THERE is an old saying that goes ‘If it can go wrong, it will’, and that was certainly the case for Blyth at Consett on Saturday.
Blyth went into the game buoyant from last week’s fine win against Gosforth, and after an intense warm-up the signs were promising they could carry their momentum into this game. Unfortunately that’s where the positives stopped.
Consett came out of the blocks firing and it was clear they were determined to reverse last season’s crushing defeat from Blyth.
After only two minutes Consett set up good ball from their forwards and it was shipped along the backs for the winger to score in the corner, with the difficult conversion missing.
Blyth’s forwards more than matched the Consett pack early on and they got the upper hand giving the Blyth backs ample ball, but countless missed passes, dropped balls and poor decision making deprived Blyth of any clear scoring opportunities.
Blyth were often frantic in their play and they needed someone to take the game by the scruff of the neck and show some composure.
But they failed to do so, and whilst they were still in the game they continued to waste good possession throughout the half.
Full-back Andy Sutherland traded two penalties with the Consett fly-half, with both sides being penalised for poor discipline, making the score 11-6 to Consett.
The real turning point came right on half-time when Blyth were awarded a penalty under the posts, and instead of slotting over the simple kick, a quick tap penalty was taken and after a terrible pass did not reach winger Andy Barker, the ball was scooped up by the Consett winger to race the length of the pitch to score under the posts with the simple conversion slotted over.
Suddenly Blyth had to start the second half 17-6 down, and that suicidal play virtually sealed the win for Consett.
The second half continued in the same vein for Blyth with wasted possession the order of the day and Consett, encouraged by their gifted try, turning the screw with a further two tries and a penalty to Blyth’s solitary try.
That try was scored by young debutant Johnny Howe, who had an encouraging start to life in the first XV.
In fairness, Blyth’s forwards had a fairly good game with their lineouts improving massively from the last few weeks and prop and man of the match Michael Barber and hooker Martin Stephenson putting in tireless performances.
On a day where it was difficult to point out any positives, there was no doubt the effort was there by Blyth, they tried 100 per cent until the final whistle, but the execution was simply nonexistent.
This weekend’s fixture against Medicals will be crucial with Blyth determined to regain their momentum against a team who are improving week by week.
Injured skipper and interim coach Tony Smithson said after Saturday’s defeat: “Today was one of those days which every team has once in a season where everything that could go wrong did.
“The key is to put this behind us and train well this week moving into the Medicals fixture fully focused on the task in hand.
“We know what we’re capable of and bouncing back from this performance will show our determination to succeed.”