Solid display earns Blyth a bonus point

A SOLID performance from Blyth RFC saw off a strong Bishop Auckland side who eventually buckled under the home side’s second half pressure.

Fortunately the wind had dropped and with the Plessey Road pitch taking a stud, conditions were ideal.

Blyth made a late change with Liam Heslop replacing Andy Dunn on the right wing.

Blyth looked strong in the early exchanges but Bishops gradually forced their way into the game.

It was 20 minutes before there was a clear cut attempt at getting points on the board when visiting fly-half Tom Burn missed a penalty.Five minutes later Blyth winger Graeme Sutherland opened their account with a well struck penalty.

Stung into immediate retaliation, Bishops went ahead with a try from scrum-half Steve Colwell, which Burn converted.

Another penalty from Sutherland saw the first half end with Blyth trailing 6-7.

It was obvious that Blyth needed to step up a gear and they responded quickly with an excellent try, centre Scott Robinson with an incisive run putting in Liam Heslop. Sutherland converted and Blyth were back in front at 13-7.

Stand-in coach Ryan Davison put on Dean Langdown and Karl Rose for Steve Long and Stu Browne and shortly afterwards Blyth No. 8 Wayne Davie crashed through a static looking Bishops defence for a try converted by Sutherland for a 20-7 lead.

Blyth made the mistake of relaxing and the visitors took immediate advantage with an unconverted try by winger Andy Cassidy.

With the score now 20-12 the game was far from over and the visitors resorted to roughing up their opponents but Blyth kept their discipline despite losing Robinson to a controversial tackle, Davison putting himself on as replacement.

Keeping their cool Blyth turned the screw and were rewarded with two late tries from Davie, his second, and scrum-half Tony Smithson, who led the side admirably throughout.

The final score was 30-12 but by running in four tries Blyth added a bonus point to their four for a win.

Commenting after the game, team manager Roger Phillips said: “It was a rounded performance with everyone contributing to see off very obdurate opponents.

“With three wins out of four since the big freeze, Blyth are back on the right track.”

This Saturday Blyth attempt to do the double over near neighbours Whitley Bay Rockcliff with a home game. Kick-off is at 2.15pm.