Category: county teams

Durham County Senior Men announce team in preparation for tomorrow’s game

Durham County Senior Men announce team in preparation for tomorrow’s game


Durham County Senior Men are set to face Cumbria in their first match of the Bill Beaumount County Championship.

The game will take place at Hartlepool Rovers from 3pm on Saturday, May 6!

After just a few weeks of trials and a week working as a squad, the Durham County Senior Men’s squad has been whittled down to a match day 22.

Representing Durham are players from across the County including clubs: Billingham, Blaydon, Durham City, Darlington Mowden Park, Hartlepool, West Hartlepool and South Shields Westoe.

Durham Team Sheet:

Cumbria 2017 Prog. Team Page 1


Cumbria Team Sheet:

Cumbria 2017 Prog. Team Page 2.. (002)


Best of luck to the squad, get down and show your support!

Durham County Senior Men’s squad announced tonight

Durham County Senior Men’s squad announced tonight

Chariman of Selctors for Durham County Senior Men has announced that this week’s team will be selected on the evening of May, 3 ready for training on May, 4.
Those selected for this week’s game will be contacted by Team Manager, Gus Miller and will be expected at training on May,4 – 6.30pm @ Hartlepool Rovers.
Those not selected will not be required at training but will still be considered for the remaining two fixtures of this years compeitition. 

Thank you all for your efforts over the past few weeks.

Durham County Women denied derby match in closing minutes

Durham County Women denied derby match in closing minutes


Durham County Senior Women narrowly miss out on derby match as Northumberland secure a converted try in the last minutes to win 17-10.

This year’s Durham Senior Women’s squad made up from players from Darlington RFC, Sunderland Flames, Bishop Auckland, DMP Sharks and Billingham travelled to Novocastrians on Friday night to play derby rivals, Northumberland.

Pictured: Durham County Women against Northumberland


The game was intense and evenly matched most of the way through with scoring proving difficult as both teams defended their try line relentlessly. 

Scoring first just before the half time break was Durham’s inside centre, Tara Breslin as she crashed through the open defence to score an unconverted try.

Despite a half time lead it was not at all in the comfort zone for the visiting side as Northumberland came back with more steam, more aggression and eagerness.

Northumberland showed quick responses to what was in front of them proving to put them one step ahead both in defence and attack.

Although, Durham served well to push the hosts defence back on numerous occasions, persistence paid off as North’s Natasha Robinson opened up the space and darted through to score under the posts. Lauren Wallace pushed the score in the hosts favour as she slotted the ball between the posts. 

The tension evident in the first half still very much remained as the two sides were in each others pockets throughout.

As Durham dragged their way back up the field it was a ball off the line out fed into the centres that gave Kirsty Patterson an overlap in the corner to award the visitors a 10-7 lead.

In the second half both sides were guilty of conceding a number of penalties but Northumberland took advantage and set for the post to even the score 10-10. 

Presenting themselves as the fitter side, Northumberland began to speed up play as they played the offload game in the visitors half making them work twice as hard to recover in defence.

Durham defended the try line from just a few metres out once more and play was back in the middle of park but it seemed Northumberland did not need to be within touching distance as full back, Emily Oliver scooped the ball and ran wide beating the defence under the posts.

With a secondary conversion on the board, Northumberland lead 17-10 with just five minutes on the clock.

Continuing with passion, the game was entertaining to the final whistle with Durham just missing out on their first Gill Burns Championship match.

The side will re-group at training on Wednesday at Hartlepool Rugby Club and go again on Sunday as they welcome Cumbria to Blaydon RFC for a 2pm KO.


By Clarissa Murphy

Preview: Durham County Women name their 23 to face Northumberland

Preview: Durham County Women name their 23 to face Northumberland


Durham County Senior Women have named their final 23 to face rivals Northumberland Women in their first game of the Gill Burns County Championship.

