Durham Senior Men make a storming start to County Championship
Durham County Senior men had a flying start to their campaign winning 62-5 against visitors Cumbria at Hartlepool Rovers.
The match was the opening of the County Championship campaign for the Wearsiders and the Annual Past Presidents’ Lunch seeing a reunion of Durham County players including Mike Weston who took part in the 1967 County Championship.
Saturday’s opponents, Cumbria kicked off the game seeing the ball swept up by the hosts up field before it was moved wide to winger, Fraser Wilson who opened the scoring with an unconverted try.
Before the visitors had chance to settle, the hosts applied the pressure and after only nine minutes they added a converted try to the board on the other wing by Martin Hopley. The lead was extended to 12-0 as fly half, Josh Bragman added the extra points with a confident kick.
As they dominated proceedings, Durham went onto build up a 38-0 half time lead thanks to further tries from; Wilson and forwards, Talite Vaioleti, Danny Dixon and Tom Larder.
The second half followed a similar pattern as hosts Durham scored again within 11 minutes through forward Dixon.
Next up, debutant, Liam Checksfield added a superb individual try as he sidestepped past several – would be tacklers in a run from Durham’s half that took the score to 46-0 after Andrew Baggett easily added the extras.
In the 59th minute the Cumbrian efforts were rewarded albeit from Durham errors as they crossed the line for an unconverted try.
Continuing to play with dominance, the hosts hit back almost immediately as winger Hopley burst through to score his second of the day.
Durham’s final try came in the 65th minute courtesy of another debutant; flanker Anthony Jackson. The conversion from Baggett took the score to 62-5.
John Dove, Durham County Senior Men Chairman of Selectors, said: “It was an excellent performance from the whole squad and a great start to the competition.
“Next up we have two travelling fixtures to complete our County Championship Campaign.”
On Saturday, Durham face Staffordshire away at Lichfield RFC (2.30pm KO)