North Shields 1st XV travelled to Seaton Carew at Hornby Park on a perfect day for rugby and came away with the win.
Shields went into the game without flanker Ben Dalton and knew this was going to be a hard battle. However, they put out a good 18-man squad including doctor-to-be Alex Fraser, who started at No. 8, allowing Richard Carr to revert back to his normal position at seven.
Shields attacked into the wind in the first half and in the opening phases of the game were dominant, however, Carew defended well around the fringes to stop them making progress.
It was almost five minutes in when Shields’ hard work paid off.
After good forward pressure an infringement by the hosts resulted in a penalty and Scott Rendles from distance gave Shields their justified opening points.
It did not take long for the lead to be increased.
From the restart, Mark Hall received a pass off Ryan Ramsey, who then off-loaded to Gavin Duffy who scored under the posts.
The game then took a slight turn as Shields began to get penalised for frequent offsides and Seaton took full advantage, kicking two penalties to pull within two at 8-6.
Winger Yeoman was then sent to the sin bin for a team yellow card and Shields being down to 14 men.
But they held together to prevent any more points being scored while also patiently progressed up the park through some good forward and back interplay.
From the resulting pressure the backs performed a slick move which saw Dan Began run a great line and go over 30 metres to score under the sticks, with the conversion successful it put them 15-6 ahead.
With around ten minutes left in the first half the hosts began to attack and they got their rewards with two tries, one of which was converted to make the half-time score 18-15 top Seaton Carew.
Shields got the first points of the second half when Hall took a quick penalty five metres out and crossed the whitewash, with a successful conversion from Rendles from a tough angle.
Not long after Dale Jones ran over half the length of the field, fending off several opposition players to then offload to Duffy to score his second of the day.
Just as it looked like Shields were starting to run away with the game, Seaton, failing to give up, came back at the Blues and scored a try.
With very little time left on the clock Shields looked to kill off the game by keeping possession. And wave after wave of pressure from Shields was too much for the opposition as they were penalised for infringement again within kicking distance. Rendles made no mistakes from the penalty to make the full-time score 30-23 to North Shields.
Shields got five points and Seaton also got a deserved loosing bonus point.
Man of the match was No. 8 Fraser, who controlled the ball at the back of the scrum well and was made excellent ground throughout the game.
Shields thought the hosts’ No. 10 was their man of the match.
Shields also thanked Seaton Carew for the post match hospitality.
Next week Shields return to home action against promotion hopefuls Redcar with a 2.15pm kick-off.