BLYTH RFC’s 50th anniversary season could not have had a better start as they thrashed newly promoted Whitby with an impressive display of attacking rugby at Plessey Road.
Blyth hit the ground running and were ahead in five minutes when centre James Bostock put right wing Andy Barker in for a try converted by fly-half Gregg Dawson for a 7-0 lead.
Whitby were on the back foot and were soon further behind to a Dawson try which he converted for a 14-0 lead.
It was 20 minutes before Whitby managed to get out of their own half, but this was short lived as Blyth soon had them back under the cosh, with further tries coming from full-back Steve Hall, number 8 Wayne Davie and skipper and scrum-half Tony Smithson, with Dawson converting two for a commanding interval lead of 33-0.
When back row Steve Long crossed the line with Dawson converting within two minutes of the restart, it looked as if Whitby might be facing a cricket score.
Some harsh words must have been spoken during the interval as to their credit Whitby began to take the game to Blyth who had an opportunity to show their defensive qualities, which were not found wanting.
Eventually Whitby got on the score board through centre Oliver Roberts, who converted his own try to cut the margin to 45-7.
Rain fell throughout making the ball slippery, leading to unforced errors on both sides.
Blyth’s new coaching duo of Dave Massie and Richard Calvert used all three replacements: Oliver Clark replacing Chris Grey on the wing, Stu Browne taking over at prop from Nick Fraser and Karl Rose coming on for Wayne Dobson in the second row.
The fresh legs made a difference as it was obvious during the last quarter that Whitby had shot their bolt and it had become a case of ’how many’.
In the event there were further tries from Hall and Rose with Dawson converting both for a final score of 59-7, and with nine tries scored Blyth picked up a bonus point.
Some of Blyth’s play, particularly in the first half, was exhilarating to watch with fast interchanges and some picture tries at the end of splendid passing moves.
The team played as a unit with the tries being shared by seven players. with the kicking of Dawson exemplary with seven conversions out of nine in unhelpful conditions.
In addition, Dobson had an excellent debut at second row in a pack that enjoyed a splendid afternoon with some of their driving outstanding.
Head coach Dave Massie speaking after the game was satisfied with the result and blamed the errors mainly on the conditions.
On Saturday Blyth face a stiff test away to Barnard Castle with a 3pm kick-off.
The coach will depart from the club at 11.30am prompt.