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Home > News > Seghill 3 - Seaham 18
Your News Seghill 3 - Seaham 18

Although they hadnt won there for a great many years, Seaham travelled to Welfare Park in buoyant spirits; on the back of a crucial win at Sedgefield the previous week. They were missing Henry Brace, Andy Hogwood and James Ramshaw, but were still able to field a strong and well balanced squad.

The hosts started well and carried the ball with good purpose. Their big heavy pack ensured a fair share of possession and territory but Seaham defended stubbornly and battled their way back into the game. Full back Glen Hardie fielded several high kicks inside his own 22 and ran the ball up the flanks at a searing pace; causing mayhem in the opposition defence and causing them to rethink their tactics.

Seghill continued to work their way downfield and asked serious questions of the Seaham defence. Eventually their pressure paid off on 17 minutes when referee Ian Hardcastle spotted Grant Dixon handling in a ruck and awarded a penalty. The kick was converted by the hosts full back for a 3-0 lead.

Going a score behind seemed to shake Seaham into action. Chris Bland began to throw his weight about in the tight exchanges and skipper Ben Bell seemed to nail everything that moved. They pushed forward into the Seghill 22 and were awarded a penalty on 24 minutes when John Dixon was obstructed. Graeme Steel kicked for goal and levelled the scores.

Seghill had an opportunity to regain the lead two minutes later when they had the visitors pinned in their 22 and were asking serious questions of their defence. The referee issued several warnings for Seaham to stay onside but eventually lost patience and awarded a penalty. However, what looked to be an easy kick drifted right of the posts so the visitors were let off the hook.

Seaham seemed to step up a gear from the restart. Fly half Jack McCallum hit some clever running angles and unleashed pinpoint accurate passes to centres John Dixon and Graham Aldus, who began to punch holes in the oppositions defensive lines. Their pressure eventually paid off in the 36th minute when Glen Hardie was tackled late and a penalty was awarded. Brad Green kicked for touch and put Seaham five metres from the Seghill try line. From the resulting lineout, Grant Dixon got up well to take a fine catch and the ball was passed out. Aldus then bulldozed his way through the midfield and looked certain to score his third try in two games, only to be tackled a metre short. However, out of contact he popped a deft pass to flanker Mark Wilson, who crashed over the line for his second try of the season. Greens conversion consolidated the lead and Seaham looked in control at last.

The hosts refused to lay back and restarted with a purpose. Their fly half was a constant menace and kept the visitors guessing with several scissor moves in midfield. One such move created a gap in the Harbour defence and Seghill bombed down the right wing. Unfortunately, prop Gary Lynn caught his man with an outstretched arm and was yellow carded for his troubles. This left the visitors with the arduous task of containing their determined hosts for a ten minute period whilst at a numerical disadvantage.

Half Time: Seghill (3) SEAHAM (10)

Although a man down for the opening nine minutes of the second half, the visitors. Didnt appear rattled and continued to attack down the flanks. In-form winger Joey Jones found himself in space and headed for the try line but was closed down a couple of metres short.

Promising young hooker Dean Armstrong had enjoyed a solid first half but was substituted for Andrew Baxter. Player-coach Jon Dye also entered the fray at Chris Blands expense. He took up his usual position in the centres and John Dixon moved to second row.

With their pack working hard, Seaham bullied their way downfield and deep into Seghill territory as they look to build on their lead. Seghill looked to break out of their 22 but a thumping tackle by Grant Dixon shunted his man back and caused the hosts to transgress and concede a penalty. Ben Bell pointed towards the posts and Green extended the lead to 13-3 with 54 minutes gone.

With the luxury of a ten-point advantage, Seaham looked to spin the ball and rack up some more points. They worked their way deep into Seghill territory and forced them to defend desperately. Their pressure paid off when Grant Dixon charged down an attempted clearance and skipper Bell pounced on the ball to claim a crucial first try of the season on 61 minutes. Steels conversion attempt was fired just wide from an awkward angle so the score remained 18-3 to Seaham.

The final quarter was played out at a frantic pace with both sides looking to nail vital scores as the hosts looked to battle their way back into the game and the visitors went in search of further tries to gain a valuable bonus point. However, the only thing Seaham were to gain from the final ten minutes was a second yellow card when Ben Bell paid the price for collapsing a rolling maul in the 74th minute. Replacement hooker Andrew Baxter ended up at the bottom of a pile of bodies and was injured as a result of this indiscretion, so Dan Cahill took to the field for the final six minutes of the game.

Seaham rode the storm and defended well throughout this turbulent period; even finding opportunities to counter-attack when they had the ball and, when the final whistle came, celebrated their first win at Seghill for a generation.

Full Time: Seghill (3) SEAHAM (18)

Seaham chairman Neil Roseberry was delighted with the outcome but keen to exercise his caution...

I thought our lads demonstrated great team spirit today, in spite of being a man down for 16 minutes of the game due to yellow cards. However, those who remained on the pitch did an excellent job to maintain their discipline and defend their lines to keep the opposition at bay.

They also showed great promise in attack and created chances that may well have been converted had it not been for a stubborn Seghill rearguard. Were enjoying happy times at the moment but dont wish to count our chickens too soon with seven league games remaining. A lot can happen in that time.

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