Tiring Tynedale sink deep into the relegation mire
Published at 07:37, Wednesday, 16 October 2013
DESPITE crashing to their fourth defeat in five games, it wasn’t all bad news for Tynedale on Saturday.
They were in with a shout for much of the game against Blackheath, at a ground where they have never won in five previous visits, and they only faded in the final quarter
And after capitulating wretchedly against Wharfedale the previous week, the pack gave a good account of itself, generally dominating up front.
There were concerns before the kick off about the absence through injury of regular half back pairing Matty Outson and Gavin Beasley.
But like the wizard he is, Tynedale’s Mr Fixit John Shotton waved his magic wand and found a more than useful number nine in Greg Illingworth.
A Bedford lad, Illingworth is studying at Newcastle University, and fitted in well with his busy and sniping style of play.
He linked up well with fellow youngster Craig Willis at fly half to give a glimmer of hope for the future.
There was also a debut for Robert Parker, son of Tynedale all-time great Richard.
However, unlike his famous father, Robert played at full back rather than in the engine room of the front row.
Andy Buist came back from injury to add stability to the pack, and there was also a welcome return for his first outing of the season for front rower Stephen Ridley.
Tynedale again excelled at the line-out, with Andy Buist (twice) and the excellent Graeme Dunn (once) taking the ball against the throw.
As has been their wont this season, Tynedale got off to a superb start, scoring straight from the kick off.
Blackheath kicked off, and were immediately penalised for crossing, with only 13 seconds on the clock.
Young Willis steadied his names with the kick via the upright for 3-0.
He had two more long range penalty chances in the next eight minutes, but both sailed wide.
It was therefore with some relief that Blackheath fly half David Marshall landed an equalising penalty on 12 minutes after a scrum was collapsed.
Marshall struck again three minutes later when Tynedale were offside, but Willis pulled Tynedale level with his second successful kick on 22 minutes when Blackheath failed to roll away from a tackle.
Blackheath were growing in confidence and a chip from the 10 metre line looked dangerous before Tynedale won the race to touch down.
The first try followed soon after though, when Blackheath built up a head of steam, recycling the ball more than 30 times before a huge long pass found Chris O’Neill wide out, and he darted in to score.
Marshall converted well from the touch line to take the score to 16-6 with 32 minutes gone.
Blackheath had their tails up, and attacked again in numbers, but on 36 minutes, quick thinking Tynedale centre Ben Frankland intercepted a pass on his own 22, and ran three quarters the length of the field to touch down under the sticks for Willis to bring the scores level.
It stayed that way until half time and Tynedale could be well satisfied with the day so far.
Tynedale were down to 14 men after less than a minute of the second half, when winger Dan Rundle was yellow carded for an accidental trip on Blackheath’s Mike Canty.
Blackheath made their extra man count, kicking the penalty to touch, and then working a well-oiled catch and drive from the line out for outside centre Markus Burcham to score.
The kick failed, but Tynedale were trailing 18-13.
But instead of crumbling, they regrouped, and pinned Blackheath on their own line for a series of five metre scrums.
Tynedale should have scored as they got a nudge on towards the line, but number eight Stuart Johnson picked up fractionally early and the momentum was lost,
However, a beautifully weighted kick to the corner from Willis forced Blackheath to concede another five-metre scrum, and this time, they kept up the pressure for 19-year-old loose-head prop Sam White to claim his first senior try.
Willis’s conversion attempt again hit the post, but this time the ball came back on the wrong side, and the scores were again tied at 18-18.
The game was briefly interrupted when referee Richard Warburton pulled a muscle in his leg, handing his whistle to assistant Glen O’Hara.
Blackheath were soon back in front, when a good attacking spell sent winger Geoff Griffiths in under the sticks.
Marshall converted and then landed a penalty to give Blackheath a ten-point cushion at 28-18 with 20 minutes left.
Willis had gone off by now, to give Kristian Borthwick a run out at fly half, and the coach’s son responded well to the challenge.
The Cumbrian hoisted a high ball to the corner which was gathered by winger Sep Visser, who sent in skipper Jack Harrison for the try on 66 minutes.
Borthwick’s conversion attempt came back off the post, but Tynedale were in with a sniff of a bonus point at 28-23 down.
However, Tynedale crucially went down to 14 men again on 71 minutes, when Johnson was yellow carded for coming in at the side of a maul.
From the resulting line-out, Burcham went in for his second try, which Marshall converted.
Tynedale still refused to give up, and managed to get over the try line, but failed to ground the ball.
Visser was man of the match for Tynedale.
Published by http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk
This week in... 1950Friday, December 15, 1950....
THREE watercolour paintings donated by Queen Mary were auctioned off to raise money for a new Darby and Joan club in Hexham.
A site had already been bought, but a further £6,000 was needed to run the club for the elderly.
The auction, opened by Viscountess Allendale, saw the paintings raise over £8 for the fund.