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Late frustration as Blaydon are held
OVER AND OUT: Darlington celebrate after Ross Doneghan (on floor) scores their second try against Stourbridge
BLAYDON stretched their unbeaten run to nine games, but had to settle for their second successive away draw when a touchline conversion went in off a post at Blackheath.
The home kicker had previously landed one out of four, but his success in the third minute of injury time tied the scores at 20-20.
Blaydon dropped two places in National One, but will expect to win this week at home to promoted Worthing, despite being stretched in the backs.
Tom Grimes joined fellow centre Tom Bramwell on the casualty list, while Zach Kibirige and Sean Brown are expected to be required for cup duty by Newcastle Falcons next weekend.
Brown scorched in for the opening try after being set up by Kibirige as Blaydon camped in the home half for the first 27 minutes.
But Blackheath scored on their first two incursions into visiting territory to lead 10-5 at half-time, then found themselves under the cosh again.
Centre Tom Banks went through the middle to score then Jason Smithson finished a catch-and-drive, converted by Andrew Baggett. Penalties were exchanged and Blaydon led 20-13, but Baggett was sinbinned for off-side with five minutes left and they were unable to hold out.
Tynedale ended their run of seven defeats with a 40-29 win at home to the one club below them, Hull Ionians.
Gavin Beasley converted all five tries, the first of which came from former England Saxons flanker Andy Saull, on loan from Newcastle Falcons.
It was quickly followed by winger Sepp Visser and centre Chris Harris racing over for a 21-3 lead before the visiting forwards led a fightback.
Although home scrum half Greg Illingworth showed great pace to score, the gap came down to 28-22 before Visser’s second was swiftly followed by a fine try from full back Matty Outson.
Westoe and Billingham both suffered one-point home defeats in National Three North and with Percy Park losing 39-6 at Stockport all three North-East clubs are on 26 points, just above the danger zone.
The last kick of the game consigned Westoe to a 28-27 defeat by Morley after leading 20-0 at half-time.
A breakaway try by Andrew Lawson was followed by a Nathan Horsfall try and Matthew Mellish kicked both conversions and two penalties.
Morley began their fightback with a penalty and try but an individual effort by James Clark looked to have made the game safe for Westoe.
The visitors scored two more tries, however, before adding the last-gasp penalty.
Billingham were sunk by the experienced former Orrell and Macclesfield fly half Ross Winney, whose second drop goal gave Burnage a 21-20 win, despite losing the trycount 4-2.
Middlesbrough continued to put their poor start behind them as they moved up to eighth in North One East with a gritty performance in a 30-17 home win against Driffield.
They barely touched the ball in the first ten minutes and trailed 3-0, but then hooker Ashley Kearney drove over from a line-out.
Lock James Wardle picked up and forced his way over following a scrum and Simon Moore, a late call-up at centre, added the conversion and a penalty for a 15-3 interval lead.
On the resumption full back Adam Nolson was put away for a try, but although Moore kicked another penalty Driffield came back with two tries to trail only 23-17.
Moore retired and fly half Matthew Todd resumed the kicking duties, converting the final try by Peter Wright, which made certain of victory.
West Hartlepool lost 12-10 at Pocklington after leading 12-0 inside ten minutes through tries by Colin Cheslin and Stu Waites, who added a conversion.
Despite yellow cards for the Boatman brothers, Jon and Dan, plus Adam Coates, West led until the 73rd minute, when the hosts scored their only try. Waites had two late chances to win it, but both penalty attempts were just wide.
Guisborough went down 26-14 at Gosforth and Darlington lost 51-36 at Hartlepool Rovers, for whom skipper and No 8 Andrew Dring scored three of their seven tries.
For the second successive week centre Sam Hardy scored two for Darlington, but although their catch-anddrive also produced three tries, two of them for Kevin Gilroy, the Rovers pack generally had the edge.
As Darlington came under pressure after reducing the gap to 27-22 shortly after halftime they had four men sinbinned.
They slipped into fourth place behind Durham City, who won 25-17 at Consett.
Stockton won 37-14 against Ponteland as the young players who came in to cover for their unavailable elders played their part.
There were three tries for props with Mark Conway grabbing two and Stu Barrass one, while skipper Steven Taylor and winger Simon Crozier also touched down. Jeremy Good added three conversions and two penalties.
- Brother and sister Mike and Megan Ellery both scored four tries at the Dubai Sevens, where England’s men finished fourth and the women won their plate competition.
The men lost the third place play-off 17-14 to New Zealand after beating Wales Wales 33-12 in the quarter-final before losing 26-12 to South Africa.
Fiji, 26-21 winners over England in the pool stages, went on to lift the title by beating South Africa 29-17 in the final.
The women lost 19-12 in their quarter-final against Australia, but in the plate they hauled themselves back from 10-0 down to beat the USA 12-10 then saw off Spain 17-10 to lift the trophy. Megan Ellery, who plays for Mowden Sharks, scored twice against Spain.
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