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Home > News > Seaham 5 - Guisborough 59
Your News Seaham 5 - Guisborough 59

League high-flyers Guisborough nailed their colours to the mast straight from the kick off and registered their first score within 40 seconds. The kick was neatly gathered by their second row and distributed along the threequarters. Following several phases, the ball was recycled and their centre crossed the line in the left corner and ran under the posts for a converted try. Most people in the crowd anticipated a large score from that moment on; bearing in mind the visitors' previous form, which had seen them average 74 points per match from their previous league outings.

Although they seemed set on racking up a cricket score, Guisborough's offensive effort was stifled by some stern Harbour defence; with John Dawson and Lee Phillips tackling like demons and causing numerous handling errors. Seaham's pack also looked to gain parity against their bigger and more athletic opponents and their determination earned them a fair share of possession. Alas, handling errors became their undoing as quality ball was spilled on numerous occasions. Stockton based referee Mark West was forced to penalise both sides for handling errors as the biting wind made fingertips numb and caused knock ons galore.

Seaham's first serious attack of the game came in the 21st minute when fly half Dave Davison made a fine break from his 22 and timed his pass to perfection. Left wing skipper John Dixon took the pass and set off on a powerful run that took him past two startled opponents. Unfortunately, he was shepherded into touch around 30 metres out and the momentum ended.

Seaham contested the breakdowns well but their poor discipline saw them penalised for some schoolboy errors; none more so than when Ben Bell entered a ruck from the side and conceded a penalty when the ball had already been turned over in his side's favour. Both sides had already stretched Mr West's patience to the limit by this point and, following multiple warnings each way, the hosts were the first to suffer after 29 minutes when prop Steve Topping was sin-binned for straying offside at a breakdown.

Although they were a man down, Seaham appeared to up their effort and take the game to their visitors. Their forwards - already deprived of the likes of Dave Drinkwater, Gary Lynn, Dan Cahill and Steve Sanderson - competed vigorously in all departments and made a mockery of their deficit. However, they lost another man on 32 minutes when second row Stu Barrass lost his composure and dropped his knee on a downed opponent when his side had already been awarded a penalty for a Guisborough offence. Mr West was left with no choice but to issue a yellow card and Seaham found themselves two men down with a huge mountain to climb. Seaham did well to compete in the game, all things considered, but their lively visitors took advantage of the extra men to register a further three tries and two conversions for a 26-point lead at the interval.

Half Time: SEAHAM (0) Guisborough (26)

Seaham kicked off downfield for the second half with great determination to make their mark on the game. Indeed, their efforts were rewarded when Michael Bland took a fine lineout catch in the Guisborough 22 and his forwards rumbled towards the try line. The visitors tried to stifle the drive but scrum half Henry Brace took control of the ball and dropped over the line for his first try of the season, and Seaham's first score of the day on 42 minutes. Dave Davison's conversion attempt fell short but at least Seaham were on the scoreboard at 26-5. Unfortunately for the veteran scrum half, he was concussed shortly after his score and replaced by Grant Dixon.

Young wing Glen Hardie demonstrated some blistering pace with a fine elusive run through the opposition midfield on the 48 minute mark but he ran out of space - and support - and the ball was turned over in the tackle. Although he found himself on the bottom of a ruck, the flame haired sprite still managed to get back well in defence and make an excellent tackle to prevent a certain try from the ensuing counter attack.

The hosts appeared to step up their game going into the final quarter of the game but the midfield pairing of Lee Phillips and Stu Tisseman made their presence felt with some big hits. Phillips' opposite man appeared to have been psyched out of the game by this point as if he expected a major impact each time the ball came his way. Still, the Guisborough tide kept coming in and, as their hosts ran out of steam, they took advantage and racked up a further five tries in the last 15 minutes with a further four conversions to finish the game at 59-5.

Although this sounded like a heavy defeat on paper, it seemed to exaggerate the pattern of play as the hosts didn't deserve to be on the end of such a large deficit. Both sets of supporters would attest to this. Guisborough's players, although gracious and dignified in vistory, looked a little disappointed with their points return but at least they knew they'd been in a game. However, the history books will only ever show the score but Seaham will be able to reflect positively on the game. Although they were always highly unlikely to register a victory, at least they earned their opponents' respect. If they can demonstrate a similar effort against lesser opposition than their high flying hosts, they can surely start heading back to happier times.

Full Time: SEAHAM (5) Guisborough (59)

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