Durham Senior Men make a storming start to County Championship

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.

Pictured: Durham County Senior Men’s team 2016/2017


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.

Pictured: Try scored by Fraser Wilson


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.

Pictured: Try score by Martin Hopley


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.”

Team sheet from Durham V Cumbria

On Saturday, Durham face Staffordshire away at Lichfield RFC (2.30pm KO)


DMP host Durham County Cup Final on Thursday

DMP host Durham County Cup Final on Thursday


Darlington Mowden Park open their Arena doors on Thursday to welcome West Hartlepool in the Final of the County Cup.

DMP beat Billingham in the last round 24- 9 and West Hartlepool were awarded a walk over against Blaydon seeing the two sides meet this Thursday.

Spectator are encouraged to go along and support the two sides in what will be an enjoyable and competitive game of rugby.

Durham County RFU Committee roles open up

Durham County RFU Committee roles open up


Durham County RFU are seeking a new Chair of the Represenative Rugby Standing Committee and a new Safeguarding Manager.

Both positions have become vaccant due to the current position holders stepping down into retirement.

So far, the positions have been fulfilled very well and we are sure this will continue when we welcome new representatives to the posts.


If you are interested check out the two descriptions below and return your interest to Durham County RFU Secretary, John Denham: jsd-dcrfu@sky.com

RRSC Chair:

2017 - DCRFU C of RRSC Advert

Safeguarding Manager:

2017 - DCRFU SM Advert

Durham County Women secure a comfortable bonus point win over Cumbria Women

Durham County Women secure a comfortable bonus point win over Cumbria Women


Durham County Women welcomed Cumbria to play the last ever match at Blaydon RFC running home six tries to win 34-5.

Pictured: Team photo against Cumbria


Despite a favourable score for the hosts Durham, it was not without pressure, determination and fight as Cumbria played to the final whistle.

The first ten minutes were very surprising for the hosts and spectators as Cumbria stepped out switched on from the off demonstrating their hunger for the game.

Durham were repeatedly put on the back foot as the visitors travelled wide exerting pressure on wingers Amie Bell and Chloe Allison.

Although Durham were not displaying their usual tempo, it seemed they were not going to let them past anyhow.

Utilising the dominant forwards, Durham began to put themselves in the game as they gradually moved play further into the Cumbria half.

A final ship off from centre Tara Breslin left Kirsty Patterson with a two on one that she confidently handed off to slide under the posts for the first converted try.

Pictured: Kirsty Patterson running in a try


Realising the space was being created out wide, great support play from Bell and Allison created opportunities for the hosts, one seeing Bell over the line only to be denied as Cumbria held it up.

Moments later Durham suffered again as Becca Walker stormed over the try line and play was taken back to an earlier foul.

Holding an experienced and strong pack, the Wearside women were in the Cumbria 22 in an unstoppable maul towards the try line. Number eight, Ali Bell finished the chance as she picked up off the back of the break down and darted under the posts.

Extending the lead to 14-0 in the 25th minute, Breslin slotted the ball between the posts for the conversion.

Just five minutes before the half time break, Cumbria gathered the break they had been fighting for as full back, Amy Orrow darted through the defence and over the try line.

After a water refill and a vital kick up the bum, the hosts returned knowing they needed to work harder in defence and utilise their speed and depth in attack.

In the second half, both sides saw some changes as fresh legs made their way onto the pitch to resource the two sides.

Captain, Steph Maddison started to get fed clean ball from the hosts as Sally Downie, Leah Davies and Sarah Hall cleared out the Cumbrian threat at the break downs.

In the backs, Ursula Harding, Breslin and Patterson opened up space hitting hard lines as they crashed the visitors defence securing another four unconverted tries for the side.

Even though Durham Women were happily tailing up the score board, Cumbria remained in the game and continued to make the side work for the win.

Great tackles from Walker, Allison and Kate Byrnes halted the Cumbria Women repeatedly.

