Durham kicked off and after a couple of minutes regained possession, fly half Josh Bragman kicking to touch well into East Midlands’ territory.
East Midlands had quite a tall, heavy pack and used this to their advantage in the scrummages throughout the game.
Durham were repeatedly penalised at the scrums for practically the whole of the game by the referee.
The home team were awarded a penalty try due to Durham standing up in the scrum denying East Midlands a certain push over try (5 - 0), left wing Joe Daniel kicking the conversion (7 - 0).
Durham replied with a try by Blaydon’s Trevor Davidson, who had a cracking game (7 - 5), Bragman adding the extra points (7 - 0).
For the remainder of the first half both sides battled away looking for an opening, Durham defending very well, but at half time the score remained 7 all.
Shortly after the restart Veenendaal, the East Midlands’ full back intercepted a pass and raced away and scored their second try under the posts (12 - 7), which was converted by Daniel (14 - 7).
The visitors fought their way back into the game, skipper Callum McKenzie scoring a try under the posts (14 - 12), converted by Bragman (14 - 14).
East Midlands were awarded a second penalty try for another scrummage offence by Durham (19 - 14), Daniel adding the 2 points (21 - 14).
Davidson scored his second try wide out (21 - 19) , but this time Bragman’s kick missed the uprights..
Maama Molitika, the East Midlands’ No. 8 added the final try (26 - 19), Daniel’s kick at first looked as it was going wide, but the wind blew the ball through the posts (28 - 19).
East Midlands will now face Kent in the final at Twickenham next Saturday.
(By courtesy of John Davison)
DURHAM COUNTY SENIOR XV
15 Ryan Foreman (Hartlepool Rovers)
14 Fraser Wilson (Blaydon)
13 Callum McKenzie (Darlington Mowden Park ) CAPT.
12 Tom Bramwell (Blaydon)
11 Martin Hopley (Billingham)
10 Josh Bragman (Hull)
9 Danny Finny (Billingham)
1 Robert Morris (Blaydon)
2 Andrew Rollins (West Hartlepool)
3 Trevor Davidson (Blaydon)
4 Andy Wilson (Darlington Mowden Park)
5 Owen Bennett (West Hartlepool)
6 Talite Vaioleti (Darlington Mowden Park)
7 Jonny Teague (Leeds Beckett University)
8 Danny Dixon (Billingham)
16 Chris Woods (Horden)
Updated 09:06 - 25 May 2016 by Kevin Robinson
17 Tom Larder (Harrogate)
18 Alex Key (Horden)
19 Tom Johnson (Hartlepool Rovers)
20 Andrew Richardson (Blaydon)
21 Jack Hedley (Barnard Castle)
22 Tom Briggs (Billingham)