Blaydon’s victory piles pressure on Ealing

BLAYDON made it four wins in a row as they sit third in the National One standings, now just six points behind leaders Ealing who they host this Saturday.

BLAYDON made it four wins in a row as they sit third in the National One standings, now just six points behind leaders Ealing who they host this Saturday.

The table-topping Londoners were beaten 31-25 at home by Old Albanians, while Blaydon continued their pursuit with a 24-8 win at Sedgeley Park.

They had to battle back from 5-3 down after a low-key opening half produced only an Andrew Bagett penalty, but three unanswered tries were enough as Matt Hall, Frazer Wilson and Nathan Bailey all crossed in a much-improved second-half display.

At the other end of the table, Tynedale lurched towards the relegation zone after a fifth successive defeat – this time a 37-17 home loss to Loughborough Students.

Tyne had led 12-11 at the interval thanks to tries from Hamish Smales and Ollie Steadman, but a fly-half display of real quality from ex-Tynedale man Andrew Hall played a big part in pegging them back after the break.

The former RGS Schoolboy kicked three penalties and a pair of conversions as the students ran in a further four tries to leave Tynedale hovering dangerously close to the drop zone. It was the opposite story for Westoe in National Two North as the resurgent Shieldsmen recorded their third consecutive win to haul themselves out of the relegation zone.

Michael Potts' late try snatched a 19-18 home win against fellow strugglers Stockport after earlier scores from Oliver Cracknell and John Younghusband, although the hosts had to survive a late scare as replacement Richard Geary missed the target with an injury-time penalty.

Two tries from full-back Max Connon helped Darlington Mowden Park retain their grip on third place with a 40-22 home triumph over Otley, as they prepare for Saturday's trip to unbeaten leaders Stourbridge. Percy Park remain third in National Three North following their 21-19 victory at Burnage, while Alnwick extended their lead in Durham and Northumberland one to six points with a 22-20 win over Gosforth.

In women’s rugby, Newcastle's Sarah Hunter captained England's Women's team to a 23-13 victory over France in Esher.

The Heaton-born back-rower, who now plays her club rugby in the Midlands for Lichfield, was standing in as skipper with regular captain Katy McLean rested ahead of the three-test series against New Zealand which kicks off on November 23.

MARK SMITH

 

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