1st XV - Report
MIDDLESBROUGH 32 DURHAM CITY 8
Recently relegated, Middlesbrough proved too strong for a City side missing several regulars in this opening North 1 East League match of the season.
But for the next 20 minutes, it was all City playing down the slope with play concentrated in the Middlesbrough half as the backs attacked with purpose only to be met by a solid home defence.
When Middlesbrough broke out however, they made it count after 22 minutes. A series of drives took play to the City 22, a penalty was kicked to the corner and another set of forward drives from the lineout ended with prop Craig Chapman forcing his way over for a try and an 8 – 0 lead.
A penalty by full-back Jonny Harding got City on the scoreboard 3 minutes later however, and when they ran a penalty from their 22 after 31 minutes, winger Chris Metcalfe burst clear after a kick was charged down and interpassed with supporting centre Paddy Dias, newly- arrived from Blaydon, to score a fine try that levelled the score.
By the end of the half however, things were starting to look ominous for City as Middlesbrough’s forwards were controlling more and more. In the 36th minute they regained the lead at 13 – 8 with a good try by winger Jack Bircham who eluded the City cover on the short side after a series of forward drives, and when play resumed after the interval, the home side’s grip up front became almost a stranglehold.
With Moore, having moved from full-back to stand-off for Middlesbrough, keeping City on the back foot with some precision kicking out of hand, their forwards pressed home their advantage to score 3 further tries through No.8 Jack Aldus, following a 5 metre lineout, winger Michael Thornburn, diving over after heavy forward pressure, and scrum-half Peter Wright who nipped over on the short side from close-in following a 5 metre scrum. Moore converted 2 of them to secure a comfortable victory for the home side.
Tomorrow, City entertain Team Northumbria at Hollow Drift in another League fixture. (KO.3.00pm)
CITY: Jonny Harding; Chris Metcalfe, Paddy Dias, Will Kirtley, Grant Thompson; Richard Knowles, Thomas Howard; Kenny Reader, Michael Silcock, Ian Russell, Peter Dent (capt.), Paul Rodham, Tom Baty, Jeff Roberts, Howard Johnson.
Replacements: Luke burgess, Colin Hogg, Rick Turnbull.