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Home > News > Barnard Castle 44 - Seaham 12
Your News Barnard Castle 44 - Seaham 12

Not for the first time this season, Seahams ranks were severely compromised by what is becoming a consistent plague of cry-offs and no-shows. As a result they were forced to travel with a threadbare squad of 17; one player less than league regulations permit for Level 8 games.

Consequently, several heads were already down when Seaham kicked off and Jack McCallums drop kick failed to travel the required 10 metres. The hosts big pack attacked from the resulting scrum and made good ground with some strong rolling mauls. They eventually crossed Seahams try line but were held up by some well organised counter rucking and the visitors were eventually awarded a penalty.

Second row Andy Hogwood kicked for touch but fluffed his attempt and the Ashington backs caught the ball and tore upfield. Some clever recycling and running angles created an overlap and they registered the first points of the day with a try in the right corner. With three minutes gone, and the wide conversion missed, Seaham trailed 5-0.

Ashington doubled their lead on 11 minutes when they drew in the Seaham defence, created an overlap, and their left winger sprinted over in the corner. Once again, the hosts centre missed the conversion from a difficult angle so the lead remained 10 points.

Speedy full back Glen Hardie gave a hint of his capabilities shortly afterwards when he took a high catch in his own 22 and set off a searing run. Although his blistering pace saw him outstrip several defenders, he eventually ran out of space and was shepherded into touch.

Seahams good work was blown out of the water in the 19th minute when a handling error by Brad Green at the base of a scrum saw his opposite number steal the ball and spray it left. The hosts passed the ball neatly and, in spite of a brave tackle by centre Andrew Baxter, the ball was recycled and passed right for Ashingtons big second row to barge over for a third try. A third conversion attempt was missed so the score remained 15-0 to the hosts.

Following the conversion, and after receiving lengthy treatment, Baxter left the field with a nasty mouth injury after one of his few remaining teeth had dislodged and penetrated his cheek. He was replaced by Lee Phillips.

Seaham continued to defend stubbornly for long periods and even countered well with flanker James Ramshaw, Kurt Miller, Jonny Martin and fellow pack members carrying strongly. They reached halfway with excellent rucking and support play, and were looking for quick ball to chase, but a box kick attempt by Brad Green was charged down. The ball fell into Ashington hands and they charged up the field for a bonus point try under the posts. The conversion was slotted and the hosts were now 22-0 ahead.

Two minutes before the interval, Seaham conceded a penalty in front of their posts after Brad Greens loose kick had fallen into their hands. In his attempt to retrieve the ball, Glen Hardie was spotted handling in a ruck and an added penalty stretched the lead to 25-0.

Not to be outdone, Seaham tore downfield in determined spirits and pounded the Ashington try line. The hosts defended well but conceded a penalty. Andy Hogwood took a quick tap but was tackled short. Mark Wilson picked from the base of a ruck and headed for the line but he too was held short. Big prop Kamran Zamir made it third time lucky when he grasped possession and drove over the line for his first try in a Seaham shirt. Hardies conversion was successful and the half-time whistle sounded.

Half Time: Barnard Castle (25) SEAHAM (7)

The third quarter was eagerly contested by both teams as they looked to seize the game by the scruff of the neck. Seahams pack battered away at their bigger adversaries and looked to be making good ground as they ran them around the field. They also unleashed their backs on numerous occasions with Graeme Steel and Ryan Giblin making good progress; only to be held up by a well-disciplined Ashington defence.

Just as their mobile pack appeared to be getting the upper hand, all went wrong for the Harbour Lads. Just before the hour, their discipline let them down as they defended a ruck. Veteran flanker Steve Meir made a tackle and cynically attempted to push the ball back with his hand in the process. Unfortunately, match referee John Bell had an unobstructed view of the incident and had no choice but to issue a yellow card to Mr Meir for his indiscretion.

From the resulting penalty, Ashington took a tap penalty and, following several phases, drove over for a try to cross the 30-point mark. In spite of their numerical shortfall, Seaham defended stubbornly over the next ten minutes and only conceded a solitary score. This was in the 66th minute, when a handling error allowed the Ashington left wing to cross for a converted try and take the lead to 37-7.

Ashington looked certain to score another try on 71 minutes when their fly half took advantage of a gap in Seahams defence and tore for the line. However, Glen Hardie came from nowhere and held him up to prevent a touchdown. Unfortunately for Seaham, the hosts influential number 8 picked the ball up from the resulting scrum and drove over for a converted try.

Seaham were to make the final impact on the scoreboard when Brad Green saw a gap in the Ashington defence and kicked way behind it. He won the race for the ball and after some clever recycling by their forwards, John Dixon drove over for a well-deserved try. Hardies conversion sailed wide from an awkward angle but at least his team had finished the game on a high note.

Full Time: Barnard Castle (44) SEAHAM (12)

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