Category: county teams

ENGLAND’S MOST CAPPED RUGBY PLAYER SET TO UNVEIL BILLINGHAM RFC PITCH

ENGLAND’S MOST CAPPED RUGBY PLAYER SET TO UNVEIL BILLINGHAM RFC PITCH

Billingham Rugby Club welcome England’s most capped player, Jason Leonard to officially open their newly laid Artificial Grass Pitch.

This  Saturday, Bilingham Rugby Club are holding the grand opening of their RFU Rugby 365 Artificial Grass Pitch (AGP) with the help of OBE and former England Player, Jason Leonard.

Although the pitch has already had its christening of rugby boots since being laid, the club are welcoming; families, friends, players and spectators to enjoy the official opening.

Billingham were selected as the first Area Six club to trial the RFU Rugby 365 AGP in the 100 clubs across England. The pitches are part of the Rugby World Cup 2015 legacy seeing over £50m investment across four years around the country.

The aim of the pitches is to allow rugby to be played 365 days a year without weather permitting the game we love. This will mean we can play more rugby, more often especially as the weather in the North East can be very fluctuant.

As part of the agreement for holding an AGP pitch at the club, Billingham RFC will also be accessible to; surrounding rugby clubs, organisations, schools and more through an online booking system with fees as low as £24 per hour for some participants.

Jason Leonard, aka ‘The Fun Bus’ will open the pitch from 12pm followed by an open Q&A session.

On the day, there will be lots to enjoy including; a bouncy castle, outdoor bar, all day rugby and more.

Running of events:

11am – 1pm: Under 17s Tournament involving local clubs

12pm – 12:15pm: AGP Official opening by Jason Leonard OBE

1pm – 2pm: Durham County Women V Yorkshire County Women 3pm – 4.30pm: Billingham RUFC V Otley RUFC friendly

 

 

By Clarissa Murphy

County Girls: County Summer camp open days announced

County Girls: County Summer camp open days announced

 

Durham County Women and Girls committee are running two Summer camp open days for U15 and U18 players to attend.

The aim of the days is to get lots of girls from clubs across Durham County at the two different venues to showcase their talent and even learn something new.

By hosting open days before the season begins, coaches get a chance to work with a range of players and it means there is no limit on who can attend!

Last year, players from our County teams went on to North of England assessments, with some going on to play in the squad.

 

Team photo: Durham County U15s 2016/17 season

 

The Summer camps will be run by the upcoming seasons representative girls coaches.

Camp one -RYTON RFC – Sunday August, 20 at 1.30pm

Camp two – HARTLEPOOL ROVERS – Sunday September, 10 at 1.30pm

Durham Women head to North 7s Finals

Durham Women head to Northern 7s Finals

Durham County Women are through to the Northern 7s finals after securing runners up position at the RFU 24/7s Qualifiers.

On the last weekend in June, Billingham RFC welcomed a host of different clubs to compete in the RFU 24/7s qualifiers on their new artificial grass pitch.

In the men’s’ elite league, teams came from Consett, Billingham, Darlington Mowden Park and more with social men’s’ team also entering.

For the Ladies competition, Bishop Auckland reigned champions on the day beating Durham Ladies Baa Baas in the final and will also head to West Park Leeds RFC for the Northern finals.

24/7s Qualifiers: Ladies competiton winners, Bishop Auckland Ladies

 

The Durham Baa Baas side was made up of three players from Billingham RFC, one from Darlington Mowden Park and five from Sunderland Flames.

Heading to the finals in the burgundy jersey are: Clarissa Murphy (Sunderland Flames) Karen Donkin (Sunderland Flames), Rachel Frost (Sunderland Flames), Steph Maddison (Sunderland Flames), Emma Langton (Sunderland Flames), Kate Byrnes (Billingham Ladies) Courtney Hussain (Billingham Ladies) and Caitie Smith (Darlington Mowden Park).

24/7s Qualifiers: Durham Ladies Baa Baas Runners up

 

During the qualifiers, Durham Baa Baas came up against Acklam Ladies, newly formed Hartlepool Rovers and winners Bishop Auckland.

In the men’s’ elite qualifier, Billingham’s finest will make the journey south after beating Darlington Mowden Park in the final.

24/7s Qualifiers: Billingham RFC, winners of elite competition

 

The competition at West Park Leeds RFC is the second stage and offers teams a chance to compete against the other best seven’s sides in the North.

On the day, the winners and runners up in both the men’s’ and women’s’ competitions will progress to the National 24/7s final at The Rec in Bath on Saturday, July 24.

Registration starts at 10am with games follwoing at 11am on Saturday, July 15 at West Park Leeds RFC.

