Seaham delight as jinx ends in rugby

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SEAHAM made the short journey to Chester-le-Street in buoyant spirits and came away with a great 17-8 win.

Although deprived of skipper John Dixon in the backs and Andy Hogwood, Stu Barrass and Gary Lynn in the forwards, they still remained confident.

Early on, Chester’s fly-half slotted home a penalty for a 3-0 lead, but Seaham attacked from the restart and were awarded a penalty, running the ball from their 10-metre line. Dave Davison drew in three defenders before offloading a lovely inside pass to centre Glen Hardie, who touched down for his third try of the season.

Davison’s conversion saw Seaham take a 7-3 lead.

The hosts did manage to register the next score on 32 minutes following a scrum in Seaham’s 22. The Chester number eight picked the ball up from the base of the scrum and, with Seaham’s defence caught flat-footed, dived over the line for a try. The conversion was missed but the hosts led 8-7.

Seaham refused to lie down and Michael Bland and Ben Bell ensured plenty of lineout possession. Scrum-half Brad Green also distributed good ball to his backs.

Their pressure saw them awarded a penalty when the hosts’ hooker failed to throw in straight at a lineout in his own 22. Davison took a quick tap and passed to veteran prop Dave Drinkwater, who drove forward for his sixth try of the season.

Davison’s second conversion of the day took Seaham 14-8 ahead with the last play of the half.

Both sides made changes at the interval and came out in storming fashion. Some desperate last-gasp tackles from Dean Armstrong and Brad Green held Chester at bay and Seaham’s pack benefitted from the inclusion of Grant Dixon and Paul Scott.

Seaham’s efforts were eventually awarded in the 71st minute.

Chester-le-Street were penalised in front of their posts as their forwards prevented fair release, with Seaham looking likely to score a try.

Davison, having missed a previous attempt from 40 metres, stepped up and converted his attempt from the edge of the 22.

Davison had an opportunity to extend the lead on 74 minutes when Chester were once again penalised for preventing release at a breakdown. However, the opportunity fell just short.

As the final whistle blew, Seaham were delighted to emerge victorious from a league game at Chester-le-Street and end a jinx that has hung over them for many years.