Seaham blow Aycliffe away

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SEAHAM brought an end to a super season by sealing silverware in great style.

The Harbour boys beat Newton Aycliffe 25-0 to win the Durham County Junior Plate – the icing on the cake after their promotion from Durham Northumberland Three.

Seaham were quickly out of the blocks and won an early penalty, only for Brad Green’s attempt to fall short.

Fly-half Jack McCallum spilled the ball at a crucial stage, and then Graeme Steel tried his luck with a penalty but his effort went wide.

Then, after a flowing move involving Andy Hogwood and Barry Siddle, John Dixon found himself on the end of a neatly-worked overlap but spilled possession with the line beckoning.

The referee soon began to run out of patience with Aycliffe’s defence continually infringing at the breakdown and a yellow card was shown. Seaham continued to miss their chances, though, with two more Green penalties off target.

Seaham continued to put the squeeze on their opponents, though, and finally ther pressure paid off. Ben Bell got up well at the front of the line and palmed an Aycliffe throw down to Dan Cahill, who drove over the line and scored his first try of the season. Steel attempted a touchline conversion but his effort drifted wide.

Seven minutes later they extended their lead. Neat interplay between Jack McCallum, John Dixon and Brad Green took play up the right flank and flying full-back Glen Hardie was on hand to score his 11th try of the season.

Even though they were back to full-strength following the return of their Number 8, Aycliffe were still forced to defend as another surging run by Mark Wilson took him into their 22. He passed to Graham Aldus and a ruck was formed. However, Seaham failed to release the ball and Aycliffe cleared their lines.

Seaham once again came storming out of the blocks at the beginning of the second half and established an early ascendancy.

Veteran prop Paul Scott demonstrated some neat passes to keep the ball alive each time it came his way. With fellow prop Steve Meir dynamic in the loose and showing great commitment in support, it didn’t take long for the ball to get out to Joey Jones and the big winger powered for the line, only to be tackled high. Graeme Steel nailed the penalty to stretch the lead to 13 points.

Within five minutes, Seaham recorded their third try of the day.

With Aycliffe looking to break out of their half, Joey Jones made a big hit in midfield and the force of the impact knocked the ball from his opponent’s grasp. Jack McCallum scooped the ball up before outpacing the defence and touching down in the left corner to make the score 18-0.

Shortly after the hour mark, flanker James Ramshaw forced a turnover just inside Aycliffe’s half. The ball came back on Seaham’s side of the ruck and Grant Dixon fed Graham Aldus.

He broke into the 22 and passed to Andrew Baxter, who shipped the ball out to McCallum, and he raced over for his second try of the day under the posts. Green nailed the conversion attempt and reached a personal milestone of 150 points for the season.

Ramshaw saw yellow with just three minutes of the game remaining when he was spotted going off his feet at a ruck by touch judge Andy Wilson.

Seaham were forced to run the clock down with 14 men but were still on the hunt for further scores. Dixon almost recorded a fifth try for his team when Chris Bland ripped the ball off his opposite number and fed him a pass. He hared for the line, only to be caught desperately short and held up.

The final whistle brought celebrations for Seaham as they completed a great campaign by lifting the silverware.