With over 50 females showing an interest in being part of the Durham County side, it has been a tough selection process for the coaching team.

Dave Addison, Head Coach of Durham County Senior Women said: “It is a really exciting time for Women’s Rugby in Durham.

“Having so many women try out has meant that everyone has had to be on their toes, bring their best to each session and perform to win the shirt.

“County rugby should be about developing and growing the game so it is really great seeing so many women showing an interest, in particular having last year’s U18s challenging for full honors alongside experienced players.

In order to produce structure, the experienced coaching team created a main squad of 35 and a development squad.

From the main squad of 35, the final 23 to face Northumberland are: Jess Cheesman – Darlington RFC, Katie Dodgson – Darlington RFC, Alex Webster – DMP Sharks, Sarah Hall – Darlington RFC, Amanda Hilton – Sunderland Flames, Nicole Irving – Sunderland Flames, Sask Munden – Sunderland Fames, Ali Bell – Darlington RFC, Steph Maddison – Sunderland Flames, Lyndsay Burns – Darlington RFC, Tara Breslin – Sunderland Flames, Kirsty Paterson – Sunderland Flames, Ursula Hardy – Darlington RFC, Chloe Allison – Bishop Auckland, Claudia Macdonald- Durham University, Suzanne Falconer – Sunderland Flames, Leah Davies – Sunderland Flames/ Sunderland University, Clarissa Murphy – Sunderland Flames, Katherine Insall – Durham University, Sally Downie – Bishop Auckland, Becca Walker- Sunderland Flames, Tara Slater – Sunderland Flames/ Sunderland University, Kate Byrnes – Billingham RFC

Addison, Sunderland Flames coach commented on the team saying: “Our Squad is made up of a really talented and hard working group of players.

“We have asked the team to take on board a lot of information in a short space of time and they have responded brilliantly.”

Each Wednesday the coaching team have pushed each player to prove themselves in different aspects of the game such as tackling, fitness, game awareness and more.

Addison added: “It has been a great environment for learning and with additional coaching support from Chris Geehan (Sunderland XV), Chris Marsden (Bishop Auckland), Emily Hunter (DMP Sharks and Hartlepool Rovers) and exceptional management from Paul Geehan (Sunderland RFC) it has been really easy to cope with the additional numbers.”

In preparation for Friday, the team had their last run through together on Wednesday night at Hartlepool Rugby Club enabling them to put together the last five weeks of hard work.

For the last meeting with Northumberland in the 2015/2016 campaign the two sides met their match as the game ended in a 24-24 tie.

As this is considered a derby match, both sides will be searching for bragging rights and a head start in the Gill Burns County Championship campaign.

Being a former player and coach of hosts, Northumberland – Dave Addison said: “I know a lot of their players and they will be very strong with most of their squad playing at Championship level.

“But, for this game I am confident that the ladies selected can step up and make a good account of themselves.

“It is great ground for an entertaining game of rugby to come and watch!”

The game will kick off at 7pm at Novocastrians RFC, Sutherland Park, Benton, Newcastle, NE7 7SZ.

Following Friday’s game, Durham will take on Cumbria at Blaydon RFC on Sunday, May 7 and Lancashire on Sunday, May 14 at Darlington RFC, both kicking off at 2pm.

By Clarissa Murphy

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 Darlington face Durham City and in the Plate, Consett take on DMP.

The Cup will be played for on at Durham City RFC on the main pitch on Sunday, 23 – KO 2pm while the Plate will be played at DMP arena on Thursday, May 27 for a 7.30pm KO.

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.

Upcoming Events

  • June 27, 2017
    • Girls Schools beach festival
      12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

      In the second of the schools beach festivals, the girls throughout the county will gather at Seaburn beach to play touch rugby.

  • July 2, 2017
    • Women and Girls Summer Touch
      1:00 pm

      Darlington Mowden Park play host to the Women and Girls Summer Touch Festival on July, 2.

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