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Home > News > Chester le Street 31 - Seaham 10
Your News Chester le Street 31 - Seaham 10

Seaham travelled to Chester-le-Street in bright and optimistic spirits but, in truth, they were never really in the hunt and were made to play second fiddle to their hosts in just about every department for most of the game.

The game got off to a shaky start for the Harbour when they failed to collect a catch from the kick off and allowed the Chester pack to bully them off the ball. Following several phases of play the hosts rolled into the Seaham 22 and were awared a penalty when flanker Michael Bland failed to roll away following a tackle. The kick was slotted and Seaham trailed 3-0 with just two minutes gone. The errant back rower repeated his offence after 16 minutes and Chester's fly half doubled the lead with a monstrous strike from near the halfway line.

Although the game was played in a reasonably amicable manner throughout the opening stages, referee Kevin Lund was forced to stop the clock after 22 minutes to restore order following a bout of handbags between Seaham prop Gary Lynn and the Chester no 8. Although the incident didn't appear to warrant any serious sanction, both players were issued with a yellow card.

Chester-le-Street appeared to adapt better to the reduced numbers and registered the first try of the day three minutes later when their second row was given the ball in the Seaham 22 and barreled his way past several half-hearted tackles before touching down under the posts. The added conversion took the lead to 13-0.

Chester stretched their lead on the half hour when, once again, extremely poor tackling by the Seaham defence allowed them to virtually stroll over in the left corner for their second try of the day. The conversion drifted to the left of the posts so the score remained 18-0. At this point in the game, it was apparent that Seaham weren't in the least bit interested in contesting the game. The lead was stretched to 21-0 three minutes before the break when, once again, Seaham were a sorry second at the breakdown and conceded a penalty. Fortunately, this was to be the last score of the half.

Half Time: Chester-le-Street (21) SEAHAM (0)

After suffering in the set pieces, Seaham made a half-time substitution with Scott Anderson replacing Steve Meir in the front row. The youngster took his place at loose head prop, allowing Dave Drinkwater to move to tight head. The ploy appeared to pay dividends as Seaham gained parity in the scrums for the first time in the game and appeared to inject a little purpose into their play. However, although they began to stamp their authority on the game, their momentum was stifled by handling errors and poor game sense.

Seaham's efforts were thwarted time and again as Chester soaked up their pressure and countered well. This tactic paid dividends on the hour when the hosts attacked down the middle of the field with some crisp handling and purposeful support play. They eventually worked an overlap on the left wing and crossed the line in spite of a brave despairing effort by Grant Dixon. The conversion was missed so the scorline remained 26-0.

Conceding a third try seemed to wake Seaham up and spur them into action. Following a spell of sustained pressure, Seaham's pack, led from the front by grizzled veteran Steve Sanderson, bullied their way into the Chester 22 and rolled a maul right to the try line. Veteran prop Dave Drinkwater was on hand to pick the ball up from the base and bulldoze his way over the line for his third try of the season. Unfortunately, fly half Dave Davison wasn't quite so fortunate with his conversion attempt so the scoreline remained 26-5 in the hosts' favour.

However, Seaham's resurgence was stifled after 70 minutes when Chester-le-Street registered their fourth try of the day to surge 31-5 ahead. Still, the Harbour retained their pressure from the restart and took play deep into the hosts' territory. They almost registered their second try of the day when Stu Tisseman forced his way over the line but he was held up well by strong defence and a touchdown was thwarted. Fortunately, young Chris Bland was quick up in support to touch down from the next phase of play and take Seaham into double figures. Once again, Dave Davison missed the conversion so the score remained 31-10 in the hosts' favour.

Seaham were left to rue their anonymous efforts throughout the first hour of the game as they ran out of time and discovered that their eventual efforts were too little, too late. Perhaps if they are to retain their footing in the top half of the league table, they will need to play for the full 80 minutes rather than giving the opposition a 60 minute head start.

Full Time: Chester-le-Street (31) SEAHAM (10)

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