Durham County RFU wishes the best of luck to all Durham Clubs making the journey.

By Clarissa Murphy

Durham County are looking for their first representative Girls rugby sponsor

Durham County are looking for their first representative Girls rugby sponsor

 

As we prepare for the upcoming season, Durham County would like to offer you the opportunity to sponsor the U15/ U18 representative Girls Rugby teams.

This sponsor will see you feature on trianing kits, have your business name sponsored across Durham, Lancashire and Cheshire!

Our County squad features players that were selected to join the North of England U18s squad this year and will still be with us for another season.

There are several benefits for teaming up with us, with opportunities and coverage offered in various ways for your company!

Pictured: Girls Sponsor advert

 

For more information contact Francesca Harding at: durhamcorugbywomenandgirls@gmail.com

Durham County Senior Men’s Championship ended by a strong Leicestershire side

Durham County Senior Men’s Championship ended by a strong Leicestershire side

 

Durham Senior Men County Campaign hopes holted by a strong Leicestershire side in a 55-14 loss.

Pictured: Team after Cumbria victory

 

After two convincing victories, Durham were in a fight for Twickenham glory as they travelled down to Oldham RFC on Saturday.

Durham opened their campaign welcoming Cumbria to Hartlepool Rovers and running in a 62-5 victory for local spectators to enjoy.

The first away trip to play Staffordshire saw a similar turn of events as once again they did not struggle to get a score on the board, leaving Lichfield RFC with a 44- 14 victory.

Although, Leicester had also had a similar favourable start to the campaign and asserted dominance in play that Durham had not yet been faced with.

The hosts were an experienced side selected in the main from South Leicester, Leicester Lions and Hinckley.

John Dove, Chairman of Selectors for Durham County Seniors said: “They demonstrated they were a strong side on the pitch as well as on paper.

So much so, their victory sees them play in the fianl at Twickenham on Saturday for the fifth tim in seven years of playing in the compeition.

“We are a very young squad and will have beneffited from this years competition and will add to our strength coming back next year.”

On the day, try scorers Liam Checksfield (of West Hartlepool) and Max Connon (of Blaydon RFC) lined up Josh Bragman (of DMP) for the conversions to cut the deficit to 55-14.

Throughout the Championship, Durham have welcomed new players to the team sheet and to the pitch to contribute to the sides success. In paticular, Tom Johnson is the first player in 17 years to play for the representative side from Hartlepool RFC and was also awarded his County Cap on Saturday for making five appearances.

Picture: Tom Johnson of Hartlepool RFC receiving County Cap

 

Players throughout the campaign also came from: West Hartlepool, Blaydon, Billingham, Harrogate, Middlesbrough, Darlington Mowden Park, South Shields Westoe and Durham City.

Alot of hard work takes place on the lead up to the County Championship that makes it possible, Durham County RFU would like to thank all the back up staff, the Chairman of Selectors and the excellent work of the Coaches, Chris Wearmouth and Andrew Baggett.

Team that faced Leicestershire:

1. Charlie Purkiss-McEndoo       Harrogate
2. Tom Larder                               Harrogate
3. Ben Parkinson                          Durham City
4. Chris Wearmouth                    Blaydon
5. Andrew Kirton                       
   Sth. Shields Westoe
6. Talite Vaioleti                           DMP
7. Anthony Jackson                      Billingham
8. Danny Dixon                             Billingham
9. Max Connon                             Blaydon
10. Andrew Baggett                    Blaydon
11. Frazer Wilson                         Blaydon
12. Peter Youll                              West Hartlepool
13. Liam Checksfield                    West Hartlepool
14. Martin Hopley                        Billingham
15. Josh Bragman                         DMP

16. Kieran Clark                            Middlesbrough
17. Chris Wood                            DMP
18. Tom Johnson                         Hartlepool
19. Martin Lonsdale                    Blaydon
20. Lewis Roxby                           Billingham
21. Conner Foley                         Middlesbrough

See more about Senior County Side

By Clarissa Murphy

Durham Senior Men face Leicestershire in the race for Twickenham

Durham Senior Men face Leicestershire in the race for Twickenham

 

Durham County Senior Men travel down to Oakham RFC on Saturday to face Leicestershire in the contest for a final spot.

After Durhams two victories over Cumbria and Staffordshire and a strong start for Leicestershire it will be a winner takes all game at Oakham.

The game will see the winner head to Twickenham for the final next week.

Durham Senior Men look to mirror the success of the U20s as they made their way to Twickenham earlier this month to face Yorkshire.

In preparation for the last round, Durham have selected their travelling team to face Leicestershire.

