Category: county teams

Age grade: County Cup and Plate updates

The Durham County Age Grade Cup and Plate Finals


With the season drawing to a close the final three age grade cup and plate finals are set to be played in the coming weeks.

In the U15s, Durham City challenge Billingham in the Cup final while in the Plate, South Shields Westoe face Bishop Auckland.

Both games will take place on Sunday April, 30 at Consett RFC for a 1.30pm KO

Moving on to the U16, in the Cup, Durham City take on Darlington Mowden Park and fighting for the Plate, Gateshead play Sunderland.

The U16s Cup and the Plate will also be played at Consett RFC on Sunday, April 23 for a 1.30pm KO.

And lastly, in the U18s Cup Darlignton face Durham City and in the Plate, Consett take on DMP.

Both games will take place at Durham City RFC, with the Cup on the main pitch and the Plate just a short walk away at the Race Course pitch, both will KO at 2pm.

A Successfully weekend as Hartlepool BBOB are World Champions and Durham U20s secure final at Twickenham

A Successfully weekend as Hartlepool BBOB are World Champions and Durham U20s secure final at Twickenham 


This weekend was another busy weekend starting at Hartlepool BBOB for the World Cup Championship rugby match and then a well worth lengthy journey to Kent to watch the National Counties U20s Championship Semi- Final.

Starting close to home, Saturday was kick started at the Old Friarage ground for the Boys Brigade Old Boys annual World Cup match.

As far as it has been able to confirm, there are only two BBOB sides in the world; one is in Hartlepool and the other in Northampton.
In light of this, they play one other annually on Easter Saturday for the World Champion title.

Hartlepool played host this year for the twenty first playing of the match.

It is a focal point of both sides playing and social calendar each year with the off field activities being as large a part of the weekend as the actual match.

I was able to join in the pre match reception and watch the early stages of the match before having to leave for the journey to Kent for the U20 match.

This year’s champions were Hartlepool with a 57 – 22 victory and I am told that the post-match activities were as lively and enjoyable as ever.

Pictured: Hartlepool BBOB World Champions match players


Saturday evening I travelled to Kent with the County U20 side for the Nation Semi-Final match to be played at Cranbrook RFC on the Sunday.

After an overnight stay at Dartford, we travelled the last leg of the journey to Cranbrook RFC on Sunday morning.

It was a fine dry day and a very good pitch; all was set for a good match.
There was a large crowd which included former England back row, Mickey Skinner who had come to watch his son play in the Kent side.

The Durham lads produced a superb performance eventually coming out victors 26 -18.

Pictured: Durham County U20s team with coaches and guest President Tony Wilson


We can now proudly say that the lads have earned their way to the Final against Yorkshire at the home of Rugby, Twickenham on Saturday May, 6 – 5pm KO.

It has to be said that it was overwhelming to see the number of families and friends of players that made the long journey to support the Durham team.

They could certainly be heard on the day and the lads said that it helped in raising their game.


To see more of President Wilson’s Willer’s Wanderings, check them out here

Tamara Taylor and Heather Kerr share International experience with a growing Durham County Women’s side

Tamara Taylor and Heather Kerr share International experience with a growing Durham County Women’s side


Durham County Senior Women welcomed Tamara Taylor and Heather Kerr to share their international knowledge ahead of the 2016/17 campaign.

The County Senior Women had the pleasure of experiencing how the England players train their body to International standard at one of their training sessions at Hartlepool Rugby Club.

Taylor and Kerr worked alongside the forwards teaching them new techniques and skills for scrummaging and lineouts.

Paul Geehan, Durham County Senior Women Team Manager said: “Having the pleasure of the two players helping out and chatting with our women will certainly put us on the front foot against our opposition.

“They are both great ambassadors for the game and the players had a great night learning new techniques.”

Earlier this year, Taylor was awarded her 100th International Cap for England playing Lock in the RBS Six Nations match against Wales.

Prop, Kerr has not been short of success, at her young age of 25 she has seven international caps and was this year named RFU Young Player of the Year.

Both girls play alongside one another at Darlington Mowden Park Sharks who were recently announced as part of the new Women’s Premiership Super League programme.

In other training sessions and trials, there have been a record number of women trying out for the County squad.

Over fifty players showed interest in the County team from teams: Sunderland RFC, Darlington RFC, Darlington Mowden Park, Billingham RFC, Hartlepool Rovers, Durham University and Bishop Auckland.

The players have been pushed in various aspects of the game throughout trials working on tackling, line outs, scrums, game plans and more.

