SEAHAM Rugby Club were taught a valuable lesson in a 36-12 defeat at the hands of Newton Aycliffe.
Aycliffe arrived at Seaham in buoyant mood and had Seaham on the back foot for much of the opening ten minutes.
Seaham conceded a brace of tries and a conversion to trail early on to have their backs against the walls.
Fortunately, Jon Dye’s men found some resolve and dug deep to battle their way back into the game.
Strong pressure from their pack saw Seaham make good ground into Aycliffe’s half courtesy of strong carries by Chris Bland and Dan Match.
The referee found fault with the visitors’ defensive efforts and awarded a penalty after one of the Aycliffe back row was found guilty of a ruck offence and yellow carded.
Rob McGlasham took advantage and converted his effort to get Seaham on the scoreboard.
Further pressure from the Seaham forwards, with Mick Bland and John Dixon at the heart of everything, earned them a brace of penalties in quick succession.
Again, Rob McGlasham kept a cool head and slotted both to get Seaham to within three points of the visitors.
Aycliffe once again emerged strongest following the restart and threatened each time they had ball in hand.
Seaham defended well with Rob Thornton and Stephen Noble putting in big hits.
Clever support play and clinical passing helped create an overlap on the right wing and Ryan Giblin was left powerless to prevent a try.
The conversion was added to put Aycliffe ten points ahead.
Seaham coach John McCallum was forced to make a couple of changes when Lee Phillips and John Dixon left the field, replaced by Paul Atkinson and Andrew Baxter. This did little to disrupt their momentum and Rob McGlasham recorded his fourth penalty of the day following a strong forward drive.
As the game entered the final quarter, the hosts seemed to run out of steam, but Aycliffe found another gear.
Great support play and strong running edged Aycliffe deep into the Harbour half and they capitalised on some poor tackling to run in a converted score, whilst securing a valuable bonus point.
Aycliffe stretched the lead to 31-12 after excellent handling, and added a sixth try right at the death.