Team as follows:


1. Charlie Purkiss-McEndoo       Harrogate
2. Tom Larder                               Harrogate
3. Ben Parkinson                          Durham City
4. Chris Wearmouth                    Blaydon
5. Andrew Kirton                       
   Sth. Shields Westoe
6. Talite Vaioleti                           DMP
7. Anthony Jackson                      Billingham
8. Danny Dixon                             Billingham
9. Max Connon                             Blaydon
10. Andrew Baggett                    Blaydon
11. Frazer Wilson                         Blaydon
12. Peter Youll                              West Hartlepool
13. Liam Checksfield                    West Hartlepool
14. Martin Hopley                        Billingham
15. Josh Bragman                         DMP

16. Kieran Clark                            Middlesbrough
17. Chris Wood                            DMP
18. Tom Johnson                         Hartlepool
19. Martin Lonsdale                    Blaydon
20. Lewis Roxby                           Billingham
21. Conner Foley                         Middlesbrough 

Durham Women end County Campaign with record numbers wearing the shirt

Durham Women end County Campaign with record numbers wearing the shirt

 

Durham County Women denied next stage of County Campaign after 40 – 5 loss to Lancashire at Darlington Rugby Club.

Clarissa Murphy Writes;

Aside from the first team score, Durham set two ‘first time ever records’ as they fielded a second team and awarded seven players their County Caps.

Pictured: Tara Breslin, Jess Cheesman, Katie Dodgson, Lydnsy Burns, Ali Bell, Steph Maddison and Ursula Hardy with caps

 

The hosts knew heading into the clash it was going to be the toughest fight yet with Lancashire a confident side with two strong wins on the leader board.

Kicking off the game, Lancashire went straight into their game plan shipping the ball wide at speed trailing the Durham defence across the pitch.

It was only moments into kick off that the Lancashire back line found their opening an used their speed out wide to travel from the half way line under the posts.

Lancashire continued to put same style tries on the board as the hosts defence struggled to match their numbers out wide.

After putting 15 points on the board  to nil, Durham began to apply the pressure needed to slow the Lancashire Ladies back line.

In the pack it was evident the hosts were dominant as they forced scrums back, turned ball over and  drove forward several yards in mauls.

Despite challenging the visitors as the clock ticked, the well drilled side continued to find their way past the Durham Women and over the line.

Seeing in a further four unconverted tries, the visitors had made a good 35-0 head start by half time whistle was blown.

Receiving the first kick of the game, Durham were in clear position for a run at the Lancashire side, taking it wide they crashed the ball in with a quick response to defend the ball.

Durham began working their set piece play dragging in the visitors defence.

Throughout the second half the hosting women demonstrated their fight and passion as they began to fiercely respond to the half time score.

At the break downs both sides had their fair share of quick snaps as for a period of time the ball began to change hands in a yo yo process.

Only having conceded one try throughout the second half it was clear the hosts were used to the Lancashire play and resilient to a repeat performance from the first half.

Continuing to play a forward dominated game, the pack forced the visitors onto the back foot as they crashed the line.

Following a line out in the Lancashire 22, Durham set up a maul and finally rewarded themselves a deserved five points on the board as they drove over the line together.

Despite an opposing favoured score line the atmosphere among the home team demonstrated they were proud and happy to have turned things around in the second half.

After the hosts first try they continued to put their bodies on the line to defend their 5 – 5 second half performance closing the game 40-5.

Pictured: first team after Lancashire game

 

Before the first team game, Durham County Women saw a second team step out and play a development game for the first time ever.

The game was an opportunity to give the numerous dedicated players a chance to display their talent and wear the County shirt.

Within the team were players from clubs such as Hartlepool Rovers of which the Women have only been playing a matter of months.

Matty Lidster, Durham County Development team Head Coach said: “It is great to see so many women getting involved in playing at representative level.

“It is a real exciting time for Women’s Rugby and Women’s Rugby in the North East.”

Pictured: Durham Development team

 

Durham Women closed their campaign with seven of the players being awarded their Durham County Cap for the first time ever by Secretary and Vice President John Denham.

Players were from: Jess Cheesman (Darlington RFC), Ali Bell (Darlington RFC), Lydnsy Burns (Darlington RFC), Ursula Hardy (Darlington RFC), Katie Dodgson (Darlington RFC), Steph Maddison (Sunderland Flames) Tara Breslin (Sunderland Flames)

See two team sheets here

Durham County Senior Men one step closer to Twickenham

Durham County Senior Men one step closer to Twickenham

 

Durham County Senior Men take their tally to two from two after  a 41-14 victory over Staffordshire in the County Championship on Saturday. 

