Barnard Castle hold off Seaham

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SEAHAM suffered a 25-15 defeat away to Barnard Castle in a close contest.

Although they started in confident spirits, Seaham were rocked by an early score. The hosts broke out of their 22 and a clever crossfield kick was launched over the top of the visitors’ defence.

Right wing Stu Tisseman looked to have it covered but the ball took a horrible bounce over his head and into the arms of his opposite number, who scampered over for a try. The hosts’ prop landed a fine conversion for a 7-0 lead.

Seaham fought hard in response and Barnard Castle’s resolve was eventually broken in the 13th minute. James Ramshaw picked from the base of a ruck and was driven over for a try. Brad Green’s conversion attempt drifted narrowly to the left.

The hosts stretched their lead on 22 minutes when Seaham were penalised for going off their feet at a ruck. The hosts’ prop lined up an ambitious kick 45 metres out and coolly launched it between the sticks to make it 10-5.

A further penalty had Barnard Castle 13-5 ahead at the interval and the home side should have extended that early in the second period but missed an easy penalty.

Seaham’s good fortune was short-lived and they conceded a further score within two minutes. A sliced kick from Brad Green gave Barnard Castle possession and the ball was fed out to their winger, who crossed in the corner. The conversion made it 20-5.

Seaham thought they had scored when Jack McCallum and Jon Dye combined to send Dean Armstrong over – only for the referee to adjudge a double movement and award Barnard Castle a penalty.

The pressure did pay off when Andy Hogwood took a tap penalty five metres out and muscled his way over the line to make it 20-10. The conversion, though, was off target.

Jon Dye had an opportunity to get Seaham to within a bonus point when his side was awarded a 64th minute penalty in front of the posts, but this time the player-coach struck the post and the ball landed in the hosts’ hands.

Dye made amends when he offloaded to fellow centre Graham Aldus, who raced over in the left corner to make it 20-15. Green missed the conversion but the Harbour looked good for a bonus point at least.

However, the chances of salvaging something out of the game were obliterated when they gave away possession and Barnard Castle raced over in the right corner for a try with the last play of the game.