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Home > News > Seaham 24 - Newton Aycliffe 3
Your News Seaham 24 - Newton Aycliffe 3

Seaham played their final home game of the season against mid-table Newton Aycliffe. After a turbulent week in which they found out that their headquarters the Vane Tempest is to close its doors for good on April 5th, they managed to regroup and deliver the goods against their old rivals.

Seaham won the toss and decided to play uphill against the wind throughout the first half. They managed to keep the ball tight amongst their forwards, whereas Aycliffes fly half tried to unleash his speedy threequarters at every opportunity. The hosts had been enjoying a good amount of possession and spent a significant amount of time in the visitors half but were unable to capitalise. Aycliffe appeared happy to absorb the pressure and counter when the opportunity arose. They were awarded a penalty in the 17th minute when Stu Tisseman entered a ruck from the side and their fly half kicked the points for a 3-0 lead.

Aycliffe almost stretched their lead four minutes later when they broke down the right flank but some stern defence by Lee Phillips drove their winger into touch ten metres short of the line. This proved to be a turning point in the game as Seaham began to show confidence in their tackling capabilities with their back row of Steve Meir, Mark Wilson and John Dawson in the thick of everything.

Seaham took the lead in the 31st minute when some excellent mauling by Andrew Baxter and Dave Drinkwater turned possession over in their favour on the edge of the Aycliffe 22. Henry Brace popped a fine pass to Andy Hogwood and the big second row made good ground before then set up a ruck. Dave Davison then sneaked a clever pass out to John Dawson and he crossed in the corner for Seahams first points of the day. Davison conversion attempt was held up by the severe wind and fell short so the lead remained 5-3.

The hosts had further opportunities to extend their lead but handling errors, added to several instances of accidental offside, stifled their progress and referee David Hines blew for half time with Seaham enjoying a narrow 2-point advantage.

Half Time: SEAHAM (5) Newton Aycliffe (3)

Seaham came out of the blocks at pace during the early parts of the second half and their increased work rate produced instant dividends in the 42nd minute. Mark Wilson broke away from a maul and drew a tackler before offloading to Stu Tisseman. He jinked in and out before delivering a pass to centre partner Kelvin Bowdrey, who barged his way over the line near the left corner for his first try of the season. Dave Davisons remarkable touchline conversion sailed between the posts to stretch the lead to 12-3.

Seaham resumed the offensive from the restart and looked to extend their lead. The visitors competed well but were rocked by a brace of injuries within a short space of time when they lost their loose head prop and one of their second rows.

Seaham made a double substitution on 55 minutes with Neil Howard replacing young Matt Jackson at tight head prop and Glen Hardie coming on for Henry Brace. The youngster took his place on the wing, skipper John Dixon moved to fly half and Dave Davison moved forward to occupy the scrum half berth. Howard almost made an instant impact when he picked the ball up 10 metres out and drove for the line only for his foot to stray into touch agonisingly short of the line.

Another scoring opportunity went begging in the 66th minute when the home pack held the opposition up right on their own try line. The ball came back on Seahams side and Stu Tisseman scooped it up and fell over the line but spilled the ball in the process.

Two minutes later, one of the Newton Aycliffe backs attempted to run the ball from behind his posts but was caught by Seaham skipper John Dixon, who demonstrated great strength in holding and turning him for Andy Hogwood to come in and rip the ball before crossing the line and running under the posts for the third try of the day. Davisons second conversion of the day stretched the lead to 19-3 with eleven minutes remaining.

Seaham looked comfortable going into the closing stages but remained aware of the threat posed by Aycliffe on the counter. They made a 70th minute substitution when Chris Bland replaced Lee Phillips on the wing.

Several further opportunities were created as the hosts threatened to extend their lead. They were awarded several 5-metre scrums but were penalised for crooked feeds. They eventually got their fourth try of the day when Andrew Baxter capped a fine performance with his 3rd try of the season in the bottom right corner. Davisons conversion fell slightly short so the score remained 24-3 in Seahams favour.

Mr Hines blew for time shortly afterwards and Seaham celebrated the end of their losing streak with their first win since October.

Full Time: SEAHAM (24) Newton Aycliffe (3)

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