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Home > News > Seaham 12 - Whitby 22
Your News Seaham 12 - Whitby 22

Seaham got off to a flying start against their visitors and enjoyed a monopoly of possession courtesy of their rolling mauls which were excellently orchestrated by pack leader Dave Drinkwater. The pressure paid off in the sixth minute when referee Alan Temple spotted one of the Whitby flankers straying offside and awarded a penalty. Seasoned fly half Dave Davison stepped up to take the kick but it drifted to the left of the posts.

The Harbour pack resumed their dominance from the estart but were unable to convert their possession into points. Whitby appeared happy to sit back and soak up the pressure and counter attack when opportunities arose. One such opportunity present itself in the 11th minute when their right wing was given the ball and set loose. He then proceeded to make a mockery of the Seaham defence and danced his way through numerous missed tackles before touching down in the bottom right corner. The conversion was missed but the visitors were ahead by 5-0.

Seaham weren't about to sit back and let another result go against the pattern of play and resumed with vigour. Half backs Henry Brace and Dave Davison broke away from a scrum and the ball was passed to skipper John Dixon. He tore up the left wing and, following some excellent interplay with Ben Bell and Gary Lynn, retrieved the ball and hared over the line for his eighth try of the season. The ball was touched down under the posts and easily converted by Davison to take the lead at 7-5.

Possession was shared evenly for the next ten minutes with both sides looking to gain ascendency with contrasting styles of play. Seaham kept the ball tight amongst their dominant pack whereas the visitors looked to ship it out wide amongst their youthful threequarters. Whitby's blindside flanker made a devastating run down the centre of the home defence before being nailed by a thumping Lee Phillips tackle. However, he was somehow still able to offload the ball to his scrum half who nipped over for a converted try. Whitby were once again ahead at 12-7.

Seaham resumed the offensive from the restart but were unable to capitalise on their ample possession and Whitby continued to counter. Although they had plenty of opportunities to register further points, handling errors and poor decision making at times stifled the Harbour Lads' efforts. One positive feature of Seaham's play was their lineout, with Ben Bell and Michael Bland ruling the roost and providing good ball for scrum half Henry Brace. Dave Davison (pictured above) also used his wealth of experience to keep his team moving forward with some excellent box kicks but the luck simply wasn't going Seaham's way.

The hosts suffered a sickening blow five minutes before the break when they conceded a third try. Some poor tackling once again allowed Whitby in for a converted try and, after having enjoyed a good old percentage of the play, Seaham found themselves staring at a 12-point deficit going into the break.

Half Time: SEAHAM (7) Whitby (19)

Seaham made a substitution at the interval with powerful prop Scott Anderson making way for Joe Hall. The veteran hooker took his place in the middle of the front row and Gary Lynn moved to tight head prop. Play resumed a followed a similar pattern to the opening half with Seaham attacking and their visitors soaking up the pressure and countering. Whitby looked dangerous on the break and their loosehead prop made some good ground up the centre of the field before running into Gary Lynn, whose colossal hit not only stopped him in his tracks but drove him backwards as well. Whitby recycled well and shipped the ball to their youthful left wing but he failed to release in the tackle and was penalised. Seaham then made their second substitution of the day when Dan Cahill replaced Andy Hogwood.

Seaham began to distribute the ball out amongst their youthful backline with Grant Dixon (playing out of position from his accustomed scrum half berth) enjoying some good runs down the right wing. Their centre pairing of Gareth Hawkins and Lee Phillips also combined well. Phillips made some scything runs through the opposition midfield and came deserately close to scoring on three occasions, only to be denied by some excellent defending.

Whitby were reduced to 14 men on 69 minutes when their influential outside centre left the field for treatment. Mark Wilson then emerged from the base of a ruck and burst his way over the try line but Mr Temple had spotted a previous infringement and brought play back for a Whitby penalty. The visitors cleared their lines but Ben Bell (pictured above) jumped well to steal the resulting lineout and enable his side to renew their offensive. Several phases later the ball was spun left to John Dixon and he managed to cross the line for his second try of the day - and ninth of the season - to put Seaham within touching distance at 19-12. Unfortunately, the touchline conversion was slightly out of Davison's range but at least his team were in with a shout.

Seaham looked to reduce the deficit and emerge from the match with something but they were pinned back in their half by some clever kicking. A handling error by one of the visitors presented Seaham with a scrum near their 10-metre line but Whitby stole a rare nudge and forced the hosts' scrum backwards. Mr Temple then spotted a Seaham infringement and blew for a Whitby penalty. The visitors wisely decided to put the score beyond the hosts' reach within three minutes remaining and kicked a penalty to go 22-12 ahead. A sickener for Seaham after so much possession.

Although they finished the game in a flurry, Seaham were left to rue their missed opportunities as they finished the game fruitless for the second consecutive week. Another defeat snatched from the jaws of victory.

Final Score: SEAHAM (12) Whitby (22)

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