South Shields need two wins to claim title

Jonah McIntyre
Jonah McIntyre

South Shields RFC will win the Durham/Northmberland Three title if they win their last two games of the season.

Shields beat Washington 51-3 to go with leaders Newton Aycliffe’s defeat at fellow title challengers Sedgefield.

It means promotion is still not secure for the South Tynesiders.

The Hedworth Hall-sponsored side started brightly against Washington, controlling all over the pitch. Jordan Wright eventually went over with Louis Kellett adding the extras.

A second try followed shortly after when a break from Martin Bengston resulted in an offload to Dan McKay who floated a beautiful pass to Jonah Mcintyre on the right wing who outpaced to score.

Washington came back into the game, adding a penalty infront of the posts as Shields had a silly 10-minute spell, but once the away side composed themselves, they added a third try when Daniel Whitelaw broke through the gain line after the forwards won a scrum against the head. Whitelaw drew the man and offloaded to Ian Arkley who scored.

A further two first half tries were scored as Bengston barged over after some neat work from the pack followed shortly after by a fantastic team try as the backs spun the ball out wide; for Mcintyre to chip a tidy ball over the top with Mark Walker the first to the ball.

Tom Brooks opted to make some essential changes at half time with the introduction of 2nd XV fly-half Alex Roper who has been getting glowing references over the past few months.

The first score of the second half came by an unlikely source, however, as Michael Brookes efforts were deemed over the line and the smile on his face was priceless.

Bengston followed 10 minutes later as he went over unopposed in the far corner to add his second try of the afternoon.

A further two tries were scored in the second half when the returning Michael Nicholson burst past the defence to score under the posts followed by a score from Ian Arkley with the final play.

Mcintyre was awarded the British Engines sponsored man of the match award. Assistant coach Stu Robson said: “His transition to play in different positions was flawless.”

Attention now turns to next week’s final away trip as Shields travel to Yarm.