THE stark reality of life in Division Two brought Seaham crashing to earth with a resounding thump as they lost 69-7 to Novocastrians.
Seaham’s plight was daunting from the start with Dean Armstrong, Jon Dye, Graeme Steel, Stu Tisseman, Mick Bland, Stu Fowler and Gary Lynn all unavailable due to work commitments, while Ben Bell, Grant Dixon, Andrew Baxter and Ryan Giblin were injured. Two other players then failed to turn up after making themselevs available, while James Ramshaw started a two-match ban following last week’s dismissal for fighting.
Seaham set off for Sutherland Park with 13 players; their numbers supplemented by Steve Meir and Steve Sanderson – both retired but, fortunately, still registered.
Seaham kicked off with 14 players and were soon 3-0 down to a penalty.
The first try came when Novos drove the visitors off their own scrum. With Seaham’s defence caught napping, the hosts’ speedy backs stormed downfield and under the posts for a converted try.
Seaham stormed back up the field only for a stray pass to be intercepted and Novos raced through for a try and conversion, making it 17-0 after just 15 minutes.
Seaham held firm for the next 10 minutes and launched some clever attacks, with Paul Atkinson and Graham Aldus surging forward and gaining ground. Unfortunately, all of their hard work went up in smoke when an ambitious Jack McCallum pass was intercepted and the hosts raced downfield for a third converted try.
The hosts earned their try bonus point on 34 minutes when they touched down under the posts for their fourth converted try.
Seaham had a decent spell when Novos’ loose head was shown a yellow card but they still could bnot find a score.
At the start of the second half, Jack McCallum tore downfield only to be shepherded into touch.
Chris Bland made a clean break on 44 minutes but was caught and brought to the ground five metres short.
As the game entered the final quarter Seaham were doing well before they imploded – conceding four tries and three conversions in an eight-minute spell.
A further brace of tries and a conversion turned the knife even further, though brave Seaham had the last word when prop Jonny Martin took a pass ten metres out and shunted through three defenders for his second try of the season. Steve Sanderson’s conversion drew the biggest cheer of the afternoon.