DMPRFC 2nds 29 v 22 Blaydon Georgians
On a perfect day for running rugby, both sides did their bit to provide an entertaining game, which in the end was deservedly won by the hosts.
The home side were very energetic out of the blocks and a sustained assault on the Blaydon line was finished off by tight head, Dave Turner
, for a 5 - 0 lead on five minutes. Mowden remained on the front foot, but a series of missed chances prevented addition to the total, and they were to regret their failures when the visitors equalised on 21 minutes following a well-executed blindside move. Acting loose head, Chris Dodd
, who had a very influential game despite having to play the whole of it out of position, restored the home side's lead with a trademark storming run from the 22, and soon after, Turner bagged his second with an unstoppable burst on 35 minutes. Impressive fly-half, Jack Blakeney-Edwards
, added the extras, and the hosts appeared to be comfortable as half-time approached with the score at 17 - 5. Blaydon had other ideas, however, and with the home side again sleeping on the blindside, their speedy left winger strolled in for his second try. There was just time to restart the game, and as the home pack failed entirely to deal with a regulation kick, the ball appeared in the arms of the visiting winger once more with exactly the same outcome, as he completed a first half hat-trick. The last minute of the opening period somewhat transformed Mowden's half-time teamtalk, but emphasis was placed on doing the same things all over again in attack, even if a little more concentration would be needed in defence. The boys more or less managed to achieve this, and a solid start was rewarded when debutant hooker, Jordan Poole, latched onto the back of a strong line-out drive to add gloss to his man-of-the-match performance. Though the bonus point was now in the bag, the home side couldn't afford to relax with a lead of only 22 - 15, and they set about making the game safe by monopolising possession. On 68 minutes, the pressure finally told, and powerful second rower, Nathan Welsh
, crashed in from a quickly taken tap-penalty to increase the lead, with Blakeney-Edwards' conversion taking it out to 14 points at 29 - 15. This should have been enough, but a misplaced pass on 76 minutes gifted Blaydon's right winger a run-in, and suddenly alarm bells were ringing at 29 - 22. To the home side's credit, they closed out the remaining few plays without further alarm, and were good value for their victory.
This was a very good game played in the best of spirits, and although the home side deserved their win, no one at DMP could possibly begrudge Blaydon the two league points their efforts earned.