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Home > News > Seaham 42 - Seaton Carew 15
Your News Seaham 42 - Seaton Carew 15

Although they had already lost James Ramshaw and Graeme Steel with working commitments and Graham Aldus with a swollen knee prior to the game, Seaham were given a major psychological boost with the return of prop Jonny Martin and big Chris Bland on the left wing.

An emotional pre-match chat by coach Johnny Whitehead had his players buzzing in the changing rooms and they channelled all of their energies into a frantic opening spell. Although the visitors looked intent on running the ball at the Seaham defence, the hosts put up a solid red and white wall and defended resolutely.

After a Carew attack had been stifled in the Seaham 22, Chris Bland chased up a long clearance and bundled his opposite winger into touch with a perfectly timed hit. From the resulting lineout Mick Bland took a fine catch and set up a rolling maul. Brad Green passed to Jack McCallum, who hit inside centre John Dixon with a flat pass, but the ball was spilled with the try line beckoning.

Although a solid Seaton Carew scrum enabled them the opportunity to clear their lines, Seaham kept up the intensity and took the game to their visitors. Their efforts were rewarded in the 5th minute when Carews scrum half strayed offside at a ruck 15 metres out to concede a penalty. Full back Glen Hardie duly stepped up and put his side 3-0 ahead.

Seahams back row of Grant Dixon, Ben Bell and Ryan Pink looked in devastating form and posed no end of problems for the visitors. Pink and Dixon ran through brick walls going forward and Bells floor work was simply peerless; every time a ball was fumbled he was down on it in an instant.

All three were involved in a move that led to the hosts stretching the lead in the 14th minute. The ball was carried from halfway to the edge of the Carew 22 then fine interplay between Jon Dye and John Dixon led to Brad Green crossing for his fifth try of the season. Hardies conversion made it 10-0.

Seaton Carew were on the scoreboard within two minutes when their left wing tore up the flank and looked certain to score, only to be stopped by a despairing ankle tap by Ben Bell. The visitors managed to steal the lineout and drive for the line. Seaham held them at bay but referee Mark Wise spotted an offence and awarded a penalty, which was converted to narrow the lead to seven points.

Seaham werent rattled by the score and battled back downfield. Pressure by their backs forced a knock-on. Kurt Miller heeled a quick strike and Jack McCallum worked a clever one-two with Brad Green before crossing under the posts for his tenth try of the season. Glen Hardies second conversion of the day made it 17-3.

The hosts looked threatening on the half-hour mark and a big drive by Pink and Andy Hogwood took them into the Carew 22. Mr Wise spotted one of the visitors infringing at the breakdown and had his arm out for a Seaham penalty; only to reverse it when he spotted Grant Dixon swinging for an opponent. Both captains were summoned and Dixon received his first yellow of the season.

Although the hosts braced themselves for a Carew backlash, it was they who were to enjoy the better of the scoring opportunities. In spite of being a man down, Seaham maintained a lively tempo and a spilled ball in midfield was pounced on by Pink and shipped left. John Dixon and McCallum sucked in the opposition defence before unleashing Jon Dye. He beat three defenders before crossing in the corner for the fourth time this season. The awkward angle made the conversion attempt difficult for Hardie and his effort drifted past the posts.

Unfortunately for Dye, his exertions aggravated an old calf injury and he was forced off the field for treatment in the 34th minute. Following a quick assessment, it was decided to substitute the player-coach and Andrew Short replaced him on the left wing, with Chris Bland moving infield to the centres.

Half Time: SEAHAM (22) Seaton Carew (3)

Seaton Carew came out of the blocks the brighter of the two teams for the second half and their efforts were rewarded on 43 minutes. Crisp handling earned them an overlap and their winger crossed in the corner for an unconverted try to reduce the arrears to 22-8.

Not to be outdone, the hosts were back on the scoreboard within five minutes. A strong drive by Grant Dixon was carried on by props Jonny Martin and Steve Meir as play worked steadily towards the visitors line. With a Seaham advantage signalled they decided to go for broke but were stifled and play was brought back for a penalty awarded when a Carew defender strayed offside. Ben Bell wisely opted for a kick at goal and Hardie obliged to extend the lead to 25-8.

Seahams lead was extended on 54 minutes after Mick Bland took a fine catch from Kurt Miller at a lineout and set up a rolling maul. Several phases of interplay between their forwards and backs once again saw them battering away at the Carew try line. Brad Green and Steve Meir both came desperately close to touching down, only to be stopped inches from the line each time. One of the visitors eventually strayed offside and skipper Bell once again pointed to the posts. Hardie nailed his third penalty of the day and Seaham were now twenty points clear.

Seaton Carew attempted to battle back into the game from the restart and strong carries from their big number 8 and open-side flanker earned them good ground. However, with the Seaham try line in sight, an ambitious pass was cleverly read and intercepted by Hardie and he hurtled the length of the field before touching down under the posts for a try he converted for 35-8. Seaham now had a try bonus point.

Although the visitors tried valiantly to get back into the game, Seaham stayed alert in defence and held their shape and discipline time and again. John Dixon wrestled the ball from his opposite man and charged from his own 22 into Carews before running out of space. He attempted to pass infield to the supporting Brad Green, but he was driven into touch.

Another strong run from Dixon in the 72nd minute had Carew clutching at straws and, with the try line in sight, he passed right to Rob Thornton. Unfortunately, the pass was adjudged slightly forward by Mr Wise and play was brought back for a Seaton Carew scrum.

As the game entered the final minutes, with five league points in the bag, Seaham kept pressing and were rewarded two minutes from time. Although the visitors were on the offensive, Jack McCallum seized a stray pass in midfield and hared 50 metres to touch down under the posts for try number five. Hardies fourth conversion of the day stretched the score to 42-8 in Seahams favour.

Seaton Carew were to have the last laugh however. Their never-say-die spirit was rewarded right at the death when their lively scrum half danced his way through several missed tackles before offloading to his open-side flanker. He capped a strong performance by touching down under the posts for a converted try to give his sides score an air of respectability.

Full Time: SEAHAM (42) Seaton Carew (15)

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