Durham County Senior Women coaching team is made up of a variety of experience including, Emily Hunter- DMP Sharks player, Chris Marsden of Bishop Auckland, Chris Geehan of Sunderland XV, David Addison of Sunderland Ladies and newest member Matty Lidster and a fully qualified physiotherapist, JoJo Maddison for match days.


Pictured: 2015/2016 team photo against Cumbria 


Geehan commented on the high numbers at trials saying: “It is unbelievable and by having an influx of players will allow us to develop as well as maintain stability with the experienced players too.

“Having such phenomenal numbers will only make us stronger as a County in the women’s game!”

To utilise the high numbers, the coaching staff are hoping to run a development game against Lancashire.

Following three weeks of trials, the coaching staff have named a development squad and an initial quad which will be cut for games:

Main Squad of 35

Katie Dodgson – Darlington
Alex Webster – DMP
Emily Hunter – DMP
Sarah Hall – Darlington
Nicole Irving -Sunderland Flames
Katherine Insall- Durham University
Saskia Ryan Munden – Sunderland Flames
Ali Bell – Darlington
Lydia Harris – Durham University
Steph Maddison – Sunderland Flames
Kirsty Paterson – Sunderland Flames
Tara Breslin – Sunderland Flames
Claudia Macdonald – DMP/ Durham University
Ursula Hardy – Darlington
Clarissa Murphy – Sunderland Flames
Jess Cheesman – Darlington
Leah davies – Sunderland Flames/ Sunderland University
Suzanne Falconer – Sunderland Flames
Amanda Hilton – Sunderland Flames
Rachel Turnbull – Darlington
Sally Downie – Bishop Auckland
Caitie Smith – DMP
Amber Stonehouse – Sunderland Flames
Jenny Cox – Sunderland Flames
Lyndsay Burn – Darlington
Tara Slater – Sunderland University / Sunderland Flames
Kate Byrnes – Billingham
Beth Blacklock – Durham Univeristy
Catherine McCabe – Sunderland Flames
Amie Bell – Bishop Auckland
Molly Stonebank – Bishop Auckland
Charmaine lamb – Hartlepool Rovers
Abby Richardson – Hartlepool Rovers
Chloe Allison – Bishop Auckland

Development Squad:

Kelly Thomas – Bishop Auckland
Carol Hockworth – Bishop Auckland
Emma Quinn – Bishop Auckland
Natalie Wintersgill – Hartlepool Rovers
Natasha Kennedy – Hartlepool Rovers
Clare Braham – Hartlepool Rovers
Anna Braham – Hartlepool Rovers
Bethany shears – Hartlepool Rovers
Louise Randall – Hartlepool Rovers
Jaz Bradley – Billingham
Kellie palmer – Hartlepool Rovers
Hester Ormerod – Durham Uni
Kate Mcdermott – Sunderland University/ Sunderland Flames


Durham County Senior Women take on Northumberland in their first game for the Gill Burns County Championships on Friday, April 28 at Novocastrians – 7pm KO.

The next two games have been fortunate to fall locally, taking on Cumbria at Blaydon on Sunday, May 7 – 2pm KO and Lancashire on Sunday, May 14 at Darlington Rugby Club- 2pm KO.

Show your support and show up to watch your County Women in some exciting and entertaining games!


By Clarissa Murphy

County U20s book Twickenham Final

A great away win to defeat Kent by 18-26 ensured a place in the final of the Jason Leonard U20 County Championship for the Durham County U20s.

The final will be held on 6th May 2017 at Twickenham where Durham will face Pool 1 rivals Yorkshire.

Willer’s Wanderings: A weekend of travels to endeavor our County

Willer’s Wanderings: A weekend of travels to endeavor our County 

For my first stop on Saturday, I traveled South West of the County to Barnard Castle for their match against Ryton Rugby Club.

Upon my arrival, I was met by my immediate predecessor as County President, David Jackson.

Barny as they are commonly known turn out two senior sides on a regular basis. Their mini section is quite strong in numbers but at junior level there are gaps for developing different age groups. To bridge the gaps at some age levels a combined Barnard Castle and Richmond team are used to play matches.

The club house is in the centre of town while the pitches are a ten minute walk away on a ground near to the river. The club have this year been able to obtain a lease for the playing fields which they are now able to obtain grants for ground improvements. Work on the grounds started during last closed season with some much needed drainage being installed. The additional drainage has improved the playing surfaces and surrounds and it is planned to add more drainage during the coming closed season.

Barny are enjoying a successful season in Durham Northumberland One after promotion last season. Going from strength to strength they are currently one of three sides fighting for two promotion places, while Ryton are at the other end of the table with relegation in prospect.

