Guisborough ran riot away at Sedgefield on Saturday, scoring 78 points to the home side’s five.

The hosts kicked off and were given an early opportunity to open the scoring, when awarded a penalty 35 metres from the posts. However, in difficult conditions, the kick sailed wide to the left of the posts.

Instead of touching the ball down for a 22 metre re-start, Guisborough ran the ball out of defence. Matthew Flint, Rob Leggott and Michael Henderson broke through tackles to take play into the Sedgefield half. Gareth Lodge powered further forward and towards the home team whitewash, before recycled ball went through the hands of Joe Whyman and Jack Robinson to Mark Ferguson, who dived over in the left corner to score.

Continuing to play the majority of the opening period in Sedgefield territory, a brace of penalties awarded to the visitors brought further pressure to the home side.

From the latter of the infringements, Guisborough elected to take a scrum. The ball was won and Whyman released Robinson, who broke through the defence to score. Moving the ball well in hand, Guisborough confidently broke out of their defensive area following a penalty. Robinson took play to the half-way line, before Ferguson took over. Evading tackles along the left-hand touchline, he had the strength and speed to touch down in the corner.

The visitors had a spell of defensive work to do as Sedgefield moved into the final third of the pitch, following a series of penalties awarded in their favour. However, strong tackling kept the home team out and eventually led to a penalty being awarded to Guisborough. This was quickly taken by Shields, who sprinted forward before linking up with Robinson. The captain moved into Sedgefield territory and then brought Cosgrove into play, who passed to the supporting Shields, allowing him to score in the right-hand corner.

A moment of indiscipline cost Sedgefield dearly, as one of their players was shown a yellow card. A penalty was awarded to Guisborough that was kicked to touch, five metres from the opposition whitewash. A catch and drive from the line-out moved forward and Connor McFarland was on hand at the base of the maul to score.

From the re-start Michael McDougall took possession and passed to Lodge. The prop forward bashed his way up to halfway, before a neat inside pass to Shields allowed the winger to sprint clear and score under the posts. The score brought the first half to an end with the scoreboard reading: Sedgefield 0 points, Guisborough 38.

The second half had barely started before Ferguson took a high tackle, reducing Sedgefield further as another yellow card was brandished. Holding on under pressure, the home team finally buckled following a line-out. Winning the ball, Matthew Brewster broke through the midfield and then drew defenders before passing to Shields who crossed to score his third try. From taking a high tackle, Ferguson reciprocated and was shown a yellow card; this gave Sedgefield the chance to pressure the away team.

A lengthy spell of play close to the Guisborough line finally brought its rewards. From a scrum, the Sedgefield forwards bombarded the visitors’ line before scoring in the right corner. Guisborough thought they had hit back immediately from the re-start. Flint, McDougall and Ryan Mitchell combined before PJ Finken-Hayes charged along the right wing, touching down in the corner, but he had stepped into touch. However, a penalty had already been awarded to Guisborough. Electing a scrum, the set-piece was won. Whyman made a diagonal run to the left and passed to Shields, who crossed and touched down.

Back in complete command, Guisborough opened the floodgates. Attacking from their 22 metre area, Robinson and Finken-Hayes made yardage before the ball ended up in touch. Line-out ball was won though and Ferguson crashed through the midfield before linking up with Robinson. Taking play to within a few metres of the try-line, a simple pass put Brewster in to score. Robinson turned from provider to scorer shortly after. From a line-out inside the Sedgefield 22, the ball bounced loosely before Robinson grabbed hold of it and went over unopposed.

Not letting the opposition settle, the visitors took a quick line-out on their ten-metre line. Whyman and Finken-Hayes took play into the hosts’ half. Oli Taggart made his way to the 22 metre area, before Finken-Hayes took a return pass. He then brought in Mitchell, who popped a pass to Shields to score his fifth try of the afternoon. With the game in its final stages, Guisborough launched one last attack. Anthony Mahon broke from his own half and linked in with the backs’ trio of Whyman, Shields and Robinson. Crossing to score, a forward pass was spotted, bringing the game back for a scrum. The set-piece was disrupted by the Guisborough pack and, as the ball went loose, Richard Cahill pounced and scored under the posts.

The score was the last action of the match as the referee blew for full-time with the scoreboard reading: Sedgefield 5 points, Guisborough 78 points. Twelve tries were scored, with Whyman converting nine of them in difficult kicking conditions. All is set up nicely for tomorrow’s crunch game at home to Sunderland, who still lead the way in Durham and Northumberland Division 2. Ponteland are in second place, with Guisborough placed third.