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Tynedale take the Tyneside derby honours
AFTER a ding-dong battle which Tynedale won 25-24 at home to Blaydon both clubs will have to consider whether there would be any merit in more derbies if they were one-sided.
All National League clubs have been urged to attend a meeting at Burton-on-Trent in two weeks to discuss reorganisation of the leagues.
Although Blaydon finished third in National One last season they have started with two defeats and secretary Jim Huxley said: "The strongest teams are all in the south. The RFU want to change things so there's less travelling and up here we'll be the poor relations.
"We fought hard for years to get where we are, but if the changes go ahead we'll be grouped with teams a level below us."
Fears that Blaydon have already lost some of last season's momentum receded as they fought back from an early 13-0 deficit at Tynedale. But it needed a converted try in the last minute by winger Tom Jeffery to earn them a bonus point.
Former Newcastle Falcons lock Andy Buist was outstanding in the first half for Tynedale, who have also benefited from the return of the Beasley brothers.
Grant scored a try and earned the man of the match award while fly half Gavin kicked four penalties.
The other try was finished off by winger Hamish Smales after Buist galloped out of defence and skipper Jack Harrison took it on.
Blaydon scored all their points while down to 14 men. With flanker Rob Bell in the sin bin Andrew Baggett kicked an early second half penalty then converted a try by hooker Fran Entressengle.
The second yellow card went to No 8 Jason Smithson after 67 minutes, allowing Tynedale to kick their final penalty and give themselves a vital cushion.
Replacement prop James Hallam drove over for Blaydon, who won the try count 3-2 when Jeffery scored and Baggett added his third conversion.
A hat-trick by full back Henry Robinson enabled Darlington Mowden Park to romp to a 39-12 win at Hull in National Two North.
Skipper Cameron Mitchell scored an early try following good handling, but Hull replied after 25 minutes through a catch-and-drive.
What had looked like being a tight game took a decisive shift in the next 15 minutes as Robinson scored twice and Gavin Painter added the conversions for a 21-5 interval lead.
Painter landed a penalty then flanker Rory Duff finished off a line-out drive and although Hull replied with a converted try Robinson completed his treble in the 71st minute. Painter converted and added another penalty.
Billingham won 21-20 at home to Morley in National Three North, scoring tries through Craig Shepherd, Mike Evans and Peter Evans, who added two conversions.
Ex-Durham City lock Peter Dent and former Mowden Park centre James Clark scored for Westoe in a 15-9 home win against Percy Park. Matthew Mellish added the goal points.
West Hartlepool came back from 3-0 down to win 36-15 at home to Morpeth in North One East, helped by the visitors having two men sin-binned in the first half.
Fly half Stu Waites dummied his way over for the first of the six tries, three of which he converted, while all the visitors' points came from penalties.
Jonny Boatman and fellow back row man Sam Miller scored from scrums and the bonus point came just before the break when Scott Butcher ran back a clearance kick. Waites and Luke Mallinson took it on before an inside pass sent Andrew Cheslin over.
The fifth try was similar with Mallinson running it back before Butcher raced home from 25 metres, then Jay Corbett and Michael Hogan set up the final try for Ryan Painter.
Middlesbrough were beaten 36-8 at Wheatley Hills and lost fly half Peter Wright at half-time with a wrist injury suffered while tackling the big home No 8.
Simon Moore kicked an early penalty, but Wheatley Hills were much stronger up front and scored four tries for a 29-3 half-time lead.
Boro had seen little of the ball but they got on top after the interval and lock Phil Harland scored after 72 minutes, only for the hosts to add a converted try at the death.
After a dreadful season last year Durham City were delighted with a
40-12 home win against Darlington in Durham and Northumberland One.
The visitors had the edge in the tight, but after repelling early pressure City ran the ball well and scored three quick tries from their own half.
Arnie Stevenson put fellow centre Will Kirtley through for the first, then Chris Metcalfe got the first of his brace.
Paddy Dias, who has converted from centre to No 8, scored the third and with Paul Armstrong converting them all City led 21-0.
Darlington were weakened by the absence of centre Andy Pugh and after Stevenson broke through the middle to score Ro Smith also touched down.
Darlington piled on the pressure in the last 20 minutes and scored twice from close range. Lock Chris Anderson finished a catch-and-drive while winger Connor Esler scored on the short side.
Stockton came back from 13-0 down after five minutes to beat Gateshead 42-30, despite losing goal-kicker Jeremy Good with a back injury and coach Paul Lee with a hamstring strain.
Good converted prop Andy Bailes' try and added a penalty before full back Dan Phinn took over and kicked two more penalties to give Stockton the lead.
Tries by replacement back Anthony Healey and Phinn made it 28-16 at half time. Flanker Tom Nelson scored the bonus point try and skipper Phil Douglas galloped over, Phinn adding both conversions.
After winning their opening game following promotion Bishop Auckland suffered a double setback with a 27-10 defeat at Blyth and news that they will have five points deducted for fielding an unregistered player against Ponteland.
The player in question had been with the club for two years but was making his first team debut and although the forms had been sent in the registration had not been completed.
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