BLAYDON’S promotion prospects are beginning to thaw following Saturday’s 29-14 loss at Esher.
The National One title contenders were one of the few North East sides seeing any match action on another weekend when the weather was the main winner, but with perfect conditions in Surrey they failed to take advantage.
The home side were two tries to the good by the interval, although Micky Ward’s men are made of stern stuff these days and reduced the gap to just three after a pair of tries of their own.
Scrum-half Jonny Burn’s sniping score from a well-structured maul got them going and when Chris Wearmouth added a second the prospects looked promising.
However, another two tries for Esher sealed the deal and ensured Blaydon left empty-handed, their chances of Championship rugby next season diminishing markedly in the process.
Durham University’s Josh Beaumont (pictured right) captained England Students to a 25-20 win over the full Portugese national side in Lisbon.
Durham flanker Harrison Collins and full-back Simon Hammersley also started, with fellow Palatinate Josh Bayford on the bench.
Head coach James Farndon said: “A lot of players showed us not only their obvious talent but also their mental toughness. Beaumont typified that for us.
“When we were down, he rallied us and kept us on track and that’s a credit to him.”
Meanwhile, Newcastle Falcons have named Mike Elliott as their new commercial director, having made the move from Durham County Cricket Club. Elliott’s arrival continues the club’s off-field strengthening following the summer arrival of chief executive Paul Varley from Carillion Energy Services, with previous commercial director Duncan Edward taking up the new role of sales and marketing director.
Varley said: “Mike has a strong track record of delivering success with the business community from his time at Durham and prior to that at Newcastle Racecourse.
“We are delighted he is joining the Falcons.
“This is a further step in securing the right team to deliver on our vision for the future and we are looking forward to Mike joining the team.”