Last week, Durham Seniors opened their campaign as they welcomed Cumbria to Hartlepool Rovers in what turned out to be a one sided affair winning 62-5, while down the road, Staffordshire had lost out to Leicestershire.

John Dove, Chairman of Selectors for Durham County Senior Men said: “With Leicestershire expected to win when travelling to Cumbria it was vital that Durham came back from Lichfield with a victory.

“From this competition we look to try and emulate the County Under 20’s by reaching the final at Twickenham.”

Looking to open the game at a high tempo things could not have worked out better as in the second minute centre Fraser Wilson broke through for the opening score of the day.

Durham played with a lot of confidence and their efforts were rewarded again after just seven minutes as hooker Chris Wood took the score to 10-0.

After just 15 minutes on the clock it was a third score for Durham as Talite Vaioleti finished off some excellent approach work from Wood and Andrew Baggett.

Bagget saw the first ball between the posts to extend the lead to 17-0.

Staffordshire began to find their feet 20 minutes in as they opened their account with a converted try scored by flanker Prince.

In retaliation, Durham hit back at the hosts as Martin Hopley crossed for an unconverted try to lead 22-7.

As the game moved towards half time Staffordshire built up some pressure but it was the visitors who were to score with Wilson again finishing off the move. Baggett’s kick took the score to 29-7 in time for the half time break.

Straight back into play, the visitors proved they were not ruptured by the break as Wilson added to his tally with two tries in the 48th minute and the 60th minute with Baggett converting the second to lead 41-7.

Pictured: Fraser Wilson in action

To their credit the hosts continued to work hard and were rewarded the final score on the board in the 66th minute when a converted try left them trailing 41-14.

Dove added: “On a day when everyone gave their all, the try scoring efforts of Fraser Wilson were the icing on the cake.

“Next week we travel to Oakham to play Leicestershire in a winner takes all event.

“We will be looking to earn ourselves the trip to Twickenham for the final on Sunday, May 28.”

Team that faced Staffordshire

Durham Senior Men set for first away trip in County Championship

Durham Senior Men set for first away trip in County Championship 


Durham County Senior Men hit the road to take on Staffordshire in the County Championship on Saturday. 

Pictured: Durham Senior Men team photo 2016/2017

 

The game will take place at Lichifeild RFC kicking off art 2.30pm

Last week, Durham made an impressionable start to their County Championship campaign beating Cumbria 62-5 at Hartlepool Rovers.

This weeks hosts, Stafffordshire did not have as good of a start to their season losing 45 – 7 to Leicestershire.

The team to travel to Staffordshire are:

Position Name Club
15 Max Connon Blaydon
14 Martin Hopley Billingham
13 Fraser Wilson Blaydon
12 Peter Evans (C) Billingham
11 Elliott Husband Billingham
10 Andrew Baggett Blaydon
9 Dan Finney Billingham
1 Charlie Purkiss-McEndo Harrogate
2 Chris Wood DMP
3 Ben Parkinson Durham City
4 Tom Johnson Hartlepool
5 Andrew Kirton South Shields Westoe
6 Talite Vaioleti DMP
7 Dan Burns Billingham
8 Danny Dixon Billingham
16 Kieran Clark Middlesbrough
17 Tom Larder Harrogate
18 Anthony Jackson Billingham
19 Peter Youll West Hartlepool
20 Chris Wearmouth Blaydon
21 Liam Checksfield West Hartlepool
22 Ryan Foreman Blaydon

 

Durham Women prepare for tougest test yet as they welcome Lancashire on Sunday

Durham Women prepare for tougest test yet as they welcome Lancashire

 

Durham County Women welcome Lancashire this Sunday at Darlington Rugby Club for the final round of the pool games in the County Championship. 

 

Pictured: Durham Women after 34-5 victory over Cumbria

Clarissa Murphy writes; 

This Sunday will see a record number of women step out in the Durham County jersey as the side are set to field a development squad before the main squad game.

At the beginning of trials and training for Durham County a record number of over 50 women showed interest in playing for the side.

Due to the numbers persisting week in and week out and selection continuing to be a nail biting experience, it comes as a great reward that each dedicated player will get their chance at playing in the jersey this Sunday.

Dave Addison, Durham County Women’s Head Coach, said: “The competition for places has been really fierce and that’s very much down to the developing players really stepping up and putting pressure on the main squad.”

The development squad is made up of players from Hartlepool Rovers, a very new women’s rugby team on the scene, Sunderland University, Sunderland Flames, Acklam, Bishop Auckland and Darlington Mowden Park Sharks.

Matty Lidster, Head Coach for the County Women Development squad, said: “Personally to me, it does not matter what the score is as long as we get a team out and play to the best of our ability.

