Blaydon 29, Wirral 24

HAVING been behind 26-3 after only 20 minutes, Wirral shook off the effects of the long journey and almost pulled off a surprise win.

They could have done so, had the referee played the full second half-time allotted, as no account was taken of the time taken to attend to a Blaydon head injury.

Wirral had the first opportunity to score with a penalty chance from wide out but this was not converted.

On Blaydon's first attack in the fourth minute a break in the centre of the field gave centre, Dan Marshall an easy run in.

In the next 16 minutes, Blaydon ran in three more tries through Dan Marshall, Jack Davidson and Jack Appleton as the backs struck a rich vein of form to build up a lead of 26-3 after 20 minutes, Wirral having scored a penalty through James Annetts in the middle of this try scoring spree.

Gradually, Wirral worked their way into the game and after sustained pressure on the Blaydon line were rewarded with tries from Rob Pearl and James Annetts both converted by James to leave the score 26-17 at half-time.

The second half saw all the pressure from Wirral although Blaydon extended their lead to 29-17 with a penalty from Jamie Guy but Wirral were unlucky in only scoring one more converted try through Rob Pearl to give Wirral sight of winning the game.

Full-back Ben Cornford suffered a dislocated shoulder and at a different time a Blaydon player, Keith Laughlin suffered a head injury.

It transpires that the referee does not appear to have stopped his watch for these injuries.

Wirral strove for a further try and despite creating opportunities were not able to get that vital score.

The half-finished after 38 minutes with no account of the injury time being taken into consideration.

From Wirral's point of view to take a losing bonus point after the position they were in after 20 minutes is testament to their ability to bounce back.