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Home > News > Bishop Auckland 23 - Blaydon 2XV 21
Your News Bishop Auckland 23 - Blaydon 2XV 21

Forwards: Marsden, Cox, Ross (c) Fletcher P, Tindle, Nareki, Fletcher J, Edwards

Backs: Brabban, Burn, Cassidy, Evans, Greathead, Palmer, Fairley

Subs: Callan, Ross, Bailey, Williams, Brown, Stevens, Bedford, Turner

Bishop were at home for their final pre-season game after Sedgefield had cried off from the cup game. A game against Blaydon II was a big ask for our first team as many players are squad members for their first team playing in the National League 1. A very high standard indeed.

The opening quarter was a keenly contested affair with both teams sizing each other up but Bishop got the first points on the board with a penalty by Palmer 3-0. Blaydon replied quickly with a nice line run by their centre to open their scoring which was converted 3-7. Bishop looked exciting going forward with fly half Tom Burn controlling the play and kicking to each wing to pin Blaydon back into their half. Bishop more than matched Blaydon physically at the ruck and in the scrum but Blaydon were well organised and put another try on the board with another training ground move 3-14. Bishop again through Burn were taking the game to Blaydon and with the ball in the red zone the forwards pressed and pressed with Gareth Edwards scoring the try , 8-14. In the second half a series of changes were made by the coaches. After finishing the first half strongly Bishop were up against it as Blaydon started the second half with renewed vigour pressing Bishop back into their half and they scored another try which should have sealed the game 8-21. Bishop were not done yet and with centre Taff Evans rampaging over the gain line and Burn moving the ball quickly Bishop forwards were picking and driving and scrum half Brabban saw the narrowest of gaps and scored the try which was well deserved, Palmer missing the conversion 13-21.

Bishop made a couple more changes to the pack and at scrum half, Bedford replacing Brabban. The try seemed to give Bishop more energy and once again Burn was pressing and probing looking for an opening and with Bishop just short of the Blaydon 22 winger Andy Brown came storming through running a lovely line to score under the posts, Palmer converting to bring the game to within one point 20-21. With Nareki back on the pitch Bishop looked threatening again with him and Fletcher putting in tackle after tackle and Bishop rucking very well Blaydon were once again pressed back into their half. Burn fed the ball to Evans who once again broke the gain line and was held in the tackle Bishop got a vital penalty. With Brodie Palmer holding his nerve the penalty was scored 23-21.

Bishop held on for the last couple of minutes and they looked the fitter team as the whistle went for a well-deserved Bishop win. This was one of the best performances in recent years at West Mills and delighted the home crowd. A fine all round team display where Bishop looked dangerous going forward and resolute in defence. The hard nights doing pre- season training are certainly paying off and the smiles on the faces of coaches Steven Colwell and Mark Binns were wider than the pitches.

Michael Hole

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