PRIOR to kick-off in Blyth RFC and Stocksfield RFC’s game at Plessey Road on Saturday, both sides observed a minute’s silence in memory of Colin White, the former England, Northumberland and Gosforth prop forward who died on Wednesday.
Mid-table Blyth turned up the heat on bottom club Prudhoe who were promoted last season, and have found it hard going in division two with only one win out of 13 games.
The home side made a positive start with the forwards providing hooker Martin Stephenson with a try after only two minutes.
Prudhoe missed a penalty and were beginning to struggle as second row Nick Fraser touched down with left wing Graeme Sutherland converting for a 12-0 lead with only 13 minutes played.
Blyth were now in full cry and scored a brilliant try involving a magnificent elusive run from full-back Craig Broadhead helped on by centre Scott Robinson with Sutherland scoring in the left hand corner.
Another excellent move resulted in a try for Robinson with Sutherland converting for a half-time lead of 24-0 and the game in danger of becoming a rout.
Within minutes of a re-start a Sutherland penalty stretched the lead to 27-0.
Blyth coach Darren Cunningham brought on subs Karl Rose and Dean Langdown for Craig Turnbull and Andy Dunn early enough for them to make a positive impression.
A try from No. 8 Wayne Davie put Blyth 32-0 ahead and the second row Karl Rose scored his first senior try with Davie adding his second minutes later.
At this stage 42-0, the game was beginning to die on its feet, but rallied by experienced centre Chris Russell, Prudhoe kept plugging away and were rewarded with a try from right wing Emmerson Brown which fly-half John Whitfield converted.
Blyth, by now re-enforced with Ryan Davison in place of Steve Long, were stung into retaliation with the forwards creating mayhem in the visitors defence, allowing Stephen to score his second try with fly-half Barry Smith converting for a 49-7 lead.
Prudhoe had played with spirit and sportsmanship despite being on the receiving end for much of the game, and they had the final say with a breakaway try from outside-centre Roger Stevenson which Whitfield converted for a final score of 49-14.
By scoring four tries or more (eight to be exact) Blyth gained an extra bonus point, but it was noticeable that only two were scored by backs who are experiencing a barren spell.
Blyth skipper Tony Smithson said: “We have not quite regained our pre-Christmas form, but there are glimpses of it; particularly in the first half and the forwards are playing very well as a unit.”
On Saturday Blyth face a tricky game away at Barnard Castle, kick-off 2.15pm.