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1st XV - Match centre

J Dickinson, R Tanner, J Smith, C Bullivant, A Salt, M Lamb
J Wilson (5)
Sat 28 Apr 14:30 - RFU National - National League 2 North Full time

Hornets snatch victory at the death

Blaydon 36 - Hinckley 40

No-one could ever claim that following Hinckley RFC is boring. A devastating first half display against a Blaydon side who had to win to have any chance of survival in the division was followed by a second half performance that left the impartial questioning which side had been challenging for promotion and which had been haunted by relegation all season.

Hornets had secured a try bonus point within 20 minutes and went in at the interval leading by 33-5, with some of the local support proclaiming that Hinckley were the best team they had seen all season.

It seemed like a different team who came out for the second half though. A combination of squandered chances and poor defensive work, allowed Blaydon to score 31 unanswered points and take the lead with only five minutes left on the clock. It was literally the last play of the match when a series of well executed pick and drives in the Blaydon 22m eventually saw Mark Deaville go over to reclaim the lead. The Blaydon support were left devastated; the travelling Hinckley support were simply relieved.

It took only 8 minutes for Hinckley to open their account in the first half. Following a lineout on the Blaydon 22m, the ball found it’s way to Tom Wheatcroft who, following some deft footwork, released Josh Smith to score under the posts. Joe Wilson converted.

Blaydon hit back immediately when, from the kick-off, Joe Glover’s attempted clearance was charged down allowing Blaydon’s Harry Borthwick to touch down.

It was a temporary aberration though, as Hornets came again. First, George Marsden collected a loose pass on the Blaydon 10m line and ran in for the try.

Two minutes later, Alex Salt crashed over after a break from Josh Smith in his own half set up a series of forward drives close to the Blaydon line.

Smith was at it again five minutes later when, after a superb break from the Hornet’s 22m, he chipped ahead for Mitch Lamb to collect and run in for the score. Wilson’s conversion took the score to 5-26 with the bonus point secured.
It was not though until the 38th minute that the final score of the half came when the Hornet’s pack eventually converted from a catch and drive in the Blaydon 22m after having wasted three similar opportunities.

After the break, Hornet’s continued much as they had in the first half for the first 10 minutes but a lack of patience and perhaps a touch of complacency saw chances go begging.

Blaydon pulled back a try on 55 minutes centre Dan Marshall broke through the Hornets defensive line on the 22m line to score but there still seemed little for George Chuter to worry about.

Five minutes later and a quick throw on halfway saw Blaydon wing man Jack Appleton eventually going over in the corner. The conversion brought the score to 19-33 and Blaydon sniffed a chance.

When the referee went under the posts for a penalty try five minutes later after Sam Driver had illegally prevented a touchdown from a cross-field kick, the alarm bells really started ringing in the Hinckley camp. Driver was carded leaving Hinckley down to 14 against what was now a rampant Blaydon side.

Tom Catterick converted a penalty almost immediately to bring Blaydon within a score and there was a sense of inevitability five minutes later when Blaydon captain and No. 8 Keith Laughlin, who had an outstanding game holding together a beaten pack, picked up and went over from a five metre scrum to give Blaydon the lead.

To their credit, though, Hornets did manage to pull themselves together for a final effort and Deaville’s last minute score came at the end of one of the best controlled series of phases that the Hornets had put together all afternoon.

With the Hornets having their final match cancelled, it proved the final act of a season that saw many highlights and a few disasters. Hinckley finish fifth in the division, and could still have finished third had the final match gone ahead. At the beginning of the season, a top six finish would have satisfied even the most ardent of supporters, and the team can take great credit from their overall performance. Next season is a new chapter but we can be assured that few teams will look forward to taking on the Hornets in the new campaign.

Nick Robinson

More images can be found @

Quilter Kids First Skills Series: Crab Football

Key moments

Try Josh Smith scores for Hinckley
Conversion Joe Wilson kicks a conversion for Hinckley
Try Conor Bullivant scores for Hinckley
Try Alex Salt scores for Hinckley
Conversion Joe Wilson kicks a conversion for Hinckley
Try Mitch Lamb scores for Hinckley
Conversion Joe Wilson kicks a conversion for Hinckley
Try Rhodri Tanner scores for Hinckley
Conversion Joe Wilson kicks a conversion for Hinckley
Try Jack Dickinson scores for Hinckley
Conversion Joe Wilson kicks a conversion for Hinckley


View 0 new events
80:00 Conversion 0 - 40
Joe Wilson kicks a conversion for Hinckley
79:00 Try 0 - 38
Jack Dickinson scores for Hinckley
63:00 Yellow Card
Sam Driver is yellow carded for Hinckley
End of period 1
39:00 Try 0 - 31
Rhodri Tanner scores for Hinckley
39:00 Conversion 0 - 33
Joe Wilson kicks a conversion for Hinckley
31:00 Conversion 0 - 26
Joe Wilson kicks a conversion for Hinckley
30:00 Try 0 - 24
Mitch Lamb scores for Hinckley
24:00 Conversion 0 - 19
Joe Wilson kicks a conversion for Hinckley
23:00 Try 0 - 17
Alex Salt scores for Hinckley
18:00 Missed Conversion
Joe Wilson misses a conversion for Hinckley
17:00 Try 0 - 12
Conor Bullivant scores for Hinckley
13:00 Conversion 0 - 7
Joe Wilson kicks a conversion for Hinckley
12:00 Try 0 - 5
Josh Smith scores for Hinckley
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Blaydon
  • Hinckley
  • 0
  • Josh Smith Try 12:00'
  • Joe Wilson Conversion 13:00'
  • Conor Bullivant Try 17:00'
  • Alex Salt Try 23:00'
  • Joe Wilson Conversion 24:00'
  • Mitch Lamb Try 30:00'
  • Joe Wilson Conversion 31:00'
  • Rhodri Tanner Try 39:00'
  • Joe Wilson Conversion 39:00'
  • Sam Driver Yellow Card 63:00'
  • Jack Dickinson Try 79:00'
  • Joe Wilson Conversion 80:00'

Team selection

Wilson, Joe Wilson, Joe
Smith, Josh Smith, Josh
Marsden, George Marsden, George
Lamb, Mitch Lamb, Mitch
Bullivant, Conor Bullivant, Conor
Wheatcroft, Tom Wheatcroft, Tom
Glover, Joe Glover, Joe
Salt, Alex Salt, Alex
Turner, Gareth Turner, Gareth
Fearn, Matt Fearn, Matt
Deaville, Mark Deaville, Mark
Marshall, Ben Marshall, Ben
Peck, Dave Peck, Dave
Tanner, Rhodri Tanner, Rhodri
Harper, Oscar Harper, Oscar

League round up

Other National League 2 North results

Sheffield Tigers
Sale FC


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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Sale FC 29 127
2. Sedgley Park 30 126
3. Tynedale 29 107
4. Stourbridge 30 107
5. Hinckley 29 105
6. Huddersfield 30 77
7. Chester 29 73


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