SEGHILL RFC were not in league action on Saturday, so they made a short trip over the Tyne for a friendly match against Gateshead IV.
They made several changes to the team that lost heavily at North Shields last weekend, bringing in Rob Miller for Dan Slater at scrum-half, Scotty Fuller replaced the injured Gavin Burgess at flanker and Rick Monaghan moved to prop as replacement for Paul Quick.
The opening period was tightly contested. Although Seghill had most of the possession, Gateshead defended well and kept the visitors from having any clear chances.
However, after 25 minutes Seghill produced a wonderful, all round team move.
First a strong drive by the pack, then some fine cross field passing from the backs, before the ball was slotted back infield for Scotty Fuller to dive over.
Jake Armstrong was in fine kicking form, despite the blustery conditions, and converted all of Seghill’s tries on the day.
Seghill thought they had their second try moments later as Fuller scrambled over the line after a powerful run from James Goodwin, but the ball had been knocked forward.
The next Seghill attack did produce another try, when Rick Monaghan surged through the Gateshead defence, before unselfishly passing to Fuller who scored his second.
Just before half-time Seghill increased their lead when the speed of Paul Latham on the wing proved to be too much for Gateshead.
Immediately after the restart, Seghill turned over the ball. Matthew Sherman broke free down the centre and as he was tackled Nick Heard cut in from the wing to receive Sherman’s pass and he scored under the posts.
Each Seghill attack looked unstoppable as the speed and strength of the side seemed to be too much for Gateshead, and when Fuller darted through the defence, he offloaded to Craig Wood to score a try on his birthday.
As Seghill continued to dominate, Fuller topped an outstanding performance with another run that cut through the defence and set up a try for Goodwin.
Goodwin almost got his second with the next move, but when his run was stopped, the pack drove him on, but the ball was knocked on.
However, Seghill were not going to be stopped and they turned the ball over and Goodwin’s solo run took him from one wing to a try in the opposite corner.
Perhaps Seghill lost a little concentration with such a healthy lead, and for the first time in the match the home side pushed them back into their own 22.
After some strong tackling on their own try line, Seghill’s defence was finally breached when John Convry dived over for Gateshead’s first try.
From the restart, Seghill produced some lovely passing rugby, and Dan Avis, on as a replacement for Sherman, ran in Seghill’s eighth try.
In the closing moments Goodwin tried a chip forward, the ball was intercepted by Paul Harvey who ran in under the posts. The try was converted by Jason Cowan.
Although Seghill were disappointed to concede two tries, overall, it was an outstanding team performance.
Meanwhile, at Welfare Park, Seghill Deputies were also in fine form, recording a 49-0 victory over Jarrovians.