Slow start costs Seaham
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.