SEAHAM bounced back in style from the previous week’s rusty performance at Seghill with a 27-17 win against Houghton on Saturday.
Although the hosts seemed a little unsteady in the scrums during the early stages, they adapted quickly and built a steady platform to play off. Ryan Pink was at the centre of everything and it was his pass that put fellow back row Grant Dixon in for his second try of the season in the sixth minute. Glen Hardie added the conversion for a 7-0 lead.
Hardie scored the game’s second try on 13 minutes when Seaham took advantage of a spilled ball in midfield and shipped play wide. The red-headed flyer took a pass, pinned his ears back and tore past the defence to cross in the left corner before touching down near the posts.
However, he was not so impressive with his conversion, which he somehow managed to miss.
Houghton fought back though and demonstrated impressive handling and linked well between backs and forwards. Their efforts were rewarded on 23 minutes when they worked a move in midfield and their full-back left the defence flat-footed to score to the right of the posts. The conversion was added and Houghton were right back in the game at 12-7.
They were three points coser by the interval when a penalty was scored after Seaham transgressed.
Seaham took a more attacking attitude after the break and powerful runs by Grant Westwick, Graham Aldus and Mark Wilson made good territorial gain.
It wasn’t long before they were camped in Houghton’s 22 and their efforts were rewarded on 49 minutes when big second row Mick Bland broke the defensive line and crossed for his first try of the campaign. Hardie’s conversion stretched the lead to 19-10.
Bland broke the line once again four minutes late but managed to dislocate his thumb when fending off a defender. Following a quick spell of treatment, he returned to the fray.
Not to be outdone by his big brother’s antics, Chris Bland got in on the scoring on 67 minutes and capped a fine performance with a bustling run that saw him crash over the line for a try bonus point. Hardie missed the conversion but the hosts were now two converted tries ahead.
Houghton continued to threaten on the attack and spun the ball wide at every opportunity. They had Seaham camped on their line late in the game and referee Dave Swainson eventually tired of their tactics and issued a yellow card to Barry Morton with four minutes remaining.
Houghton took almost immediate advantage of their extra man and pounded away at Seaham’s line. Their efforts paid off within a minute when they went over the line for a converted try to make the score 24-17 and get to within at least bonus point distance of their hosts.
However, Seaham were to have the last laugh when Houghton were penalised for not releasing from the restart and Hardie slotted a penalty to deny them.