NORTH Shields avenged two defeats to Winlaton Vulcans last season when they ran out 33-15 winners on Saturday.
It was a perfect day for rugby and the Blues were wearing new strips courtesy of Hodgson Motors.
The Vulcans enjoyed the majority of possession in the opening ten minutes and this resulted in a penalty which went through the upright.
However, Shields responded well and started to pile the pressure on the visitors which resulted in some great attacking rugby.
The first try came from a lineout, when the Shields forwards carried for several phases and finally scrum-half John Good unleashed backs Gav Duffy, Pete Finlay and Paul Wells, who finished a great move in the corner.
Shields had their tails up and started to play some fantastic team rugby.
Within minutes this paid dividends as hooker Harry Watson picked from the back of a ruck and smashed his way past the Vulcans defence and scored under the posts.
The Vulcans started to enjoy more possession of the ball, but a strong Shields defence kept them out.
Shields managed to turn over the ball at a break down and Good broke free. Supported by captain Mark Hall, back row Ben Dalton and centre Ryan Ramsey, covering half the length of the pitch, Dalton eventually scored in the corner after some excellent interplay.
Soon after, Shields won a scrum against the head and Good broke again. This time after a powerful run he scored himself under the posts.
The half ended with the Vulcans camped on the Blues 22, however, more strong defensive work kept them at bay.
In the last play of the half, Hall provided a try saving tackle, bundling his opponent into touch to maintain Shields’ 26-3 advantage.
As the second half, began Shields continued to play some excellent rugby and enjoyed the majority of possession.
But the visitors did respond well and started to see more of the ball.
Shields were reduced to 14 men as Hall was sent to the sin bin. Stopping another Winlaton attack, his tackle was deemed illegal.
For the next ten minutes the Vulcans used the advantage well and scored two tries in quick succession.
However once Shields had all 15 players back on the park they took control of the match.
When Winlaton did attack, some excellent tackles went in, particularly from Anthony Jordon.
Shields began to attack again with some rampant runs from Dave Hardy, Dalton and others. At the end of the game, Blues flanker Dalton crashed over for his second try.
Stand out players were Hardy, a great game from the Blues flanker both on and off the ball, John Good continued his good run of performances and a mention to Paul Wells who stepped up to first team, defended very well and scored a good try.
This weekend the Blues play local rivals Wallsend in their first derby game of the season.