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Home > News > Barnard Castle 43 - Seaham 2XV 12
Your News Barnard Castle 43 - Seaham 2XV 12

Selection for this fixture proved to be something of a nightmare as those not available outnumbered those who were able to play by quite a significant number. Although they were shorn of 19 players, Seaham were still able to muster a merry band of 17 men. They were accompanied by the usual horde of supporters; all looking to enjoy an afternoon of rugby and a quality night out in Barnard Castle as they celebrated Colin Hall's birthday.

With the cancellation of their first team game, Barnard Castles second team was swollen with first team players keen to get a game in whatever position they could achieve in this very social match; which it is hoped will become a regular fixture. Although there was no frost, there was a chilling wind with heavy showers blowing across the pitch. It was not a game for the wingers to stand still and both sides made sure they didn't, putting plenty of width on the ball and providing great entertainment.

Despite early pressure from the home side, it was Seaham whose forwards drove upfield towards the line. The ball was then sent out to promising young hooker Dean Armstrong, who touched down for his second try of the season and the first score of the day. Brad Green converted for an early 7-0 lead.

Going behind seemed to wake Castle up and they hit back immediately. Their front five were involved in a handling move from inside their own half. The ball was then ball was spun wide to their fullback, who touched down in the corner. The conversion hit the post so Seaham kept a narrow lead.

Both scrum halves enjoyed a compelling battle at the base of the set piece and looked to release their backs and keep the game fluid at each and every opportunity. However, it was the hosts who were to enjoy the better of the exchanges and they ran in a further brace of tries, one converted, to take a 17-5 lead.

Seaham showed great determination in wanting to stay in the game and made a mockery of their concerns prior to kick off. Joey Jones typified Seahams bulldog spirit just before the interval when he punched a huge hole in the home defence before sending fly half Glen Hardie over for his seventh try of the season. The conversion was missed by Green but Seaham were within a score as they turned around for half-time.

Half Time: Barnard Castle (17) SEAHAM II (12)

Barnard Castle came steaming out of the blocks following the break and their lightning fast winger clinched his third try of the game as they sought to put some space in between the sides at 24-12. With the hosts bringing on some fresh players and Seaham losing one or two players to injuries, the home side were able to pull away in the final quarter. A further three tries and two conversions were recorded as Barnie broke away.

Amongst the greatest aspects about Seahams play this season has been their improved fitness levels; complemented by a never-say-die attitude towards playing the game for the full 80 minutes. Accordingly, they finished the game with a flourish and scored a thoroughly deserved third try when Steve Meir crossed for the first time this season. The conversion was missed by Jack McCallum, but Seaham were able to end a very entertaining game with their heads held high.

Perhaps a game against a fully-fledged 2nd XV may have been more appropriate prior to the game. However, upon reflection, participating against a side with a good percentage of it's players more accustomed to Level 8 rugby couldn't have done them any harm whatsoever. If nothing else, it will give them a taste of what to expect in the future... should they achieve promotion to Division Two.

Coach John Whitehead was also happy with the performance of his players and the strong displays that they produced in the face of adversity. If his estimation is anything to go by, the future looks bright, with the idea of establishing and maintaining a 2nd XV a very strong possibility.

Full time: Barnard Castle (43) SEAHAM II (12)

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