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Home > News > Seaham 17 - Washington 12
Your News Seaham 17 - Washington 12

Seaham hosted league newcomers Washington in gale force conditions at New Drive with both sides severely depleted by late cry-offs. The visitors arrived with a bare XV but showed a determined spirit that ought to see them well throughout the forthcoming season. Although conditions made flowing rugby a tough proposition, both sides made a concerted effort to contest the league points at stake.

The hosts got off to a lively start with their forwards keeping the ball tight in a stubborn effort to beat the disruptive wind blowing downfield. The Harbour pack drove up the bank with their back row trio of Bell, Wilson and Cahill to the fore. Experienced half backs Henry Brace and Dave Davison snapped at their heels and ensured that 10-man rugby was the order of the day.

Seaham's efforts were eventually rewarded in the 9th minute when their fowards set up a ruck near the visitors' line and Dave Drinkwater picked up and was driven over the line by Bell and Brace for his second try of the season. Dave Davison added the conversion for a 7-0 lead.

The lead was held until the 28th minute when the youthful Washington fly half led the entire Seaham defence a merry dance before touching down under the posts. However, his attempted conversion somehow passed under the crossbar so the hosts maintained a narrow 7-5 advantage. The fly half had better luck with a conversion three minutes later after some very poor tackling allowed Washington in for a converted try and a 12-7 lead.

Both sides had several opportunities to keep the scoreboard moving but the constant wind spoiled numerous attempts at running rugby and led to handling mistakes. With no further highlights, Mr Hazard blew for the interval.

Half time: SEAHAM (7) Washington (12).

Seaham made several substitutions at the break with big Scott Anderson replacing Dave Drinkwater in the front row and Henry Brace making way for the promising Grant Dixon at scrum half. Ben Bell was also forced to leave the field with a hip injury and was replaced by the ever versatile Steve Meir. Drinkwater had just about made himself comfortable on the sideline when he had to return to the fray in the 43rd minute as a blood replacement for Stu Barrass, who had acquired a gash on his temple.

Five minutes later Seaham's hard work paid off when they were awarded a scrum five metres from the Washington line. The ball was heeled by Baxter and Cahill picked up and fed Grant Dixon, who in turn fed Dave Davison. The veteran fly half then chinked over for a try to tie the scores. With the howling wind blowing the conversion wide, the scores remained 12-12.

Stu Barrass returned to the field in time for the restart with his head wound bandaged and made a significant contribution to the next score in the 57th minute when he took a tap penalty inside the Washington 22 and drove forward. He was well tackled but managed to recycle the ball and Mark Wilson was first on hand to form a ruck. The ball was then picked up and driven over the line by Grant Dixon for his second try of the season. The resulting conversion was missed by Davison but everything was to play for with the Harbour 17-12 in front.

Seaham were reduced to 14 men on the hour when Steve Wilkinson was late-tackled by one of the Washington props and took exception. A bout of handbags broke out and Barrass ran in and made his heavy presence felt; much to the referee's displeasure, who felt he had no choice but to issue a yellow card.

By the time the lumbering second row returned to the fray, both sides were starting to tire and handling errors were becoming much more obvious. Washington attempted to run the ball from their half but the hosts kept pinning them back with some shrewd kicks. With second row Michael Bland dominating the lineouts and taking the opposition ball at will, it was well worth his back colleagues kicking for touch.

Eventually, Mr Hazard blew for full time to herald Seaham's third win from their first four league fixtures. The hosts were simply happy to return to winning ways following their misfortunes the previous two weeks.

Full time: SEAHAM (17) Washington (12).

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