NORTH Shields welcomed league leaders Redcar to Preston Playing Fields on a perfect day for rugby and upset the odds to claim the points in a 34-15 win.
It was apparent in the opening ten minutes that the Blues were the stronger side. As the Shields side slowly worked their way up the field the frustrated Redcar side conceded the first penalty. Shields elected to go for the posts but Gavin Duffy, from a long distance, narrowly missed the kick.
However, Shields did not stop applying pressure and full back Peter Finlay chipped a ball over the Redcar defence, which he collected and beat two men to score in the corner.
The huge Redcar team were looking to find their way back in to the game. Within five minutes, Shields could only stop so many tackles before a good backs move ended up with a crash ball on the wing for Redcar to pick up their first try of the day.
Shields did not lose confidence. From a line out, Shields elected to catch and drive. Harry Watson and Mark Hall broke off the maul and Watson made a storming run, getting stopped short of the line. Hall did the rest with a quick pick and go which saw the Shields side take the lead again.
From here Shields continued to take the game to Redcar as they moved their way up the park, helped with storming runs from Dom Casey. The pressure once again proved too much for Redcar who conceded a penalty, which Gavin Duffy once converted brilliantly.
Shields kicked off the second half and within seconds were on top again, turning over the ball from the Redcar catcher. The hosts continued to pressure the shocked Redcar side.
From a line out on the 22 metre line Shields mauled up the park with some great momentum which saw hooker Ben Dalton power over for the third try of the game.
Shields continued to play well both in attack and defence which saw them turn over ball from the visitors again.
Duffy kicked into the corner from a penalty, and Shields chose a training ground line out move that worked tremendously with Dave Hardy breaking the gain line with a rampaging run. Shields were awarded another penalty and kicked to the corner again.
This time another training ground line out move saw Dalton loop a pass to stand off Duffy who smashed over the line to score possibly the try of the season for the Blues and secure the bonus point.
The Blues still had not finished as Andrew Leitch turned over the opposition’s line out and popped up a pass to Dalton who came flying from deep to score a sensational try in the corner.
This turned out to be the last try for Shields as the Redcar side started to go for the losing bonus point by playing some expansive rugby in the last ten minutes which saw two tries scored.
However, the fourth try they were desperately looking for went begging due to outstanding defensive work from all 15 men in the blue tops for a sensational bonus point victory against a strong team who had won nine of their first ten games this season.
Northumberland County River Derwent League
North Shields Crusaders ... 35
Seghill Deputies ... 14
NORTH Shields Crusaders made it a win double this weekend with an away win against Seghill Deputies in the county league.
First half tries from Alan Millar and Dan Beegan in answer to two Seghill tries made it 14-14 at half time.
In the second half however, the Crusaders scored three unanswered tries from Bruce Parker (2) and Bruce Jeffrey.