Durham reach Under 20 final

DURHAM will face Surrey at Coventry on March 16 in the final of the Under 20s County Shield after beating Middlesex 45-10 at Billingham.

Two of the six tries were scored by Billingham players, centre Matthew Kirby and full back Elliott Husband, while Westoe’s Jordan Carey also crossed in amassing a personal tally of 20 points.

The fly half landed three downwind penalties from near halfway in the opening ten minutes and also kicked three conversions.

Durham dominated throughout, and played a fast, all-round game, complemented by solid defence. Already 9-0 up, Durham ran a penalty after 20 minutes and re-cycled the ball several times before moving it wide.

Carey and Kirby combined for the latter to race home.

The Middlesex hooker forced his way over from close range to finish off a series of drives, but Durham scored two tries in the last four minutes of the first half to extend the lead to 28-5. Powerful driving by the pack ended with a ruck on the line and hooker and skipper Tom Larder, of Darlington Mowden Park, drove over, then Husband burst through the middle to score under the posts from 35 metres.

Middlesex came more into it but rarely looked like breaching the home defence, and Durham scored three further tries.

Good interplay between forwards and backs from 40 metres out ended with replacement flanker Kieran Forbes breaking tackles to score, then winger Jack Gunn finished off a similar piece of excellent play.

Finally Carey broke cleanly from 15 metres out to score the last and convert to make it 45-5 before Middlesex scored the final try.

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