CLOCKING up more than 1,000 points scored, an amateur side from the Tyne Valley won many admirers throughout the country for their expansive rugby.

Playing in the third tier of English rugby, National League One, the boys from Tynedale were more than punching their weight in 2009-2010 as they tried to emulate a top four finish achieved in their opening campaign at such a high level the season before.

Under head coach Tom Borthwick and fellow coach Ian Peel, the Blue and Whites caught the eye as they racked up 1,007 scoring points - second only to runaway champions Esher. Runners-up London Scottish finished the season with 938 points scored.

From their 30 league games, Tynedale finished with a positive points difference of 378 - again second only to Esher who finished 27 points ahead of their nearest rivals.

The free-scoring Tynedale occupied a place in the top four for most of the season, and looked certain to replicate the fourth position they achieved against all odds in 2008-2009.

However, they were denied right at the death as a final day 48-24 reverse away to eight placed Blackheath saw Cambridge jump ahead into fourth spot, finishing one point ahead despite Tynedale picking up a losing bonus point.

At the time, the club's chairman of senior rugby, John Shotton, said: "It was disappointing to be overtaken but if somebody said at the beginning of the season that we would finish fifth, then I would have taken it.

"The club is delighted to be fighting with teams that have 10 times our budget and are more contracted than ourselves.

"We still run as a strictly amateur club which makes what the lads have done all the more remarkable.

"Our points scored total shows the expansive game of rugby that we play here, and the two coaches, Tom Borthwick and Ian Peel, are definitely the best coaches in the league.

"When Tynedale are on form, they are as attractive as any other team in our league. Other teams always comment on the way we play rugby."

They got their campaign off to a solid start with two wins and a draw against Otley from their opening three games, but an injury curse was to disrupt their progress. A freakishly long unavailable list saw them win just one of their following six games, with defeats against Sedgley Park, Launceston, Esher, Nuneaton and fierce rivals Blaydon, who left Tynedale Park with a 28-22 victory.

They recovered to win their next four games, including a 93-0 drubbing of bottom side Macclesfield, before London Scottish ended their impressive run. A four-week lay-off due to snow allowed Tynedale to get some key players back, and they helped the club to a four-game winning run, which was ended by Esher.

Soon after, Blaydon completed the double over their River Tyne neighbours as they claimed a 13-11 triumph. Four wins followed to keep Tynedale in the top four, but an inconsistent end to the season contributed to them dropping a place to fifth. But Tynedale were pleased with how they performed throughout the season with the youngest squad in the division, at an average of 22. Their injury list was also the highest in the league, the first team calling on a total of 50 players throughout the campaign.

Fly half Gavin Beasley was the team's leading scorer with 142 points, while Charlie Ingall ran in the most tries with an impressive 17.