THE return of Jonny Martin seemed to have a major effect as Seaham stormed to a 41-5 Durham and Northumberland Division Three victory over Jarrovians.
The experienced prop added some much-needed stability to the front row and his presence around the park had a major impact on the home side’s loose play.
He almost made an instant impact on the scoreboard when he took a Ryan Pink pass shortly after kick-off but the ball was spilled.
After appling strong pressure, the Harbour opened the scoring on ten minutes when they were awarded a penalty for offside.
A quick tap was taken and Pink crashed over. Glen Hardie’s conversion made it 7-0.
Seaham’s forward stability was compromised after 14 minutes when second row John Dixon was forced off the field with a niggling injury. He was replaced by Steve Meir.
Seaham doubled their lead on 16 minutes when they worked a miss-move on the edge of the Jarrovians’ 22 and Martin hit the gap at a lovely angle and powered over the line unopposed. Hardie’s second conversion of the day made it 14-0.
Playing out of position at scrum-half due to Barry Morton’s knee injury, versatile player-coach Jon Dye spotted a gap and put a huge kick deep into the Jarrovians’ half.
Lofty winger Grant Westwick hared down the left flank to outstrip the retreating defence and touch down to extend the lead to 19-0.
Jarrovians fought bravely and Seaham’s tactics at the breakdown did not impress the referee, who issued Pink with a yellow card for going off his feet at a ruck.
Within two minutes, Seaham’s numbers were reduced even further when Graham Aldus and Meir both saw yellow for offside and handling in a ruck.
This left the Harbourmen with 12 men on the field and the visitors punished them with a try on 39 minutes.
It was to be their only score on the day though as Seaham took a stranglehold in the second half, once restored to full-strength.
Martin crashed over for his second try of the day to ensure a bonus point for Seaham.
A yellow card for persistent offside gave the home side a numerical advantage, and it was Meir who extended the lead with a try on 65 minutes. Hardie’s conversion made it 31-5.
As the game entered its final ten minutes, Jarrovians were attacking in the Seaham 22 when Martin stole possession and bounded up the touchline, fending off several tackles. He finally offlaoded to Mick Bland and after the ball was recycled, it ended in the hand of Pink, who touched down. The conversion made it 38-5.
Martin and Pink were also involved in the next score, when they linked well with Jack McCallum and battled their way into the Jarrovians’ 22. The visitors conceded a penalty and Hardie made it 41-5 with six minutes remaining.
The game ended on a sour note for replacement hooker Andrew Baxter when he hurt his shoulder and needed extensive treatment.