DURHAM CITY 69 WHITBY 5
After a scratchy 29 – 17 victory the previous week at Ponteland, Durham City’s opening home game of the Durham & Northumberland 1 season against newly-promoted Whitby turned into an 11 try romp as the visitors struggled with the demands of the higher
On the back foot throughout as the home forwards took control, Whitby defended well but, as they tired, has no answer to the pace and power of the hosts’ backs.
City full-back Phil Stewart came into the line to score the first try after 3 minutes, Nathan Bushnell, on his debut, came off his wing to burst through the middle for the second with scrum-half Paul Armstrong converting both for a 14 – 0 lead, but it took another quarter of an hour for them to break down stubborn Whitby resistance before a good run and inside pass by centre Craig Dominick sent stand-off Charlie Scott, on his return from long-term injury over on the right after 35 minutes.
Bushnell quickly followed him with his second after good work by Stewart and a run and inside pass by centre Brad Pears sent flanker Chris Metcalfe over for the fifth try which Armstrong converted for a
31 – 0 lead at the interval.
Defiant Whitby pressure on the City line was resisted early in the second-half, but after 50 minutes normal service was resumed, Pears breaking and off-loading to Dominick to score and then going over himself when fed by Bushnell.
A huge cheer greeted the next try when prop Mike Hay, in his final senior game after 25 years’ service, went 25 metres to score the eighth and a further three followed through Pears, replacement winger Josh White and Dominick with Armstrong taking his conversion tally to 7 with 4 second-half successes.
For Whitby, who plugged away doggedly for the whole game, the reward came late in the second-half after a series of phases when winger John Hatton wriggled through the middle for a consolation try.
Tomorrow, City travel to Barnard Castle (KO 3.00pm).
CITY: Phil Stewart; Tom Elliott, Brad Pears, Craig Dominick, Nathan Bushnelll; Charlie Scott, Paul Armstrong ©; Tim Mackay, Mike Hay, Benny Parkinson, Kevin Showler, Tom Wilkinson, Chris Metcalfe, Paddy Dias, Peter Dent.
Replacements: Colin Hogg, Josh Cotton, Josh White.