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Home > News > Novocastrians 69 - Seaham 7
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Your News Novocastrians 69 - Seaham 7
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The stark reality of life in Division Two brought Seaham crashing to earth with a resounding thump. With their hosts, Novocastrians, obviously looking to bounce straight back up to Level 7, any form of positive result was always going to be an uphill struggle.

Seaham’s plight was daunting due to non-availabilities; with Dean Armstrong, Jon Dye, Graeme Steel, Stu Tisseman, Mick Bland, Stu Fowler and Gary Lynn all working. Added to this, Ben Bell, Grant Dixon, Andrew Baxter and Ryan Giblin were injured. And most frustrating of all, props Matty Jackson and Paul Scott failed to turn up after declaring themselves available. To compound matters further, James Ramshaw found himself having to serve a two-match ban following last week’s dismissal for fighting.

Taking all into account, several of the Seaham committee and senior players felt as if the club had gone back five years to the dark days when they often found themselves locked out of the Vane Tempest an hour before kick off with half a dozen players at hand. Still, the Harbour diehards set off for Sutherland Park with 13 players; their numbers supplemented by Steve Meir and Steve Sanderson; both retired but, fortunately, still registered.

Seaham kicked off with 14 players on the field as Dan Cahill got changed after arriving late. The hosts’ youthful pack worked the phases and retained the ball well. They worked their way into Seaham’s 22 and earned a 3-0 lead from a penalty after Seaham strayed offside at a ruck.

The first try of the day was registered when Novos drove the visitors of their own scrum. With Seaham’s defence caught napping, the hosts speedy backs stormed downfield and under the posts for a converted try. 10-0.

Seaham stormed back up the field with Kurt Miller, Dan Cahill, Andy Hogwood and Jonny Martin in the thick of the action. Further phases were worked with Chris Bland and Mark Wilson driving strongly and Brad Green sniping around the fringes but a stray pass was intercepted and Novos stormed downfield for a try and conversion. With 15 minutes gone, Seaham were 17-0 down.

Seaham held firm for the next 10 minutes and launched some clever attacks, with Paul Atkinson and Graham Aldus surging forward and gaining ground. Unfortunately, all of their hard work went up in smoke when an ambitious Jack McCallum pass was dubiously intercepted and the hosts raced downfield for a third converted try with 26 minutes gone.

The hosts earned their try bonus point on 34 minutes when they worked a clever overlap with some crisp passes and touched down under the posts for their fourth converted try of the day to end the game as a contest at 31-0.

Seaham were continually frustrated by the spoiling tactics of their hosts at the breakdown as Northumberland referee Dave Casey failed to act on their cynical play. He eventually lost patience in the 38th minute when he spotted the Novos loose head kicking the ball out of a ruck and issued a yellow.

Seaham took advantage of the extra man and worked their way to the corner. Brad Green picked from the base of a scrum and drove for the line but was held tackled short. Mark Wilson, Kurt Miller and Steve Meir launched clever pick and drives but were held at bay by a resolute defence. Chris Bland did eventually batter his way over the line but was unable to ground the ball and Mr Casey blew from the interval.

Half Time: Novocastrians (31) SEAHAM (0)

Seaham maintained the pressure from the restart and carried the game to their hosts. Full back Glen Hardie and wing Paul Atkinson proved constant threats with their searing pace and Lee Remmer also threatened when he caught a cross kick from Jack McCallum and tore downfield. Unfortunately, the youngster was caught and shepherded into touch.

Chris Bland made a clean break on 44 minutes and looked to be in the clear and certain to score but was somehow caught and brought to the ground five metres short. Novos managed to turn the ball over at the breakdown and clear their lines.

As the game entered the final quarter, Seaham looked confident; having kept the opposition out for a third of the match. However, the concession of four tries and three conversions in an eight-minute spell seemed to knock the stuffing out of them as they, undeservedly some may say, found themselves trailing by 57 points.

A further brace of tries and a conversion turned the knife even further, yet Seaham still they refused to give up the fight and kept battling right to the final whistle. Their fortitude was rewarded in the 78th minutes when dynamic prop Jonny Martin, a former Novos player, took a pass ten metres out and shunted through three defenders for his second try of the season. Steve Sanderson’s conversion drew the biggest cheer of the afternoon.

Full Time: Novocastrians (69) SEAHAM (7)

Having enjoyed a total contrast of emotions courtesy of the previous week’s fine win, Seaham chairman Neil Roseberry vented his frustrations:

“After last week’s opening day victory over Hartlepool, played for 62 minutes with 14 men after an early sending off, I honestly thought the entire club would have been buoyed and wanted to be a part of this game. Today was a perfect opportunity for us to put a marker down and, regardless of the outcome, build up a head of steam.”

“I am 100% confident that, had we travelled with a full strength team today, we could have taken the game to Novos and earned a win. However, we were left with a threadbare squad for a variety of reasons and found ourselves on the end of a thumping; although I reckon the score doesn’t entirely reflect the gutsy display our lads put in.”

“I have nothing but praise and respect for our brave lads who travelled today and fronted up to an impressive Novos team; knowing fine well they had little chance of victory. It all comes down to attitude. The less committed individuals within the club can learn a lot from their determination and character. They are the heart and soul of Seaham RUFC.”

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