The final ten minutes saw the visitors persistence remain as they parked themselves in the 22 edging for a second try.

It seemed as though a little space created out wide was going to give that very opportunity for the Cumbria full back however replacement winger, Clarissa Murphy manged to spin herself under the play to hold the try up.

With the ball back in the hosts possession they moved it to safety and kicked it out moments later to the joy of the final whistle securing them the 34-5 victory.

Dave Addison, Durham County Women Head Coach said: “We asked you to go out and give us something to play for next week against Lancashire and you did exactly that.

“Our second half was a much better performance as we began to play our game.

“I am very proud of the team!”


By Clarissa Murphy

Durham County U20s head to Twickenham for Championship Final

Durham County U20s head to Twickenham for Championship Final


Durham County U20s are set to travel to England’s home of rugby for the County Championship Final.

Pictured: Durham U20s following semi final win over Kent


Twickenham welcome Durham County U20s and Yorkshire U20s tomorrow in the Jason Leonard U20 County Championship Final.

In order to make their way to Twickenham, Durham have had some long journeys including the semi final which saw them play Kent at Cranbrook RUFC winning 28-18.

Yorkshire have come up against Durham during the group stages of the competition seeing the wearsiders grasp a 15-12 victory.

However, on the home soil of rugby it will be all to fight for as both sides will be looking to lift the trophy at Twickenham.

Head Coach of Durham County U20s, Sean Wiles said: “I could not be prouder of our squad of players.

“It was especially good to make such long away trips for the quarter and semi finals and return with two wins.”

The U20s team is made up of players from numerous clubs across the County including: Durham University, Blaydon RFC, Hartbury College, Darlington Mowden Park, Leeds Beckett University, Durham City, Gateshead College, Billingham RFC, Middlesbrough RFC and Hartlepool RFC.

Chairman of the Durham County U20s, Bill Lynch said: “This year has seen outstanding achievements for our team.

“Not only have we reached the final of the Cup this year after having only been promoted from the Shields competition, but we are so pleased to have five of our squad selected for the North U20s.

“It is phenomenal to see such great accomplishments as a County and players opening routes for potential to play for England.”


Durham County U20s selected to travel to Twickenham are:


Jonathan Edes Durham University 1
Jack Beckwith Blaydon RFC 2
Elliott Beattie Hartbury College 3
Alex Charlton Blaydon RFC 4
Sam Lorimer DMP 5
Sean Richardson Durham University 6
Alex Dunne DMP 7
Lewis Roxby Leeds Beckett University 8
Ollie Green Durham University 9
Ben Scher Durham University 10
Jack Hedley Durham University 11
Tom Lawson DMP 12
James Cooney (Capt.) Blaydon RFC 13
Garry Izomor Durham City RFC 14
Ryan Foreman Blaydon 15
Aaron Stephenson Gateshead College 16
Mikey Serino Billingham RFC 17
Kieran Clark Middlesbrough RFC 18
Ben Walton Billingham RFC 19
Matt Charlton Blaydon 20
Miles Rawstron-Rudd Durham University 21
Lewis Wilson Hartlepool RFC 22

Callum Burke and Paddy Dolaghan will travel with Durham U20s as reserves.


Durham U20 Management/Coaching Staff


Bill Lynch – Chairman

Stuart Langthorne – Team Manager

Sean Wiles – Head Coach

Richard Thirkell – Forwards Coach

Jeff Lamb – Backs Coach

Lolly Pearse – Physiotherapist

Cheryl Gartland – Physiotherapist

Billy Hunter – Kit Man


The game will kick off at Twickenham at 5pm and can be live streamed at www.englandrugby.com

Lynch added: “It is ground for a great game as shown by the score the last time we met and it appears that a large number of supporters will travel to Twickenham to cheer the team on.”


By Clarissa Murphy

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!

South Shields RFC look to grow team with coaching opportunities

South Shields RFC look to grow team with coaching opportunities


South Shields RFC are looking for coaches to join their Senior squad who are currently in Durham and Northumberland Division Two.

