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1st XV - Match centre

R Higginson, J Annetts, R Pearl
J Annetts (3)
J Annetts
Sat 3 Nov 14:15 - Northern Division - North Premier Full time

Wirral Run Out of Time at Blaydon


This was a match Blaydon dominated for 20 minutes thereafter the territory was much in Wirral’s favour but could not pull off the surprise win as time ran out.

For the long trip to Blaydon the team met at 7.45am and there were again a number of changes although we only travelled with two substitutes. We looked to press MATT SLATER into service as third sub but MATT is no longer registered. In the pack Ryan Higginson returned as prop, Paul Lewis joined Ryan Stead in the second row, with MATT DALTON starting in the back row with Rob Pearl returning as captain; TOM PARRY was out with a rib injury. In the backs, MATT LOON was not available so Mark Williams came into the wing position. Chris Crowley started at scrum half with James Annetts returning at fly half. Ben Cornford came in at fullback. The subs were Sam Broadbent and the ubiquitous Mike Warren.
Playing on a 4G pitch and against the wind it was Wirral who made the first foray into the opposition half and were awarded a penalty wide out but the effort went wide. From Blaydon’s first meaningful possession in midfield, the ball was spun out to the backs, centre Alex Clarke broke through, drew the fullback and the other centre, Dan Marshall had a clear run to the line and an easy conversion for Jamie Guy, 7-0 (4 mins). The Blaydon second try came from a nudge through from 20m out and although Wirral covered after the ball hit the post they were deemed to have carried the ball over the whitewash giving Blaydon a 5m scrum put in. From the scrum, Dan Marshall teased the Wirral defence before cutting through to score 10m from the posts but the conversion was missed. 12-0 (10 mins).
It would appear that every time Blaydon had the ball they were capable of breaking through and on 13 mins having stolen the ball from Wirral in midfield and play close to the line and a number of thrusts, second row Jack Davidson crashed over and the try was converted 19-0. A charge down by Jack Yarker and then non-release enabled Wirral to get on the score sheet with a James Annetts penalty. 19-3 (15 mins). Blaydon were not using the wind and preferred to play out of defence and gradually work their way downfield and a quick ball released speedy winger, Jack Appleton who cut through the defence to score under the posts and duly converted , 26-3 (20minutes).
Gradually Wirral worked their way into the game and a period of controlled possession enabled them to work their way downfield although the Blaydon tackling was keen. A quickly taken penalty by Chris Crowley was halted 1m from the whitewash. Rob Pearl was deemed to be held up over the line and from the 5m scrum; three penalties were awarded to Wirral as the away team forwards pushed the Blaydon scrum back and the they infringed- but no penalty try! Further scrum and from this play Ryan Higginson ploughed over and this was converted by James Annetts. 26-10 (36 mins). At this stage one in the first half Blaydon had already given away some 13 penalties but no action taken by the referee. Blaydon from the kick off had an opportunity to score again but the ball was dropped.
Along relieving kick downfield against the wind gave Wirral possession in the opposition 20m area where Wirral turned over the ball and from a line out, Jack Yarker peeled round and set up James Annetts who split through the Blaydon centres to score under the posts and converted his own try, 26-17 (39mins). In the last play before half time a good break by Blaydon was stopped with aggressive tackling by Wirral, where Ben Cornford fell awkwardly dislocating his shoulder- BEN was taken to a Gateshead hospital where he had an operation to put his shoulder back in and the team bus collected him from there at 5.45.
The second half started at 2.52 with DAN HARVEY going to full back with Sam Broadbent coming off the bench to play centre with Chris Speed. The game started and a few minutes into the half there was a clash of heads which needed immediate attention given the Blaydon No 8 had been knocked out and went off for a head assessment.
In the first 7 minutes of playing time, Blaydon had two penalty attempts and succeeded with the second to increase their lead to 29-17. Wirral were using the wind well to make ground and Wirral were now keeping Blaydon down in their half. Wirral were denied a try by BEN BROOKES following good play by James Annetts and were brought back for a scrum under the posts from which Wirral scored with a push over try by Rob Pearl and converted by James Annetts, 29-24 (55 mins). The pressure Wirral were applying was beginning to tell when a Blaydon player infringed at a quick penalty. Wirral were now camped on the Blaydon line and although pushing their scrum back were deemed to have infringed so the opportunity was lost. Mike Warren came on for Paul Lewis.
Much as Wirral applied the pressure they could not find the way through the Blaydon defence and it was obvious in the scrum that Wirral had the upper hand but Blaydon were allowed to collapse the scrum and still get the put in! The game was ended at 3.30 some 38 minutes after the start of the second half but it would appear that no time had been taken off for the head injury- at least 5 minutes in this particular case.
Wirral need to start quicker in these matches rather than giving the opposition points start but overall a good performance in the final 60 minutes of the match with the front row outstanding as they had the beating of their opposite numbers in the tight and open.
There is no match next week as England take on the All Blacks with the next match on the 17th against Wilmslow at home, kick off 2.15pm.

Key moments

Penalty James Annetts kicks a penalty for Wirral
Try Ryan Higginson scores for Wirral
Conversion James Annetts kicks a conversion for Wirral
Try James Annetts scores for Wirral
Conversion James Annetts kicks a conversion for Wirral
Try Rob Pearl scores for Wirral
Conversion James Annetts kicks a conversion for Wirral


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65:00 Sub Off
Paul Lewis is substituted off for Wirral
65:00 Sub On
Mike Warren is substituted on for Wirral
55:00 Try 0 - 22
Rob Pearl scores for Wirral
55:00 Conversion 0 - 24
James Annetts kicks a conversion for Wirral
40:00 Sub Off
Ben Cornford is substituted off for Wirral
40:00 Sub On
Sam Broadbent is substituted on for Wirral
End of period 1
39:00 Try 0 - 15
James Annetts scores for Wirral
39:00 Conversion 0 - 17
James Annetts kicks a conversion for Wirral
39:00 Try Assist
Jack Yarker makes an assist for Wirral
36:00 Try 0 - 8
Ryan Higginson scores for Wirral
36:00 Conversion 0 - 10
James Annetts kicks a conversion for Wirral
14:00 Penalty 0 - 3
James Annetts kicks a penalty for Wirral
1:00 Missed Penalty
James Annetts misses a penalty for Wirral
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Blaydon
  • Wirral
  • 0
  • James Annetts Penalty 14:00'
  • Ryan Higginson Try 36:00'
  • James Annetts Conversion 36:00'
  • James Annetts Try 39:00'
  • James Annetts Conversion 39:00'
  • Jack Yarker Try Assist 39:00'
  • Ben Cornford Sub Off 40:00'
  • Sam Broadbent Sub On 40:00'
  • Rob Pearl Try 55:00'
  • James Annetts Conversion 55:00'
  • Paul Lewis Sub Off 65:00'
  • Mike Warren Sub On 65:00'

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

Other North Premier results

Kirkby Lonsdale


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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Hull 26 118
2. Blaydon 26 99
3. Harrogate 26 98
4. Billingham 26 89
5. Rossendale 26 72
6. Sandal 26 70
7. Wirral 26 69

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