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Home > News > Barnard Castle 25 - Seaham 15
Your News Barnard Castle 25 - Seaham 15

Seahams ranks were bolstered by the return of several key personnel as, for the first time in three weeks, they were able to travel with a strong match day squad for a game they had high hopes of winning.

Although they started in confident spirits, Seaham were rocked by an early score. The youthful hosts broke out of their 22 and a clever crossfield kick was launched over the top of the visitors defence. Right wing Stu Tisseman looked to have it covered but the ball took a horrible bounce over his head and into the arms of his opposite number, who scampered over for a try. The hosts prop landed a fine conversion from a challenging angle for a 7-0 lead.

Not to be outdone, Seahams forwards battered their way up the slope with James Ramshaw, Andy Hogwood and Mick Bland working the phases with shotgun bursts from the bases of rucks. Their pressure sucked in the hosts defence but they defended admirably, albeit not always legally, and held their visitors at bay for sustained periods.

Barnard Castles resolve was eventually broken in the 13th minute following another long sequence of possession that saw their forwards camped out on their line. James Ramshaw picked from the base of a ruck and was driven over for a try. Brad Greens conversion attempt drifted narrowly to the left but his side were right back in the game at 7-5.

The hosts stretched their lead on 22 minutes when Seaham were penalised for going off their feet at a ruck. The hosts prop lined up an ambitious kick 45 metres out and coolly launched it between the sticks to make it 10-5. Seaham now knew that they would have to keep penalties inside their own half to an absolute minimum.

Seahams pack continued to monopolise much of the tight play and second row Kelvin Bowdrey showed a remarkable turn of pace when he broke free and set off on a blistering run with centres Graham Aldus and Jon Dye in support. Unfortunately, he was brought to the ground in the hosts 22 and his fellow forwards went off their feet and conceded a penalty.

Seaham continued their offensive as the interval loomed but a combination of handling errors and a very tight Barnard Castle defence stifled their ambition.

Half Time: Barnard Castle (13) SEAHAM (5)

As play resumed with Seaham playing downfield, their raucous supporters were in optimistic spirits and sensed that the game was Seahams to either win or throw away. Early incidents within the opening four minutes suggested that their team may well have opted for the latter.

The hosts lively backs danced their way through some sloppy tackling only for Graham Aldus to make a trademark big hit and retrieve possession. Full back Andrew Baxter had the perfect opportunity to clear his lines but somehow chose to pass infield and inadvertently played his team into trouble. Fly half Jack McCallum was held up and his forwards steamed in and conceded a penalty to the right of the posts. Fortunately for Seaham, the hosts prop blew arguably his easiest kick of the day to the left of the posts and Seaham were let out of jail.

Their good fortune was to be short-lived however and they conceded a further score within two minutes of being let off the hook. From the base of a ruck, scrum half Brad Green attempted to box kick downfield but his kick was badly sliced and fell into the hands of the Barnard Castle fly half on the edge of the Seaham 22. The ball was then distributed wide and their winger crossed in the left corner. Once again, their props radar was impeccable as he slotted an awkward conversion from the touchline. 20-5.

Seaham broke downfield in determined spirits with Andy Hogwood and James Ramshaw leading from the front and battering the opposition back with their bruising runs. The ball was recycled and passed out by Jack McCallum. Jon Dye sucked in the hosts defence and sent a clever pass for Dean Armstrong. The speedy right winger was tackled but crossed the line. However, referee Mike Williams adjudged a double movement and awarded Barnard Castle a penalty and an opportunity to clear their lines.

Ben Bell thought hed scored his first try of the season on 54 minutes when he was driven over the line by Dan Cahill and Mr Williams raised his arm to signal a try. However, the line in question was five metres short and, following a quick exchange of humour, play resumed.

With the visitors knocking so heavily on the door, a score looked inevitable. James Ramshaw, Dan Cahill and Mick Bland all came agonisingly close but it was Andy Hogwood who got Seahams scoreboard rolling again when he took a tap penalty 5 metres out and muscled his way over the line to make it 20-10. The big second row had less luck with his conversion attempt as he blew it wide to the left. Still, Seaham were buoyed.

Jon Dye had an opportunity to get Seaham to within a bonus point when his side was awarded a 64th minute penalty in front of the posts after Barnard Castle had transgressed. However, the player-coach struck the posts and the ball landed in the hosts hands.

Dye made amends for his poor kick twelve minutes later when he showed the more characteristic side of his game and made a mockery of the opposition defence. He then offloaded to fellow centre Graham Aldus and he raced over in the left corner for a well deserved try to make it 20-15. Green missed the conversion but the Harbour looked good for a bonus point at least.

The chances of salvaging something out of the game were obliterated when they gave away possession and Barnard Castle raced over in the right corner for a try with the last play of the game. The conversion was missed but all hope was gone as Mr Williams blew for time.

Seaham were left to ponder what might have been had they possessed a quality kicker. At least their players and supporters were able to inject some much needed revenue and boost the local economy with a night of Level 1 drinking

Full Time: Barnard Castle (25) SEAHAM (15)

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