Blyth maintain solid start to the season

BLYTH RFC continued their good start to the season with a win on one of their bogey grounds when overcoming a useful Barnard Castle side on Saturday.

By scoring five tries Blyth also collected a bonus point.

An even opening ten minutes saw Blyth with a territorial advantage but no points, which was rectified by fly-half Gregg Dawson with a penalty.

Within five minutes Blyth led 15-0 as they hit a purple patch.

After being within a whisker of scoring, foiled by a knock-on, a flowing move by the backs put right wing Andy Barker over the line with Dawson converting.

Almost immediately another slick passing move involving Dawson, scrum-half Tony Smithson and centres James Bostock and Graeme Sutherland put left wing Oliver Clark in for a try.

The visitors were now well in control and a surging run from second row Wayne Dobson was halted just short of the line.

The home side were defending strongly, and with some robust exchanges there was a five-minute delay while several players received treatment.

Blyth prop Nick Fraser suffered a leg injury and was replaced by Stu Browne.

Blyth went further ahead with a try from full-back Steve Hall, which Dawson converted for a 22-0 lead.

Both sides missed penalties before, as the interval approached, Barnard got on the score sheet with a try from centre Craig Dominick, which fly-half Kiak Thompson converted to make the interval score 22-7 to Blyth.

Early in the second half Andy Sutherland made his debut for Blyth, replacing James Bostock at centre.

Barnard Castle pressure eventually paid off with a try from second row Chris Dodds, which Thompson converted, putting the home side within touching distance at 14-22.

Blyth seemed to have lost their way, which was not helped by having to play for 20 minutes with 14 men having incurred two yellow cards.

Blyth used their final replacement bringing on Karl Rose for back row Steven Long.

Midway through the half Blyth regained their rhythm and another excellent handling move put Barker in for a try and a 27-14 lead.

An excellent team performance from Blyth was rounded off by Barker with his third try to complete the scoring at 32-14.

Skipper Tony Smithson said, “All the hard pre-season work with our new coaches Dave Massie and Richard Calvert is beginning to pay off, let’s hope we can steer clear of injuries.”

On Saturday Winlaton Vulcans visit Plessey Road and with both clubs unbeaten it should be a cracking match.