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Home > News > Washington 0 - Seaham 2XV 17
Your News Washington 0 - Seaham 2XV 17

Not for the first time this season, Jarrovians failed to live up to their league obligations and fulfil their fixture at Seaham. This time around their excuse was that they did not have enough players available to field a team - a rather strange excuse for a club that normally boasts two teams.

Fortunately, old friends Washington were on hand to save the day offer the Harbour Lads a fixture at Biddick Sports College. This offered Seaham coach Johnny Whitehead the ideal opportunity to experiment and try a few players in different positions.

The opening quarter of the game was contested furiously with both sides looking to play an expansive game. Washingtons speedy backs always looked dangerous on the break but Seaham defended well and kept the pressure on their hosts with some strong counter-attacks.

Seaham gradually began to gain an upper hand in the scrums with Matty Jackson, Dean Armstrong and Steve Meir getting the better of the opposition front row. Chris Bland and second row partner Stuart Fowler were also rock solid in the set piece. As usual, the back row trio of Grant Dixon, Mark Wilson and skipper Ben Bell covered just about every blade of grass; with the latter also enjoying success in the lineouts.

Seaham almost took the lead on 12 minutes when they broke out of their 22 and some excellent running lines from fly half Glen Hardie took them deep into Washington territory. Jack McCallum then fed Johnny Gale and the young winger darted for the left corner. Washingtons defence forced Gale towards touch so he tried to offload to scrum half Brad Green but the pass went loose and rolled into touch.

The visitors took the lead on 16 minutes when powerful centre Graham Aldus broke the defensive line and made excellent progress upfield before being tackled on the 10 metre line. After taking two defenders to the floor he popped a delightful pass to Green. He then fed McCallum and neat inter-passing saw young Ryan Giblin touching down in the right corner to mark his 18th birthday in style. The conversion was missed by Brad Green.

The young scrum half rode his luck twice in succession around the 25 minute mark when he attempted to clear the ball from 5 metres scrums after the hosts had came close to scoring only to knock forward with the line in sight. He had two box kicks charged down but, fortunately for Seaham, they enjoyed the luck of the bounce and neither opportunity bore fruit.

Seaham enjoyed several other positive backs moves that made good territorial gain each time but a combination of good defence and poor handling stifled their progress each time. Fortunately for the Harbour, powerful flanker Grant Dixon was always on hand to swoop on any loose passes and secure possession.

Half Time: Washington (0) SEAHAM II (5)

Washington emerged from the break looking a lot more determined and more than capable of clawing their way back into the game. Their pressure caused Seaham to transgress and concede a scrum. From the resulting set piece referee Mark West penalised Seaham for pulling the scrum down and the hosts nominated for a kick at goal. Fortunately, their kicker misjudged what appeared to be a relatively easy attempt, so the lead remained at five points.

Washington maintained the pressure and actually crossed Seahams try line in the 51st minute. However, their big winger knocked the ball on as he went over the line and conceded a defensive scrum. The hosts also orchestrated a rolling maul that took them over the line once again but the combined efforts of Steve Meir and Barry Siddle were enough to prevent them grounding the ball for a try.

Seaham appeared buoyed by their defensive efforts and broke downfield following a clever line break by Andrew Baxter. He made good ground before passing inside to Glen Hardie. His excellent run took him inside Washingtons 22 but his pass inside to Johnny Gale was cleverly anticipated and he was forced into touch.

Seaham had an excellent opportunity to stretch the lead into double figures in the 57th minute when Graham Aldus found himself close to the try line with a two man overlap to his right. However, the centre tried to smash his way over the line and was held up short with his team mates screaming for the ball.

Less than a minute later, with Seaham camped deep in the Washington 22, Ben Bell made a magnificent catch from an attacking lineout and set up a platform for his fellow forwards to drive off. Barry Siddle picked up a loose pass and drove powerfully for the line, only to be forced into touch by three defenders.

Just after the hour, fly half Jack McCallum spotted a gap in Washingtons line and kicked the ball through before catching a favourable bounce and haring for the line. Rather than touching down in the corner he lobbed an overhead pass inside to replacement wing Richard Brown. However, Mr West adjudged a forward pass so the opportunity was gone.

Seaham lost the services of talismanic flanker Grant Dixon on 69 minutes when he was tackled near the halfway line and sustained an ankle injury in the ensuing ruck.

Shortly afterwards, with scrum half Brad Green off the field, Jack McCallum took his place at the back of the scrum. He picked from the base of a scrum 25 metres out and showed the defence a clean pair of heels before touching down in the right corner to make it 10-0. Unfortunately, full back Graeme Steel had less luck with the conversion.

Any aspirations that Washington may have had of fighting their way back into the game were broken four minutes from the end of the game when Seaham were awarded a penalty 20 metres out. Mark Wilson took a popped pass and drove forward but was stopped desperately short. Fortunately, big second row Chris Bland was on hand to pick the ball up from the base of the ensuing ruck and drive for the third try of the day. Steel was successful with the conversion to take the lead to 17-0.

Full Time: Washington (0) SEAHAM II (17)

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