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Kibirige shines as Blaydon hit heights
BLAYDON moved up to third place in National One with 17- year-old winger Zach Kibirige among the scorers as they won 38-29 at home to promoted Old Albanians.
Blaydon scored after 45 seconds and quickly built a 21-0 lead, but as in last week’s win at Wharfedale a yellow card allowed their opponents back into it.
It was 26-5 at half-time but flanker Rob Bell, who scored the first two tries, was sinbinned five minutes after the break.
The visitors also changed their tactics as a series of high balls had full back Gavin Painter in difficulties and three tries brought the gap down to two points.
Once back to 15 men Blaydon took charge again and a long pass from replacement scrum half Andy Davies found Jason Smithson, who drew the full back and sent Kibirige racing over from 20 metres.
The Yarm School pupil looked very sharp on the few occasions he had the ball and also featured in a try by centre Charles Incledon.
No 8 Smithson was driven over for the bonus point try at the end of the first half and finished a catch-and-drive after 67 minutes, which effectively ended the visitors’ fightback, although they did score again near the end.
Depleted Tynedale shipped five tries in the last 17 minutes to lose 63-20 at Rosslyn Park after battling gamely to reduce a 28-3 deficit to 28-20.
Replacement George Cullen, an Ireland Under 20s player, scored Tynedale’s first try and also took over the goal-kicking from Matty Outson.
Flanker Ben Frankland also scored but after recovering from three yellow cards Rosslyn Park ran riot in the closing stages.
With Samoan international winger Lome Fa’atau scoring after five minutes on his debut, Westoe secured their first win of the season in National Two North.
Visitors Dudley Kingswinford had the chance to draw level by converting a lastminute try but the ball fell off the tee in the kicker’s run-up and his attempted drop goal was charged down, leaving the score on 34-32.
Tries by Jordan Carey and Graeme Haswell helped Westoe to a 20-12 half-time lead.
The visitors were level with 20 minutes left but back row duo Joe McKenzie and Oliver Cracknell scored for Westoe and Matt Mellish added the crucial conversions.
Billingham’s run of four wins in National Three North was ended by a 42-17 home defeat by second-placed Chester.
It is usually the brothers in the Billingham team who dominate, but Chester centre Lloyd Hayes, whose brother Rhys plays at fly half, was the star man. He scored all but five of the points with five tries and six conversions.
Struggling West Hartlepool gave Harrogate a scare before the leaders hung on to their 100 per cent record with a 24- 17 home win. Both teams scored three tries, but Stu Waites’ only successful kick was the last one of the game, when he converted a closerange try by lock Andrew Davies.
Adam Coates scored West’s other tries, firstly getting on the end of a jinking run from Waites inbetween two Harrogate penalties.
Winger James Audsley- Beck capitalised on West mistakes to score two for the hosts, his second stretching the half-time lead of 11-10.
Harrogate added a 40-metre penalty, but while Waites had been off target with two penalties he made a superb break which led to a period of strong pressure.
It ended in frustration when West were penalised on their own put-in at a five-metre scrum and Harrogate broke away to score the try which effectively sealed the match.
Middlesbrough remain fourth from the bottom in North One East after losing 25-10 at Sheffield, where they were on the wrong end of some strange refereeing decisions.
It was all penalties in the first half as the hosts built a 9- 3 lead and they added a fourth straight after the break before grabbing two tries in quick succession.
Back row replacement James Wardell scored for Boro, Jack Bircham adding the conversion before Sheffield landed their fifth penalty.
Things continue to look bleak for the bottom two as Durham City lost 59-17 at home to Beverley and Darlington went down 37-19 at home to Malton and Norton.
For the first time this season Darlington led at halftime, thanks partly to not having to field a makeshift back row.
Tom Wilkinson, Jim Carver and Oliver Randell ensured there were fewer gaps for the visitors to exploit.
But missed tackles in the backs proved costly in the last 20 minutes.
Winger Matthew Sowerby and hooker Rob Goddard scored Darlington’s tries with Mark Baldwin adding two conversions from the right touchline.
Stockton are now 13 points adrift in fourth after losing 13- 12 away to third-placed Gateshead.
Having fallen behind to an early converted try from a quickly-taken penalty and a further penalty moments later, Stockton clawed their way back through four Jeremy Good penalties.
But they again suffered from yellow cards and another Gateshead penalty sealed their victory.