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Home > News > Blaydon 15 - Birmingham & Solihull 31
Your News Blaydon 15 - Birmingham & Solihull 31

Blaydon's unbeaten home record was in jeopardy from the 3rd minute onward with the writing well and truly on the wall by half-time, and despite a late flurry led by the mercurial Andrew Fenby they could have little complaint at the disappointing outcome.

One of only two professional outfits in the league, the Birmingham side had the upper hand in most departments, being particularly adept at closing down any Blaydon back with ball in hand, and the general consensus afterwards was that by a long way they were the strongest opposition seen at Crow Trees this season.

Their early try was a text book affair; high ball to the corner, good control at the 5 metre scrum, blindside break then back along the line, cut out pass and winger over in the other corner.

Mitch Culpin was the scorer, with fly-half Mark Woodrow off target with the conversion but then quickly successful with three penalty attempts. A missed tackle led to Cameron Mitchell storming down the centre to send in Robert Connolly, Woodrow again on target, and suddenly it was 0-21 and all going wrong for Blaydon.

A fourth Woodrow penalty early in the second half seemed to confirm that the visitors were cruising to victory but when their flanker Russell Earnshaw was sin-binned for an early tackle in front of his posts, possible grounds for a penalty try, the game at last swung a little to the home side.

The Blaydon forwards began to assert and after two short scrums the ball was whipped out to Fenby who went over in the corner. A revival was on and they were unlucky not to score when Martin Shaw cut through only to see his pass go to ground.

And then disaster in the form of an interception that saw Birmingham speed down to the other end for flanker Shaun Pammenter to storm in, Woodrow converting. It was game over at 5-31, but then Fenby took a hand to put a smile back on the faces of the unhappy home supporters.

With time running out the winger broke out of a tackle, crossed half-way, and was weaving his way through the 22 when stopped by an ankle tap, but prop Rob Kalbraier was in support to finish it off.

Birmingham restarted, but within the minute Fenby was away again from his own half to show a clean pair of heels to the opposition, and this time he made it all the way to register his thirteenth of the campaign.

A grandstand finish, and if Blaydon had kicked their two penalty and three conversion attempts it could have been a tighter scoreline, but overall there was little doubt that the spoils had gone to the better side.

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