SEGHILL RFC began the new season in Durham and Northumberland division three with a comprehensive 34-0 bonus point victory at Welfare Park on Saturday.
The home side welcomed Hartlepool BBOB in an identical opening day fixture to last season, which saw them take a narrow 17-14 victory.
A similar scoreline saw BBOB victorious at home, so the spectators were expecting another close match.
For the opening 18 minutes it seemed this would be the case, as both sides struggled to create an opening in the atrocious conditions – heavy rain having begun just before the start.
But then the Seghill pack began to dominate and drive the visitors back.
When Hartlepool conceded a penalty on 25 minutes, Jake Armstrong put the home side in front.
As the first half drew to a close, Seghill gave away a penalty in front of their posts and visiting fly-half David Hetherington looked certain to level the scores, but he sliced his kick wide.
However, the Seghill restart was kicked back towards their try line, and as the defence tried to hold Hartlepool out, David Norris was yellow carded for coming in from the side.
As the visitors looked to keep Seghill’s lead to three points with the half-time whistle due, they were penalised again in their own 22.
Paul Latham took a quick tap and go, passed the ball off to Scott Fuller who drove on, holding off three tacklers to score. Armstrong added the conversion to give the home side a 10-0 lead at the break.
As the second half got under way, a superb Seghill team move resulted in a try from captain James Goodwin, converted by Armstrong.
From then on most of the attacking play came from Seghill, and another try seemed only a matter of time.
Another Armstrong penalty increasd the lead, but BBOB defended well, and on 65 minutes broke through the centre. A long pass out to the wing looked to have opened up play, but Nick Heard’s flying tackle took the runner in to touch.
From the line out, BBOB passed the ball around looking for a way through the home defence. Latham intercepted in his own 22 and ran the length of the field for a try under the posts, which was converted by Dan Slater.
Strong driving by the pack saw Fuller go over for his second try of the game to secure the bonus point for Seghill, and Slater converted to make it 34-0.
Seghill sat back for the final few minutes but BBOB couldn’t find a way through and Seghill could enjoy their position at the top of the league – hoping that is where they will be come the end of the season.