NORTH Shields continued their surge up the league table with a deserved home win against Seaton Carew. With Carew sitting one place and four points above Shields in the league table, the Blues knew that a bonus point win would take them up to fourth place.
On what was a perfect day for rugby, Shields started strongly and spent most of the first 20 minutes camped inside the Carew half. Carew’s defence was strong throughout the game and it took the lightning pace of young winger Rhys Coltherd to score the first points of the game. Sprinting through on the chipped kick, Coltherd caught the ball in the try area and placed the ball down.
Shields knew from earlier in the season that a lot of Carew’s game was played through their big second row and did well to keep him quiet for most of the afternoon. Carew’s goal kicker was accurate and punished Shields on two occasions with well taken penalties. However his kicking from hand was less effective and he wasted a few opportunities for the visitors.
Shields started the second half with their noses slightly in front and extended this lead early on with a well taken individual try from centre Peter Finlay, who raced through the Carew defence to score. Carew replied with a try from the aforementioned second row, who span off the back of a maul five yards out to touch down.
With the game closely balanced and Shields only five points ahead, the Blues secured their third try of the day. Fly Half Gav Duffy placed a penalty perfectly in the corner, allowing the forwards to win the resulting line out. The forwards drove Carew over their own line and hooker Ben Dalton emerged from the bottom of a pile of bodies with the all important score.
The final score on the day was 25-13 to Shields, with Duffy adding two conversions and two penalties. Joint men of the match were Duffy and back row forward Richard Carr.
Although Shields failed to find a fourth try on the day which would have lifted them clear in fourth place, this is the eighth game from the last nine that Shields have won, the only defeat coming away to the league leaders in mid January. Next Saturday Shields travel to play Hartlepool, looking to close the gap on the top three teams in the division. There promises to be an enthralling last few games of the season now, with Shields continuing to grow each week as a squad showing determination and high levels of fitness.
North Shields RFC is always looking to welcome new players to the club, young or old, experienced or novice. If you’re interested in coming along to play, training sessions are at 7pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Or you can contact the club on (0191) 257 7352, or via the website www.northshieldsrfc.co.uk