Billingham 35, Wirral 12

THIS was Wirral's third visit to Billingham and they have yet to register a victory at this north-east club.

From the opening minutes it was apparent the home side were looking to utilise the speed and penetration of their backs.

Three penalties by the Billingham fly-half Peter Evans had given the home side a 9-0 lead after 31 minutes.

It was the final five minutes of the first half which decided the game as Billingham scored two tries in quick succession, the first by Elliott Husband after a decisive break in the centre.

Danny Dixon scored the second when Wirral failed to clear the ball to touch.

Both tries were converted by Evans to give the home side a 23-0 lead at half-time.

Billingham extended their lead with a third try through Luke Wilson when they opted to run a penalty when shaping up to kick for touch.

Following a yellow card to each side, Wirral started to construct some attacks and mounted pressure on Billingham's line.

They were rewarded when Keith Mahon broke through to get Wirral on the scoresheet.

From the restart, Billingham continued to apply pressure with downfield kicks establishing territorial advantage.

A further yellow card against Wirral gave Billingham numerical advantage and good passing gave hooker Sean Wallace the chance to dive over for the try bonus point.

With virtually the final play of the game, Craig Harvey broke through to score, duly converted by James Annetts.