Spartans make club history with first-ever win

Matty Allen impresses on his return
Matty Allen impresses on his return

South Shields Mariners returned to league action this weekend with an away trip to Blyth, but came away beaten 56-13.

Shields started on top and hammered the Blyth 22, but the only reward was a Paul Munro penalty after 10 minutes.

A couple of silly errors and questionable refereeing decisions saw the Shields boys trail 35-3 at half time.

The effort was there and at times some real good rugby, but once again the end product was poor.

The second half was an almost identical story, with loads of possession and territory for the away side. A quality break from Lee McKeith saw him offload to Ray Brooks to get the Mariners first five-pointer of the game. The extras were not added as Shields trailed 35-8.

Two quick scores were added by the home side who had made a host of changes throughout the second half and with fresher legs looked the dominant side.

The Mariners kept their heads and stripped everything back to basic rugby. Some superb work from the pack, especially lock Dave McKenzie, saw Shields come close to an instant response. A bit of quick thinking from Grant Borrill saw him dive over for well deserved score to reduce the arreas to 49-13.

Jordan Wright was shown a debatable yellow card late on for a high tackle and a final score was added by Blyth for a 56-13 scoreline.

New boy Mathew Soroka had a solid afternoon at 13 and impressed. Elsewhere, Matty Allen – returning after almost two years out – put in an excellent shift both in attack and defence.

However, the man of the match, selected by skipper Paul Barker, was awarded to Jack Kennedy who had a solid game at 12 and then later moved to fly-half.

South Shields Spartans were also in action, winning 40-17 at Jarrovians to make it a first-ever win for the third XV.

Tries were scored through Tony Wileman, Craig Gardner and Spanish debutant Carlos Mut Morei.

Aaron Arkley made his first appearance of the season and impressed playing alongside former head coach Tom Brooks. Klaus Dohrn, another debutant, also had an impressive game at 13 in the team captained brilliantly by Paul Nancarrow.