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Home > News > Seaham Over 35 24 - Seaham Under 35 5
Your News Seaham Over 35 24 - Seaham Under 35 5

Seaham settled into life at their new headquarters, Seaham Leisure Centre, this weekend with a pre-season friendly between their Over 35s and Under 35s. The venue and the fixture proved a big success as a good crowd gathered to watch a keenly contested game between two generations of Seaham teams; both loking to put one over on the other.

The game got off to a frantic start with both sides looking to batter their way through the defensive lines. The first score was registered on 8 minutes when the veterans' forward pack rumbled a rolling maul throughout the opposition's 22. With the line in sight, Sunderland guest Tony Irwin broke away and bundled his way over the line to register the ground's first try in a competitive match. Paul King slotted the conversion for a 7-0 lead.

The sprightly youngsters came out with all guns blazing from the restart and promising full back Glen Hardie had some scintillating runs only for luck to evade him. Chris Bland also made some good inroads but sterling defence from the veterans held them at bay. This pattern of play was held until the 27th minute when Tony Irwin once again crossed the whitewash after taking a tap penalty to stretch the lead. King wasn't quite so fortunate with his conversion attempt this time so the lead stayed at 12-0.

Both sides went at each other hammer and tongs as they looked to establish dominance but neither appeared willing to yield ground. Fly half Dave Davison was the main playmaker for the veterans and he kept his side going forward with a wily display of passing, kicking and sniping runs. Captain of the Under 35s, Grant Dixon, snapped at the heels of his forwards and ensured that they gave a good account of themselves against their more experienced elders. Once again, Seaham's lineout earned them a stream of quality possession with Ben Bell and Michael Bland ruling the roost whilst Stu Barrass marshalled his pack well.

Gary Lynn covered a lot of ground in attack and defence and made two big hits on Paul Price and Paul Scott. His third attempt at a big hit was thwarted just before the break when he ran into a brick wall named Steve Sanderson and was forced off the field with a nasty looking gash on his forehead; much to the amusement of the crowd. This proved to be the last major highlight of the opening 40 minutes.

Half time: Over 35s (12) Under 35s (0).

Johnny Whitehead came agonisingly close to stretching the lead shortly after the break when he chased up a clever cross kick by Dave Davison. He got fingertips to the ball but the attentions of full back Graeme Steel were enough to thwart the score and keep his side in the game. Shortly afterwards he was stopped in his tracks by a barnstorming Lee Phillips tackle when his attacking options looked dangerous.

The youngsters registered their first score of the day just after the hour when they hit the veterans on the counter attack. Big second row Kelvin Bowdrey intercepted a pass near the halfway line and showed a blistering turn of pace to leave the chasing defenders in his wake and touch down under the posts. This reduced the lead to 12-5. The conversion attempt by hooker Ben Cordiner (guesting from Stockton for the day) drew hoots of amusement from the crowd as it sailed under the bar.

The veterans appeared to finish strongest with Steve Wilkinson, Steve Topping and Andrew Baxter making some good runs. The pressure paid off in the 69th minute when their forwards worked several phases only to be held up just short of the try line. Several pick and drives ensued before the evergreen Dave Drinkwater eventually crossed the line and opened his try account for the season. Paul King's second successful conversion of the day took the score to 19-5.

Tony Irwin came close to nailing a hat trick in the 76th minute when he took the ball to within inches of the line only to be held up by a fine Lee Phillips tackle. However, the hard yards had been gained and Henry Brace was on hand to round off a fine scrum half display and notch his first score of the season. King's conversion drifted narrowly to the left of the posts so the score remained at 24-5.

Steve Topping came close to notching a fifth try of the day for the veterans in the final minute but he was kept at bay by a solid double hit by Graeme Steel and Michael Bland. This proved to be the last play and Ray Sutherland blew for time.

The bragging rights, and the inaugural presentation of the Charity Cup, went to the Over 35s and skipper Paul Price was delighted to receive the trophy. Skipper of the Under 35s, Grant Dixon, was magnanimous in defeat and acknowledged the efforts of his team mates. He noted that if Seaham players can play like this throughout the forthcoming season, things should be very interesting indeed.

Full time: Over 35s (24) Under 35s (5)

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