“Every game is experience and that is what the development side is all about, gaining that game experience and enjoying playing.”

First team Head Coach, Addison added that he is very excited to see the development squad get out and have a game after all their hard work.

Last week, Durham played hosts to Cumbria in a victorious 34-5 match at Blaydon RFC.

Following a slow start for the hosts they came out with six tries and a team performance to be proud of.

Addison added: “I think last week we started poorly by our standards and in the first half we left a lot of points on the field, in the second half we were much better and back to ourselves.

“This week we need to step out with belief that we can produce a positive result and back ourselves 110%.”

In the last year’s meeting with Lancashire, Durham were the half time leaders and in the final ten minutes Lancashire managed to grasp a hold of the score board and steal the win from under their nose.

Training this week has given the Durham Women a chance to assess areas they need to work on and focus on how they can steer the game in their favour Sunday.

“We have worked on lots of new things in our defensive work and also our game management strategy and the players have adapted really well.” Addison said.

Lancashire are currently unbeaten having beaten Cumbria 112 – 0 in their first fixture and Northumberland 51-10 last Saturday.

Although, having secured a losing bonus point and a winning bonus point in the two Durham games, the hosts are sitting second in the Gill Burns Division One, pool one group.

This means that Sunday’s game will determine the winner of the pool as Lancashire sit a catchable four points ahead at the top of the current leader board.

Commenting on Lancashire, Addison of Sunderland Flames said: “This is the toughest test yet,- Lancashire have been on fire, easily beating Cumbria and Northumberland and will be hungry to win the competition after narrowly missing out last year.

“However, because we have picked up the bonus points we now have something to play for and we would never doubt our girls.

“It will take a momentous effort but at least we have the opportunity to go through which others do not have.

“It is a huge incentive for us and it would send out a message to the women’s rugby community about Durham’s intentions.”

The development squad game will kick start the day as they take on Lancashire development for a 1pm kick off, the first team will step out for a 2.30pm KO.

Lidster of Hartlepool Rovers added: “Being able to put out a development squad as well as a first team is a massive step forward in women’s rugby.

“It shows how much women’s rugby has grown in the past few years and it is very exciting!”

The team set to face Lancashire are: 

First team:

1.Katie Dodgson (Darlington RFC), 2. Emily Hunter (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), 3. Jess Cheesman (Darlington RFC), 4. Sarah Hall (Darlington RFC), 5. Amanda Hilton (Sunderland Flames), 6. Nicole Irving (Sunderland Flames), 7. Sally Downie (Bishop Auckland), 8. Ali Bell (Darlington RFC), 9. Steph Maddison (C- Sunderland Flames), 10. Lyndsey Burns (Darlington RFC), 11. Chloe Allison (Bishop Auckland), 12. Tara Breslin (Sunderland Flames), 13. Clarissa Murphy (Sunderland Flames), 14. Tara Slater (Sunderland Flames), 15. Ursula Hardy (Darlington RFC).

Replacements: Leah Davies (Sunderland Flames), Suzanne Falconer (Sunderland Flames) Alex Webster (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), Amber Stonehouse (Sunderland Flames), Beth Blacklock (Durham University), Kate Byrnes (Billingham RFC) Kirsty Paterson (Sunderland Flames)

Travelling reserves: Rachael Turnbull, Caitie Smith, Emma Quinn, Catherine McCabe, Charmaine Lamb.

Development team:

1.Charmaine Lamb (Hartlepool Rovers), 2. Danni Coulton (C – Hartlepool Rovers), 3. Emma Quinn (Bishop Auckland), 4. Rachael Turnbull (Darlington RFC), 5. Natasha Kennedy (Hartlepool Rovers), 6. Abby Richardson (Hartlepool Rovers), 7. Molly Stonebank (Bishop Auckland), 8. Caitie Smith (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), 9. Rachel Frost (VC- Sunderland Flames), 10. Sam Lill (Acklam), 11. Sophie Nash (Sunderland Flames), 12. Zoe Short (Acklam), 13. Jayne Guillaume (Acklam), 14. Catherine Mccabe (Sunderland Flames) Kate McDermot (Sunderland Flames)

Replacements: Kiera Yorston (Sunderland Univeristy), Bethany Randerson, Kelly Thomas (Bishop Auckland), Natalie Wintersgill (Hartlepool Rovers), Claire Napier (Sunderland Flames) Becca Willett (Bishop Auckland), Kirsty Mann (Acklam), Lauren Somerville (Acklam), Lynsey Lormier (Acklam) and Claire Braham (Hartleepol Rovers).

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