A good size crowd watched the match run to form with Barny running out comfortable winners against a Ryton team that battled to the final whistle.

My second stop of the day was at Billingham RFC to meet the coach taking the County U20 team on the long trip to Herefordshire for the Sunday match against North Midlands. We travelled as far as Birmingham on Saturday not reaching our hotel until 11pm

On Sunday morning we travelled a further hour and a half to Luctonians RFC for the match between Durham and North Midlands.

In a hard fought match, the Durham boys did Durham County proud with an excellent 31- 25 victory.

Their reward for this is another long journey as we have been drawn away to Kent in the semi-final.

The semi is to be played on Easter Sunday with the winner progressing to a Twickenham final on May, 6.

A six and half hour journey back saw me arrive home at twelve thirty on Monday morning.

Worth the effort to see our U20 do our County proud!

Durham County U20s through to Semi’s after North Midlands victory

Durham County U20s through to Semi’s after North Midlands victory 


Durham County U20s travelled away to Luctonians to face an unbeaten North Midlands side coming out a fantastic 31-25 on top.

The Durham side made their way into the knock out quarter final stage of the Jason Leonard U20 County Championship after a magnificent effort against an unbeaten Yorkshie side two weeks ago.

In the quarter final, Durham grasped a tight 15-12 win over a tough Yorkshire side seeing them face an even tougher challenge away to North Midlands on Saturday.

Dispite anticipations of a difficult task, Durham faced the challenge head on and their endeavours were rewarded as the whistle was blown on a 31-25 victory.

The lads will now go through to the semi final which will take place on April, 15.

WELL DONE to the Durham players, coaches and all those involved.

Durham County U20s in must win game on March, 19 2017

Durham County U20s in must win game on March, 19 2017


Having contrived to loose the game against Northumberland by two points, the County U20 side now face the prospect of a must win game at home to a strong Yorkshire side.

Anything less than a win will mean that the side will fail to progress to the Quarter Final stages of the competition.  The game is to be held at Horden and Peterlee RFC  kick off 2:15 pm.

The game promises to be a “cracker” so why not come along and give the lads your support and hopefully cheer Durham to a much needed victory

Durham U16s contained the Yorkshire pressure to win by two points

Durham U16s contained the Yorkshire pressure to win by two points


Durham v Yorkshire U16s: Team huddle


Durham U16s pulled back a 7-5 victory in their last game of the season against a pressuring Yorkshire side.

Yorkshire opened brightly performing quick on the front foot making room into Durham’s territory early on.

The visitors pinned the hosts back with direct running and support play, however, several try scoring opportunities were snubbed as Durham competed well at the set piece.

Durham U16s: Line out


With pressing efforts, Yorkshire were first on the score board after 15 minutes, positive interplay from the forwards sent Yorkshire’s Callum Hancock over the line for an unconverted try.

Durham began to hold the threat and started attacking forward and utilising their threats in the back line.

Entering the second half, it was soon apparent that Durham were having their turn at being the dominant side. The hosts pitched up in the Yorkshire 22, forcing the visitors into nervous amounts of defending.

After missing out on two tries due to Yorkshire planting themselves under the ball on the try line, the constant pressure finally came good with Max Pepper temporarily levelling the score before Joe Ross pushed the hosts in front with the conversion to lead 7-5.

Durham U16s V Yorkshire U16s


Visiting with the Yorkshire team, Kevin Davey said: “The game was played in an excellent spirit and was skilfully officiated by the referee and his assistants.

“Our lads can be proud of their efforts today. For many this was the biggest game of their rugby careers to date. There were eye catching performances from several players and some great reference points for the coaches to work on.

“With regards to the Durham U16s they had a number of players who stood up, with our special mention going to the full-back for his running lines, footwork and willingness to ‘play’ outstanding.”

For man of the match it was Durham’s Matthew Price that stood out on the whole for an ‘outstanding performance’.

Tackle: Yorkshire on Durham U16s


Both teams thanked Ryton RFC for their tremendous efforts and hosting facilities for the match. A great number of parents and supporters lined the side of the pitch to positively support what was a great performance from both teams.

Phil lax, Durham County U16s Manager added: “The Durham boys were outstanding and put in a great performance in front of a big crowd.

“Yorkshire have had convincing wins against both Lancashire and Cheshire only conceding three points making it a great game for us to come back and win.”