The 2016/2017 season has been a tough one for the rugby team that play out of the back of South Tyneside College only winning five of their games.

For the upcoming 2017/2018 season they are looking for the following coaches to join their team:

  • Head Coach
  • Assistant Coach
  • Second Team Coach

If you think you can help, get in touch at: SouthShieldsRugby@outlook.com

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.

Willer’s Wanderings: A busy week seeing the Men’s and Women’s game take shape

Willer’s Wanderings: A busy week seeing the Men’s and Women’s game take shape

This week was the busiest one to date, visiting places across the county and even into Northumberland County.

Durham University end of season

It was an early start to this weeks duties as my wife and I attended the Ramside Hotel on Wednesday evening as guests of the Durham University end of season dinner and presentation. Our host for the evening was Fergus King MBE, Durham University RFC President and his wife Dianne.

The university run five teams and a representative from each team gave a summary of the season and announced the player’s player of the year and coaches player of the year. The various coaches and team manager work from throughout the season was also recognised and all the awards were presented by Fergus.

In this year’s Durham County U20 squad there are five DU students that will travel with the team on Saturday as they play the final at Twickenham. Throughout the evening in both the speeches and from myself, best wishes and messages of good luck were given from the university for the U20 final.

County Plate Final

On Thursday it was  a visit up to the home of Durham City, Hollow Drift for the County Plate Cup final between WHTDSOB and Chester le Street to present the trophy to the winners.

For TDSOB, this was their first season back in league rugby and to reach the final showed the progress that they have made. Chester le Street had the edge for most of the match and ran out winners with  a score of 24-12.

Due to their pitch being water logged on the scheduled date Chester le Street was one of the two clubs in the county that I had not been able to visit. Chatting to the Chester committee men after the match they told me of their hopes to move to a new ground. They are in advanced talks with Northumberland Water for a long lease on a plot of land. If the new ground is obtained there are plans to build a club house.

Durham County Women v Northumberland Women

Friday’s trip was across the border to host Novocastrians for Durham Ladies v Northumberland Ladies. We were greeted and hosted by Northumberland’s Ken Frazer, immediate past President and his committee.

The match was a very close affair with the scores being level at ten points each with three minutes left to play when a kick through and chase lead to a try for Northumberland which was converted. Though disappointed by the narrow defeat the performance must give the Durham Ladies confidence for the remaining two fixtures.

Pictured: Durham Women team against Northumberland


Club visit- Darlington Mowden Park

Saturday was my last club visit of the season and Darlington Mowden Park were the hosts for their match against Hull Ionnians.After a very good lunch we were able to watch the match from the comfort of one of the sponsors boxes.

Hull were the in form side having won their last five matches and victory today would guarantee that they avoided relegation at the expense of local side Blaydon.

Mowden started the stronger side and took an early ten point lead. Hull fought their way back into the match and gradually gained the upper hand. In the second half Hull dominated play and secured themselves a reassuring 41-26 victory.

As we left the DMP players and committee were getting ready for their end of season dinner and awards that were to be held that evening.

West Hartlepool- Girls festival

On Sunday morning it was a bit more of the female game as I attended the U13 and U15 girls tournament at West Hartlepool.

On a fine morning the ground was a hive of activity with fifteen minutes matches being played on three pitches. The U15’s group was won by Hartlepool Rovers after a decider match against Horden.

Next week I travel to Twickenham with the County U20 team for their final.

At home, the County senior team start their championship campaign with a match against Cumbria to be played at Hartlepool Rovers on Saturday- 3pm KO while Durham ladies also host Cumbria on Sunday at Blaydon – 2pm KO.

Best of luck to all County sides for next weekend!

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

Upcoming Events

  • May 30, 2017
    • RRSC meeting five
      7:00 pm

      The Representative Rugby Standing Committee will once again meet at Billingham Rugby Club

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