AFTER a disappointing defeat to Hartlepool in their last league fixture, North Shields were looking to find some good form against Seaton Carew before this weekend’s derby against Rockcliff.
The visitors dominated possession in the opening 20 minutes but the Shields defence coped well and sustained the early pressure.
Jack Jeffrey kicked clear from deep in his own half but to the dismay of the Shields faithful the referee adjudged Jeffrey offside despite being the player that had kicked the ball. Carew opted for the penalty to open the scoring.
Shields responded well. A lineout deep inside Seaton territory allowed Shields to set up the signature maul.
Harry Watson was unlucky not to score. However, veteran Barry Elliot picked from the base of the resulting ruck and bulldozered his way over.
The sides then exchanged penalties to give Shields a slender 8-6 lead at half-time.
The second half was similar to the first. Seaton enjoyed the majority of possession but rarely threatened.
However, as the game approached the last 20 minutes and the Shields defence began to tire, the visitors worked the short side well to take an 11-8 lead.
Shields looked deflated but bounced back to gain a penalty soon after the restart.
Shields continued their pressure and kicked deep into Carew territory.
Two Carew defenders scrambled back but Shields blitzed the ruck and Ricky Handa went to pick up the turnover ball but with the line beckoning he fumbled.
Carew were then able to clear their lines and they broke away, where the break was stopped just short of the line, but the ball was offloaded superbly to a support runner to finish off a good try.
Shields were left with ten minutes to salvage the game.
Gavin Duffy appeared to be held back as he chased after his own chip but the referee decided it was not the case and Carew scrambled clear.
Carew then finished the stronger and attacked the Shields line for the remaining few minutes, but the home side defended with tenacity and determination to defend the losing bonus point.
On Saturday North Shields travel to Rockcliff for the Stan Flockton Memorial Trophy.
NORTH SHIELDS ARTISANS 24
BISHOP AUCKLAND 3rds 20
A LATE change to the fixtures meant Bishop Auckland were the visitors to North Shields to face the Artisans.
With both teams unable to field a full front row, uncontested scrums were the order of the day.
It took 27 minutes before the first score, after some good football skills from Iain Finlay up the left touch line lead to Dale Jones’ first try.
Auckland replied from the kick-off with a try of their own before closing the scoring in the first half with a penalty.
Early in the second half Artisans took the lead from a pick up and drive by Dave Hardy from the base of a scrum ten metres out.
The conversion from Tony Lion made the score 12-8.
Ten minutes later Jones scored his second try before Bishop Auckland stepped up their game and broke through weak tackling to score a converted try.
A quick throw-in at a lineout by Lion saw Bishop Auckland run 50 metres for a try to give them the lead.
But Jones broke through the defence to score his third of the afternoon to make the final score 24-20 to Artisans.
A good game which saw Liam Pearson make his club debut, starting before being replaced by his dad Cameron Pearson.