Team sheets from the game: 

Durham U16s: 
1. Ethan Hall
2. Luke Hawkins
3. Charlie Caswell
4. Nick Blowey
5. Shane Ivey
6. Chris West
7. Will Dexter
8. William Elliott
9. Max Pepper
10. Alex Smith
11. Cameron Mather
12. Matthew Price
13. Max Thompson
14. Caleb Ellis
15. Joe Ross

James Borthwick
Stephen Carrick
Joe Sawdon
Josh Hanson
Harry Thompson
Ryan Andrew Walsh
Luke Cooper
Ethan Crawford
Conor Martin
Sam Douglass
Zak Swan

Yorkshire U16s: 

1 Connor Hancock Dinnington RFC
2 Jack Baldry Dinnington RFC
3 Callum Hancock Dinnington RFC
4 Will Smith Wenslydale RFC
5 Will Pritchard Wetherby RFC
6 Louis Mullen(Capt) Harrogate RFC
7 Frank Malir Otley RFC
8 Max Bridges York RFC
9 Sam Murphy Otley RFC
10 Matthew Sheard Yarnbury RFC
11 Reece Dixon Pocklington RFC
12 Harrison Van Der Wal Sandal RFC
13 Jack Croft Wharfedale RFC
14 George Booth Sandal RFC
15 Oliver Williams Ripon RFC
16 Joseph Kenny Sandal RFC
17 Will Tindall Hull Ionians RFC
18 Elliott Burgess Selby RFC
19 Thomas Bell Dinnington RFC
20 Lewis Mace Middlesbrough RFC
21 Henry Bayston Selby RFC
22 Charlie Kirk Hull Ionians RFC
23 Keir Welch Keighley RFC

To see more on how the Durham U16s have got on this season, check out their page here

Durham Women: Fixtures released

Durham Women’s fixtures
The Senior Women’s teams fixtures for the 2016/2017 season have been confirmed:
Durham V Northumberland : Friday April, 28 – Novocastrians (Friday night game)
Durham V Cumbria: Sunday May, 7 – Blaydon Rugby Club
Durham V Lancashire : Sunday, May, 14 –  Darlington Rugby Club, Blackwell Meadows.

Durham U16s training squad trimmed ready for Yorkshire game

Durham U16s training squad trimmed ready for Yorkshire game


After hours of deliberation the extremely difficult task of selecting a 29 player training Squad for the game with Yorkshire has been completed.
The coaching team will then have to select a playing 23 with two travelling reserves.

The training squad is:

1.Ethan Hall – Barnard Castle School
2.Luke Hawkins – Gateshead RFC
3.Charlie Caswell – West Hartlepool RFC
4.Nick Blowey – Durham City RFC
5. Fred Lockwood – Barnard Castle School
6. Stephen Carrick – Darlington RFC
7. Will Dexter – Billingham RFC
8.William Elliott – Durham City RFC
9. Zak Swan –
10. James Borthwick – West Hartlepool RFC
11. Conor Martin – Darlington Mowden Park RFC
12. Josh Hanson -Durham City RFC
13. Shane Ivey (C) – Hartlepool RFC
14. Sam Gate – Billingham RFC
15. Ryan Andrew Walsh – Billingham RFC
16. Chris West – Houghton RFC


17. Max Pepper – Barnard Castle School
18. John Guy – Westoe RFC
19. Caleb Ellis –
20. Luke Pearson – Billingham RFC
21. Alex Smith – Durham City RFC
22. Cameron Mather – Gateshead RFC
23. Mathew Price – Barnard Castle School
24. Sam Wilson – Billingham RFC
25. Sam Douglass – Middlesborough RFC
26. Leon Turnbull –
27. Joe Ross – Billingham RFC
28. Max Thompson – Stockton RFC
29. Ethan Crawford – Bishop Auckland RFC

Manager, Phil Lax said:  “Well done to all the players selected and you owe it to the guys that didn’t quite make it to work as hard as you can to justify your selection.”

The final match day 23 man squad will be announced next week.

Training will also take place at Ryton RFC on Monday, 13 and Friday, 17 from 6.30pm to 8.30pm

To see more on the U16s see here 

Upcoming Events

  • April 26, 2017
    • Senior County Cup Final

      The finalists are yet to be known but the match will take place on April 26 , 2017.

  • April 27, 2017
    • Discipline Committee
      7:00 pm

      Discipline Committee will meet at Sunderland RFC

  • April 29, 2017
    • Darlo mini and junior festival
      10:30 am

      Festival of rugby for age groups, Under 16, Under 15, Under 14 & Under 13.
      Entering a team costs £25 each but if you enter four, the fifth goes free. To book contact:

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