SEAHAM edged a 16-12 win over Chester-le-Street in their top v bottom clash at Chester-le-Street.
It was a moment of brilliance from John Dixon which sealed the win with just three minutes left.
Seaham were trailing 12-11 when the big centre was given the ball from a ruck in the Chester 22. He drew in three defenders before offloading a delightful pass to Brad Green, who scampered over in the left corner to touch down for his fifth try of the season.
The conversion was missed but the try sealed a vital win.
The visitors were missing key men in several areas for the game with prop Paul Scott and centre Jon Dye working away, wing Glen Hardie laid up with flu and full-back Graeme Steel unavailable.
Even so, they started well, spinning the ball out to wingers Joey Jones and Stu Tisseman at every opportunity.
In the fifth minute, Jack McCallum darted through a gap in Chester’s line and showed a clean pair of heels to the chasing defenders before touching down in the right corner for his second try of the season.
Brad Green’s conversion attempt sailed narrowly wide but the Harbour were good value for their 5-0 lead.
The visitors looked set for a big score, but poor discipline – particularly at the breakdown – was to be their downfall.
They carried the ball forward well, with Grant Dixon, Gary Lynn and Andy Hogwood in rampant mood, but a lack of support saw them turned over or penalised for not releasing in the tackle on numerous occasions.
A quick succession of penalties conceded seemed to stifle Seaham’s enthusiasm and allow Chester back into the game. The hosts’ efforts were rewarded in the 27th minute when their 14 levelled the scores after an overlap down the right wing.
The hosts were buoyed by the score but then Chester’s tight head prop was yellow-carded for indiscretions at several scrums, in spite of being warned by the referee.
Seaham had a numerical advantage, but not for long as hooker Dan Cahill saw yellow for the second time this season for reckless use of the boot.
The visitors did take the lead before the break, though when Brad Green kicked a penalty.
Seaham made it 11-5 on the restart when Andy Hogwood kicked a monumental penalty from 45 metres.
Two minutes later, Seaham’s attacking efforts were significantly hampered when full-back Andrew Baxter was forced to end what had been a promising game after he aggravated a recent foot injury. Baxter’s experience and composure at the back proved to be sorely missed in the 56th minute when Chester’s inside centre once again caused mayhem in Seaham’s defence and manufactured an overlap before delivering a well-timed pass and setting up a second try for his team. The added conversion saw Chester take a 12-11 lead.
The hosts’ then had their loose head prop yellow carded on 63 minutes for obstructing Green as the lively scrum-half was attempting to pass from the base of a ruck. Seaham then missed penalty from Hogwood on 71 minutes.
It was to be Seaham’s day, though, with Dixon’s good work being finished off by Green to seal a narrow win.