown area saw them turned over or penalised for not releasing in the tackle on numerous occasions.

A quick succession of penalties conceded seemed to stifle Seahams enthusiasm and allow Chester back into the game. The hosts efforts were rewarded in the 27th minute when their big inside centre created an overlap on the right wing and their 14 levelled the scores with a well-deserved try.

The hosts were buoyed by the score and looked to capitalise on Seahams extremely poor discipline. Their fly half was allowed the opportunity to clear his lines with long kicks to touch on four separate occasions after the visitors had transgressed in his 22. However, it was a moment of madness on behalf of the Chester tight head props behalf that proved crucial when he was yellow-carded for boring in on the hooker at several scrums, in spite of being warned by the referee. Seaham may well have capitalised on their numerical advantage but hooker Dan Cahill saw yellow for the second time this season for reckless use of the boot.

Possession and territory were evenly contested going into the break but an excellent line break by McCallum took him clear once again. The ball was carried forward by Brad Green, Graham Aldus and Stu Tisseman before John Dixon took the contact and set up a ruck. Chesters defenders entered the breakdown from the side and conceded a penalty; which Brad Green converted with the last kick of the half to regain the lead.

Half Time: Chester-le-Street (5) SEAHAM (8)

The hosts resumed play with a full complement after the return of their errant prop but were unable to capitalise on their extra man as Seaham retained possession for the additional minute prior to Cahills return. With their second row partnership of Andy Hogwood and Chris Bland gelling well and working the breakdowns effectively, the visitors forwards looked solid and provided a good platform for their young backs to run the ball from.

Seahams forwards worked their way forward with skipper Ben Bell covering just about every blade of grass and fellow back rows Grant Dixon and Mark Wilson up in support every time. The added mobility of Steve Meir, Dan Cahill and Gary Lynn in the front row gave them plenty of energy to run the ball at their opposition. Their efforts earned a penalty on 46 minutes after one of the Chester defenders handled in a ruck. Andy Hogwood then kicked a monumental kick from 45 metres to stretch the lead to 11-5.

Two minutes later, Seahams attacking efforts were significantly hampered when full back Andrew Baxter was forced to end what had been a promising game for him after he aggravated a recent foot injury. Baxters experience and composure at the back proved to be sorely missed in the 56th minute when Chesters inside centre once again caused mayhem in Seahams defence and manufactured an overlap before delivering a well-timed pass and setting up a second try for his team. The added conversion saw Chester take a 12-11 lead.

The hosts indiscipline could have led to their downfall after their loose head prop was yellow carded on 63 minutes for obstructing Brad Green as the lively scrum half was attempting to pass from the base of a ruck. Unfortunately, the closest they came to regaining the lead was a missed penalty by Andy Hogwood on 71 minutes.

A host of handling errors and ill discipline seemed to stifle Seahams progress every time they entered the opposition 22 but a moment of brilliance by John Dixon saw them regain the lead on 77 minutes. The big centre was given the ball from a ruck in the Chester 22, drew in three defenders then offloaded a delightful pass to Brad Green, who scampered over in the left corner to touch down for his fifth try of the season. The conversion was missed but Seaham were happy to regain the lead.

The hosts looked to snatch a try from the restart but Seaham were determined to hold on to their lead and play the remainder of the game deep in Chesters half. Ben Bell marshalled his troops well and orchestrated several rolling mauls that not only sucked the opposition into tight play but ran the clock down. The skipper also had the last say in proceedings when he latched onto a loose ball and kicked it into touch to end what had been a keenly-contested game.

Full Time: Chester-le-Street (12) SEAHAM (16)

Seaham chairman Neil Roseberry expressed his relief at his sides latest win

Many of our supporters and players expected nothing short of a comfortable victory prior to todays game; particularly given our recent form. Credit to Chester-le-Street though; they showed great character and gave us a hard game to make a mockery of their position in this league.

We are proud to finish the first half of the season six points clear at the top of the table. We lost our first game but have won the following ten. When was the last time that happened? Roll on the second half of the season.

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