Slow start costs Sea­ham

Sunderland Echo - - Sport -

Sea­ham trav­elled to Rich­mond­shire in op­ti­mistic spir­its de­spite be­ing writ­ten off as can­non fod­der by their de­trac­tors.

Their pre-match vi­brancy was put to the test af­ter a chal­leng­ing first half in which they’d con­ceded three con­verted tries and a penalty to trail 24-0.

Their char­ac­ter was also tested af­ter sec­ond row Matty Whar­ton got his tim­ing wrong and tack­led a player in the air.

For­tu­nately for him, the ref­eree deemed his chal­lenge more clumsy than ma­li­cious and is­sued a yel­low card with 33 min­utes gone.

Whilst a man down, the Har­bour de­fended valiantly, but their hosts man­u­fac­tured an over­lap and a con­verted try was scored to make it 31-0 at the in­ter­val.

Fol­low­ing an in­spi­ra­tional chat by big John McCal­lum, the Sea­ham lads emerged in de­ter­mined spir­its and took the game to their hosts.

Two tries within five min­utes of the restart by Con­nor Drinkwa­ter and Chris Bland - both con­verted by Drinkwa­ter - put the hosts un­der pres­sure and re­duced the ar­rears to 31-14.

Rich­mond­shire tried to at­tack, but Sea­ham de­fended stub­bornly and forced sev­eral turnovers thanks to the tire­less ef­forts of Alex Coxon and Stephen No­ble.

One turnover saw the ball spun out to Glen Hardie and he soared over for a third try.

Still, Rich­mond­shire tried to re­gain their foothold in the game, but they kept get­ting knocked back in rucks or stopped short of the gain line.

This caused panic in the hosts’ ranks and they be­came care­less. A stray pass was in­ter­cepted by Ian Chap­man and he out­paced the de­fence to se­cure a try bonus point and make it 31-24.

With the mo­men­tum of the game in their favour, the next score was al­ways go­ing to be cru­cial.

Sadly, it was scored by the hosts when the Sea­ham backs dropped a pass on their try line and the hosts’ wing pounced to score - 36-24.

Sea­ham kept plug­ging away but ran out of time in the end and the hosts were left re­lieved at the fi­nal whis­tle.

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