BLYTH RFC’s match at the Sportsfield against Prudhoe and Stocksfield on Saturday had to be abandoned midway through the second half when scrum-half Mike Brown suffered a serious neck injury after an awkward fall.
Because of the nature of the injury the player could not be moved from the pitch until the paramedics and ambulance arrived.
With the agreement of both captains referee Mike Barker abandoned the match with the result standing as more than 60 minutes had been played with Blyth leading 68-12.
Blyth got off to a cracking start and within 20 minutes centre Graeme Sutherland had completed a hat-trick of tries with captain and scrum-half Tony Smithson converting all three for a 21-0 lead.
It was very much one-way traffic with Blyth taking advantage of the slope and further tries from right wing Andy Barker and second row Nick Fraser with Smithson again on the mark with two conversions for a 35-0 lead.
Prudhoe kept plugging away and were rewarded with a try from centre Steve Rogan, converted by stand-off John Woodfield to make the interval score 7-35. Blyth were caught napping at the start of the second half and Prudhoe took advantage with a second try from Rogan to cut the lead to 12-35.
Blyth coach Kevin Barratt rang the changes with Martin Stephenson and Nick Fraser being replaced by Dean Langdown and Mike Barber and then replaced Stu Brown with himself.
Despite playing uphill it was now a case of how many as Blyth began scoring tries almost at will.
Left wing Dave Herron, full-back Chris Grey (2) wing-forward Langdown and Smithson all crossed the line with Smithson converting four before missing the last one, making a total of seven out of eight.
At this point the injury to Brown brought the game to a premature end, which was perhaps a mercy to Prudhoe, as despite a plucky display they looked to be facing a cricket score.
Blyth duly picked up a bonus point (four tries or more) and remain in fifth position a point behind Consett.
On Saturday, April 16, Blyth travel to sixth placed Seaton Carew for their final league game of the season.
The news of Mike Brown, who was kept in overnight at Newcastle’s RVI, was he suffered no break and he was discharged on the Sunday.