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Home > News > Richmondshire 6 - Seaham 24
Your News Richmondshire 6 - Seaham 24

Having faced stiff opposition in their encounter at the end of October, there was no way Seaham were going to underestimate Richmondshire. Viewing the game as a potential banana skin, they took a strong squad to Theakston Lane. Prior to the game, several of the opposition had been earmarked as key players; with John Dixon and Ben Bell allocated to man-mark their big second row and number 8 respectively. The team talk also emphasised that nothing less than 100% commitment would be enough to earn success.

Seaham won the toss and elected to play uphill throughout the first half. Whilst the hosts attacked with great vigour, it became immediately apparent that the visitors were fully prepared to tackle the opposition into the ground for the full 80 minutes. The combined efforts of flankers Grant Dixon and James Ramshaw, added to the mobility of prop Steve Meir, ensured that Shire were stopped close to the gain line; and quite often driven back over it.

The vigour of Seahams pack forced several turnovers and turned possession in their favour. From one turnover, the ball was recycled by Ramshaw and spun out by Brad Green. Jack McCallum then fed Jon Dye and he put his fellow centre Graham Aldus over in the right corner for his third try of the season. Greens touchline conversion attempt drifted wide but Seaham were good value for their 5-0 lead with six minutes on the clock.

Shire looked determined to fight their way back into the game but met very resolute defence. They were also penalised by Yorkshire referee Tony Cook several times for breakdown offences. Arguably, their greatest downfall may have been a reluctance to use the sun behind their backs. Their fly half launched an early up-and-under into Seahams 22 but full back Andy Baxter took a tremendous catch and ran it back upfield; making good territorial gain in the process. The hosts appeared reluctant to use this ploy thereafter.

Both packs spent the next quarter of the game battering away at each other in midfield. The deadlock was eventually broken on 34 minutes when Seaham absorbed their hosts pressure and winger Joey Jones orchestrated a crucial turnover. The ball was sprayed right to Jon Dye, who drew defenders before offloading to Graham Aldus. The big centre then ploughed through several tacklers before offloading to Jack McCallum; who sprinted 35 metres and crossed in the right corner for his sides second try of the day. Once again, the conversion was missed but Seahams lead had doubled to ten points.

From the restart, big second row Chris Bland made a difficult catch look very easy then straightened up and shunted into the opposition. His fellow forwards then recycled well and Brad Green landed a precise box kick into the Shire 22; where the game was played for the next five minutes.

The advantage was reduced virtually on the stroke of half-time when one of the Seaham forwards was penalised for handling in a ruck. The hosts fly half kept his cool and hit a 20 metre penalty to get his side on the scoreboard.

Half Time: Richmondshire (3) SEAHAM (10)

The words of Shires coach must have struck deep during the half-time chat as his side restarted in extremely defiant spirits. They drove upfield and asked serious questions of Seahams defence. Initially, it seemed that the Harbour defence was holding firm but they couldnt quite do enough to strip their opponents of the ball. Shire were awarded a scrum going forward but Seaham flanker James Ramshaw broke his bind and conceded a penalty. The hosts fly half once again converted his kick and they were breathing heavily down Seahams necks at 10-6.

A season or two ago this would have marked a turning point in the game where they succumbed to the oppositions pressure, but Seaham simply put their minds into gear, knuckled down and got on with the game. This paid off on 53 minutes when their composure enabled them to resume control of the game. Jack McCallum fed Jon Dye and the player-coach made a scything run through a gap in the 10/12 channel and crossed for his sixth try of the season. Brad Green extended the lead to 17-6 with his first conversion of the day.

Seaham made several tactical substitutions around the hour mark with Andy Hogwood replacing Chris Bland in the engine room, and Mark Wilson entering the fray for Jack McCallum. Wilson took his place in the centres and Jon Dye moved forward to replace McCallum at fly half.

The Harbour, and their highly vocal support, thought they had earned a vital bonus point in the 62nd minute when John Dixon wrestled the ball from an opponent and sent it to Brad Green. The lively scrum half then sprayed the ball left through several pairs of hands to Stu Tisseman, who set off at a searing pace for the try line. However, he was forced into touch desperately short of the line and Shire were awarded a lineout.

Not to be outdone, skipper Ben Bell applied tremendous pressure on Shires jumper and forced a knock-on. From the resulting scrum, Bell picked up and fed Brad Green. He then shipped it to Dye, who fed Graham Aldus and he took three defenders over the line as he grabbed his second try of the game and, more importantly, Seahams fourth. Green converted to take the lead to 24-6 and stretch his personal tally for the season to 94 points.

Rather than sit back and savour their lead, Seaham kept rolling forward in the quest for further scores. However, stubborn defence held them at bay much of the time. Even the addition of fresh legs, with Ryan Giblin introduced on the wing for Joey Jones, couldnt create any more scores. But, Seaham had accomplished their mission of achieving maximum points from the game and were able to savour a hard-earned victory.

Full Time: Richmondshire (6) SEAHAM (24)

Seaham chairman Neil Roseberry was delighted with the outcome

Not many teams have left Richmond with all the spoils this season, but then again, not many would have arrived with such a dogged attitude as our lads. Right from the offset their attitude was impeccable. They all knew what had to be done and that their opponents deserved a lot of respect.

Everyone associated with the club will appreciate todays performance and its deserved outcome. We are still in with a shot at the league title, as well as the Durham County Junior Plate, so everything is still to play for.

We have a number of players who are competing for their place but, with the team in such tremendous form at present, opportunities are fairly limited. We are looking to start up a 2nd XV once again but need more bodies to facilitate this. All new faces would be welcome to come along and contribute.

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