Durham Men triumphant at Twickenham to take Bill Beaumont Division Two Championship title
Durham County Senior Men claim the Bill Beaumont Division Two Championship title in a 46-12 victory over Warwickshire at Twickenham.
CHAMPIONS: Durham Senior Men lifting the Bill Beaumont Division Two plate at Twickenham
The Durham lads kicked off the game heading into the opponents half with the first of many strong carries from Danny Dixon.
Showing their abilities early, Euan Tremlett and Sean Moloney wormed their way through the Warwickshire defence with speed and agility putting the Warwickshire side on the back foot.
Despite a failed sixth minute attempt for the posts, Josh Bragman boot kick started the scoring with a 3-0 lead in the thirteenth minute.
Warwickshire’s first sight of the Durham’s half came in the 20th minute with a kick for touch seeing Durham steal the first of several defensive line out ball through Dixon and Tom Larder.
The first promising break for the posts came through Durham’s Ralph Appleby, but lost in the offload, Warwickshire were on the attack.
The leaders second appearance on the board followed another break through the defence, coming from Martin Foley, stopped short of the line it was down to Bragman to add a penalty to lead 6-0.
A change from the bench saw Peter Homan making instant impact as he sent Jack McPhillips over, but with the try disallowed the Durham side set up again in the 22 with a carry from Callum Whitehead creating the platform for wide attack. Conner Foley set the back line away with Dixon out wide to make the last carry over the line for a converted try by Bragman to conclude the first half scores at 13-0.
Returning the field, the North East guests were straight back on the board with a driving maul leading the way for Dixon to cross over for a converted try by Bragman.
As momentum continued to build, Durham played their fast paced attacking game with Hopley, McPhillips and Luke Wilson expanding out wide, as play jolted at the 22, it quickly switched wings with Moloney crossing over in the left corner to extend the lead to 27-0 through Bragman’s boot.
Durham’s dominating lead fired the opposition away in the 56th minute as they retaliated with pressure in the 22 resulting in one unconverted try and a converted try to trail 27-12 as Appleby took to the sin bin.
Remaining focused with the prize at stake, Durham’s Rob Stanwix, Larder and Kieran Clark put strong tackles in to end any Warwickshire chances of attack.
The dominating Durham side continued to play the quick, fiery game that had proved dividend throughout to secure a further two converted tries through Moloney and Stanwix before the side were forced into phase ball on the ten metre line setting Taliete Vaioleti up for the final try of the game, converted once more by Bragman to conclude champions with a 46-12 reign over Warwickshire.
2017/2018: Durham Senior Men and staff outside the Spirit of Rugby, Twickenham
Chris Wearmouth, Durham Senior Men Captain said: “We are over the moon as a team, it is a great achievement for us and a fantastic occasion.
“To play at Twickenham is the pinnacle of county rugby, and we thank the RFU for that opportunity.
“We had a great squad out today and they have all brought into the Championship which has made the win possible.
“Personally, I played here three years ago and we lost so to come here today and right the wrong is something we will never forget.”
Pictured: Coach Andrew Bagget with Manager Gus Miller with Championship Plate, and Coach Wearmouth with team photo presented by the RFU
In addition to picking up the Championship title, Max Connon and Conner Foley were both awarded their County caps for five Championship appearance.
A video of the trip to Twickenham will follow in the coming weeks, so keep a look out!
By Clarissa Murphy