13/14 Wanderers. Blaydon Development 22 - 12 Wanderers

Blaydon started the game with 14 players as a couple of their team were late and elected to play without a blindside wing. Northern were able to early pressure because of this but due to lack of vision and composure the first score was by Blaydon on 16 minutes when they kicked a penalty against the run of play. Northern continued to dominate the set pieces but failed to create phases of play and instead tried to play off slow first phase ball which Blaydon’s spread defence was able to contain. Northern did have chances when breaks by left wing David Bloxham and right wing Anth Baird were not finished off and it took till the 36th minute for Northern to score when following a mazy run by right wing Anth Baird Northern were awarded a 5 m scrum and despite Blaydon having 15 players on the pitch they were unable to stop the Northern drive and scrum half Aneel Nana touched down for an unconverted try.Half time score: Northern Wanderers 5–Blaydon Development 3.
Northern were hit with a soft try within 2 minutes of the re-start when they allowed Blaydon to turn over the ball in midfield and set their centre away for a converted try on 42 minutes. Northern had the better of the game from this point but could not get any continuity and good opportunities were squandered by poor decision making and losing the ball in contact. One fine half break by left wing David Bloxham was stopped by a first class cover tackle from the Blaydon full back where he took out both the wing and Ian Douglas, Northern’s chief supporter on the day, who was up with play on the touchline. Northern eventually managed to move the ball from a good field position on the right of the pitch to a forward running at pace and prop Ian Brierley outstripped some of the defence only to be hauled down 5 metres short of the line. The ball was recycled and quickly spun out to fly half Spike Strang who darted through a gap and had the strength to touch down on 72 minutes. The try was calmly converted by forward replacement Ryan Moore who justified his claim that he once played fly half for the under 8s. At this stage Northern just had to retain possession and see the game out for a win but with 3 minutes remaining the ball was spun out behind the midfield from a Northern scrum inside the Blaydon half. The ball bounced around and the Blaydon chasing players were able to turn over possession. Northern then conceded a penalty and Blaydon kicked the ball out for a line out close to the Northern line. Blaydon made a mess of the line and Northern were awarded a scrum on 5 metres but gave away a penalty for striking early. From the tap the big Blaydon prop powered over for an unconverted try which gave them a 3 point lead. From the re-start Blaydon put the ball back into the Northern 22 for a line out which was the last play of the game. Northern won the line out but instead of kicking the ball out for the bonus point, they bravely (foolishly?) tried to run it and knocked on in midfield for a Blaydon player to pick up and score a converted try right on time. Final score Northern Wanderers 12 – Blaydon Development 22.

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