South Shields edge into County Cup final

South Shields get ready to stand their ground in a scrum against Seaham. Picture by Michael Elsy.
South Shields get ready to stand their ground in a scrum against Seaham. Picture by Michael Elsy.

South Shields booked their place in the County Cup final with a nail bitting 23-19 victory over Seaham.

Seaham started the brighter of the two times and they looked like a team in a determined mood.

However, it was Shields who opened the scoring within 10 minutes, with a penalty through Deacon Wallace.

Seaham replied with two penalties of their own to take the lead, before Mark Tallintire scored on the half hour mark to put the home side back in the lead.

Shields saw first half injuries to Dan McKay and captain Matty Stephenson, but weathered the Seaham storm and finished the stronger of the two sides.

In the 50th minute, a number of forward pick-and-goes sucked all the Seaham defence into the ruck, resulting in quick thinking by Liam Newall to score unopposed.

A serious ankle injury to Gareth Carey saw a number of changes in personnel which allowed Seaham back into the game.

The away side really looked the more likely of the two teams to progress.

On 70 minutes, Martin Bengston scored after showing great strength under pressure to reach out for the line.

Deacon Wallace added the conversion to give Shields an eight-point lead going into the closing stages of the game.

Shields were awarded a penalty in front of the posts which Deacon Wallace slotted home with 30 seconds remaining.

From the resulting restart, Matt Bengston confidently caught the kick as Shields looked to see out the final few moments.

An infringement in play resulted in a Shields scrum which the home team won and kicked the ball out resulting in the full-time whistle.

A below par performance from a much changed Shields side, but nothing could be taken away from the away side’s effort.

Alex Wylie was outstanding all day and was awarded man of the match.

Shields now wait on a date for the final and opposition, with Houghton and Seaton Carew yet to play in the other semi-final.