Seaham slayed by last-gasp Aycliffe

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After suffering a heavy defeat to the same opposition three weeks earlier, Seaham travelled to Newton Aycliffe in optimistic spirits with a much stronger team.

Seaham showed plenty of confidence during the opening quarter of the game as their forwards dominated the set pieces. But they were unable to convert their dominance into points and should have been several scores up had it not been for handling errors.

The visitors made their pressure pay after 18 minutes when Gary Lynn took a fine popped pass and rampaged his way over the line for the opening score. Fly half Dave Davison converted the kick and Seaham were 7-0 in front.

The hosts tied the scores on 27 minutes when Seaham allowed Aycliffe’s centre to run through their entire defence. He touched down under the posts and the added conversion levelled the scores at 7-7.

The hosts enjoyed a good spell just before the break and had Seaham under pressure near their own line. The visitors conceded several penalties yet still held their line and defended stubbornly.

The game continued in the same breakneck pattern after the break with Seaham dominating the forward exchanges and working their way upfield before unleashing their young backs. However, they showed an annoying habit of conceding soft penalties at the breakdown.

Seaham scored the next score just before the hour mark when one of Aycliffe’s back row conceded a penalty for handling in the ruck. Dave Davison slotted the ball between the posts to put Seaham back in the lead at 10-7.

But Seaham’s defence went to sleep again in the 73rd minute and extremely poor tackling allowed Aycliffe to cross the line in the left corner for their second try. An excellent touchline conversion from their fly half took them into a 14-10 lead.

Seaham picked up the gauntlet and looked to regain the lead from the restart. Their efforts were finally rewarded in the 79th minute when young scrum half Brad Green picked the ball up from the base of a ruck and dove over for a try.

Dave Davison had less luck with his conversion attempt but the Harbour were 15-14 in front.

Aycliffe would be allowed one more opportunity to get a clinching score if they could win the ball from the restart. The ball was taken safely by Gary Lynn, but he conceded a penalty 30 yards out.

Seaham held their breath but the fly half safely converted for a 17-15 win.