Seaham miss out in final-kick agony

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SEAHAM missed a last-kick conversion to suffer a 19-18 defeat at home to South Tyneside College.

The visitors started well; their dominance in the scrum earning a penaly to go 3-0 up.

Seaham were soon caught handling in a ruck and a second penalty was converted.

The hosts were then penalised for not releasing and South Tyneside kicked again to make it 9-0.

It went fropm bad to worse, with influential number 8 Ryan Pink forced off the field with an injury.

The lead entered double figures on 27 minutes when the visitors won a line-out and spun the ball left. Crisp handling and support play resulted in an overlap and Seaham wing Andy Short was left powerless to prevent the first try of the day. The conversion took the lead to 16-0.

Seaham stepped up their game and one of the visitors’ second rows was given a yellow card for cynical play.

Within two minutes, Seaham were camped near the College line. Several phases were worked with Jonny Martin, Mick Bland, John Dawson and Graham Aldus all going close.

Fly-half Jack McCallum was eventually driven over the line by his forwards and touched down, with Grant Westwick’s conversion reducing the deficit to 16-7.

A strong drive by Grant Dixon took Seaham into the College 22 two minutes later and forced the visitors to transgress. Westwick slotted the penalty to make it 16-10 at the interval.

Westwick had a chance to take his team to within three points on 47 minutes, but this time his penalty drifted wide – and soon after another kick hit the post.

Seaham did pull three points back on the hour when the visitors were caught offside, and by this time, referee Alan Thompson must have grown tired of the visitors’ transgressions because he issued a second yellow card to their fly-half.

When play resumed, full-back Graeme Steel kicked the penalty to draw the score back to 16-13.

The visitors was full of resolve though, and after missing one penalty, they kicked another.

Grant Dixon was then bundled into touch just short of the visitors’ line, and soon after spoke out of turn to give away a penalty which allowed South Tyneside to clear their lines.

The game reached a crescendo as Seaham surged forward. The ball went through the hands of Joey Jones and Grant Westwick before centre Graham Aldus forced his way over in the left corner.

It was an emotional score for Aldus, who had decided to play a day after his mother had passed away.

With time up, Seaham trailed by a point – and Westwick’s kick drifted side to condemn the Durham and Northumberland Division Three leaders to a defeat.