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Home > News > Gateshead 3 XV 38 - Seaham 7
Your News Gateshead 3 XV 38 - Seaham 7

Seaham took a rare opportunity to blood several young players for their friendly fixture at Gateshead. Recent signings Neil Howard and James Rochester both started at prop and Daniel Rochester was given an outing in the centres alongside the experienced, albeit out of position, Mark Wilson. Promising youngster Chris Bland occupied the left wing with Andrew Short on the opposite side. The half backs had a youthful edge to them with Grant Dixon partnered by the speedy Glen Hardie.

The visitors got off to a determined start and the first ten minutes was played at a frantic pace; even though the pitch was heavy. Gateshead looked to hit Seaham down the left wing and stern defence was the order of the day. Their efforts looked to be paying dividends initially but the relentless work by the hosts resluted in two tries within a short space of each other around the 15 minute mark; both were converted from the left touchline and the Harbour were suddenly 14-0 down.

Seaham appeared to settle shortly afterwards and made some good inroads through their forwards, with pack leader Stu Barrass leading from the front and veteran flanker Steve Meir in the thick of everything. Debutant props Neil Howard and James Rochester stood solid in the scrums against an experienced front row and offered a lot of promise for the future. Ben Bell and Michael Bland were as dominant as ever in the lineouts so a good supply of ball was made available Glen Hardie seemed to thrive in his first outing at fly half and made some excellent line breaks with his blistering pace. He also demonstrated some astute kicking skills which should improve with each game.

In spite of the many positives in Seaham's game, they conceded a try with virtually the last play of the half when the home pack rolled a maul for several phases before touching down in the left corner. This time the conversion drifted drifted wide so Seaham turned around trailing by 19 unanswered points.

Half Time: Gateshead III (19) SEAHAM (0)

Gary Lynn, Matt Jackson and Dave Drinkwater returned to the front row following the interval and Steve Wilkinson made way in the back row to allow Andy Elliott his first run out of the season. Their added experience ensured that the home pack was put under more sustained pressure and Seaham gained good ground. They took the game to the opposition for a prolonged period, with Chris Bland making some strong bursts down the left wing, but Gateshead absorbed the pressure then eventually countered up the opposite wing. Some clever interplay amongst their backs eventually saw the ball passed to their experienced left winger. He was forced towards the touchline but chipped a deft kick behind the covering defence and won the race to touch down for the fourth try of the day. The conversion took the lead to 26-0.

Seaham conceded a fifth try shortly afterwards to trail by 31 points but, rather than drop their heads, they perked up and looked to register scores of their own. In the 54th minute, scrum half Grant Dixon fed Glen Hardie and he scorched through a gap and headed for the line. With only the full back in his way, he executed a neat sidestep and left him flat-footed before crossing for his first try of the season. He complemented his try with a conversion that went in off the post to reduce the arrears to 31-7.

Alas, the hosts were to have the last say and, following a period of neat interplay between their forwards and backs, touched down for a sixth try of the day. The conversion was slotted with the last kick of the game. Although the result may suggest otherwise, the game showed much promise for the future and a lot of positives emerged.

Final Score: Gateshead III (38) SEAHAM (7)

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