Another hard fought win for the mighty 3TM
By Richard Morrison
Saxons show great fight in defeat
A late rearranged fixture meant that there would be a bit of a different look with some regulars unavailable but with a squad of 24 available things looked good, that changed somewhat on the morning of the game with 5 becoming unavailable but still 19 looked good.
Playing on the top pitch, greeted by bright sunshine and soft grass conditions looked good for flowing rugby. Almost from the 1st minute Sedgefield set their stall out with some big tackles flying in and great defence meaning we just couldnt put the phases together. Although there was little attacking threat from the visitors 3TM were getting frustrated, leading to some bad decisions. As the half went on it looked increasingly like the deadlock was only going to be broken by a mistake or something special. Thankfully, on the half hour it was the latter. Young Phil Greenbank with the ball on his own 22 saw some space on the right and a high hanging kick was initially thought to be for territory only, a great chase from Carl Robinson followed by a salmon leap saw him take the ball cleanly. At this point we could visibly see him thinking 'I've caught it, what do I do now?' Fortunately adrenaline took over and it was a case of run forrest run, luckily remembering to put the ball down, phil dissecting the posts for the extra 2. That was how it stayed till half time. During the break the discussion was about keeping it simple and thats just what we did, it was only a couple of minutes in and the forwards were starting to recycle the ball effectively in the opposition 5 metre, the pick and go getting us closer, inch by inch until it came to Andy Thompson, possibly the angriest man to ever wear a Billingham shirt who forced his way over. Phil again slotting the 2. Almost straight from the kick off Billingham were back on the attack, a long clearing kick from Sedgefield taken cleanly by Phil Surtees then through hands till stopped just short. From the ruck up popped the impressive Johnny Fraser to turn his defender inside out before crashing over. Phils afternoon with the boot continuing well. Here Sedgefield could have crumbled as Billingham were starting to tick but their defence held firm alrhough their clearing kicks were taken by the faultless Stephen Canham who was returning with interest. Fifteen minutes to go and Billingham were bothering the scorer again, from a ruck just inside the Sedgefield half young colt Lewis Simon took the ball on a short line and raced through the gap, what happened next was somewhat unbelievable. Lewis attempted the swan dive which you could have thought a young athletic lad could pull off? No, what transpired was more like a demented walruss flopping into the sea, nevertheless the score counted, Phil knocked the 2 over again and the scoreline was now looking comfortable. Still time for one more with Mr. Angry Andy Thompson again crashing over for his 2nd and Billinghams last, Phil finished his afternoon with a 100% record and abother 2 points.
Ultimately this wasn't our best performance but it was great to see we can still win ugly and this will close the gap at the top of the league.
Next up Richmondshire at home yet again, hopefully another big squad and keep things rolling