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Home > News > Seaham 15 - Houghton 9
Your News Seaham 15 - Houghton 9

Derby matches are usually full of passion as both sides look to get one over on the opposition; regardless of recent form or league position, they always provide plenty of entertainment as local rivals look to earn the bragging rights. This encounter proved no different.

A youthful Houghton certainly seemed in no mood to roll over and let Seaham enjoy their promotion party. In fact, from the onset they looked determined to spoil their hosts fine record at the Leisure Centre this season and wreck their aspirations of clinching the league title.

Following a frantic opening five minutes, played at a furious pace, Houghton opened the scoring in the sixth minute after Seaham had strayed offside in front of their posts. The visitors fly half punished them with a fine attempt to earn an early 3-0 lead.

Seaham had an opportunity to go ahead less than a minute later when they broke downfield and the ball found its way to outside centre Glen Hardie on the left flank. He showed some blistering pace as he bombed towards the try line but was forced into touch five metres short.

The hosts maintained their ascendancy and were justifiably rewarded within two minutes. Following a fine driving move from his forwards, Brad Green picked from the base of a ruck and broke left. He jinked his way through a packed defence before feeding left wing Joey Jones. He then dummied his opposite man before crossing for his twelfth try of the season to clinch the lead. The strong wind blew Greens conversion attempt wide so the lead remained a very narrow 5-3.

Jones left the field with a leg injury in the 17th minute and presented Seaham coach John Whitehead with a positional headache. Henry Brace took to the field and replaced Mark Wilson at blindside flanker, Wilson moved out to the centres and Hardie moved onto the wing to replace Jones.

Seaham took a while to settle back into the game and Houghton took full advantage to press their claims. Their lighter pack seemed to be holding their own against the hosts and always looked threatening on the attack. Although Seahams forwards sapped their much of their energy with some devastating rolling mauls, they did enough to earn several kickable penalties, both of which were converted by their fly half, to turn around with a four point lead at the interval.

Half Time: SEAHAM (5) Houghton (9)

Seaham appeared to wake from their slumber following the break but it was their discipline at the breakdown area that let them down time after time as referee Mark Wise punished their indiscretions and allowed Houghton plenty of opportunities to clear their lines.

The hosts pack laid down a solid platform as they battered their way upfield with back rows Ben Bell and James Ramshaw carrying well. Veteran prop Steve Meir drove for the line but was tackled short and a ruck was formed. Fellow prop Paul Scott then picked up and barrelled his way over for his sixth try of the season to regain the lead. Greens conversion took the lead to 12-9.

Although not a dirty match by any means, some of the tackling bordered on the cynical side as the game approached the final quarter and penalties were conceded as Houghton looked to defend their line at all costs. Brad Green was caught around the neck and Seaham were awarded a penalty to the left of the Houghton posts. However, the wily scrum half failed to capitalise and his attempt sailed narrowly to the right.

Houghton had played very close to the offside line all game but had cleverly avoided sanction throughout the first 60 minutes of the game. However, just after the hour mark, Mr Wise spotted their replacement flanker in an offside position and awarded Seaham a penalty. Full back Graeme Steel stepped up and slotted the ball neatly through the posts for a 15-9 lead.

The closing quarter proved to be a very tense period as Seaham looked to register more scores to put the game beyond reach; whereas Houghton were a constant threat as they surged forward in their quest to nail a converted try that would be enough to nail a win.

Whilst opportunities were created at both ends, it was Seahams try line that was put under the most pressure as Houghton attacked vigorously. The hosts, marshalled by skipper Ben Bell and Henry Brace, defended valiantly however and two defining moments proved enough to clinch the day.

With their big second row powering for the line, John Dixon picked his spot, drove into the tackle and shunted him several yards backwards before taking him to the floor. Seahams forwards drove over, secured the ball and enabled Brad Green the opportunity to clear their lines.

In the final minute, with Houghton pressing forward close to Seahams posts, their flanker took a short pass and drove for the line. Fortunately for the hosts, full back Graeme Steel read the move well and was on hand to stop his man, strip him of possession and form a maul. The ball was then passed back to Glen Hardie who found touch to end the game.

Full Time: SEAHAM (15) Houghton (9)

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