AFTER a strong showing on the Northumberland 7s circuit, Prudhoe & Stocksfield made the transition back to 15-a-side rugby.

They continued their preparations for the new Durham and Northumberland League Division Three campaign with a 33-24 defeat away to Blyth.

But it was a day for focusing on the positives, and P&S took a squad of over 20 players for a three-period match which enabled both sides to provide game time for their sizeable squads.

The visitors started confidently, claiming the high kick off and building attacks against a resolute home defence. Blyth were first to score, however, as their impressive maul worked its way towards the try line.

P&S responded with Dan Tate and Brogan Millar carrying strongly through midfield. It was from one of these carries that P&S scored their first try, as Chris Patterson broke through a gap to advance into the Blyth 22.

With the home defence scrambling back into position, the ball was recycled down the blindside and Yannick Debil crashed over to level the game. Steven Henderson continued where he left off last year and duly converted, giving P&S a deserved 7-5 lead.

The second period saw debuts for Kieran Reilly, John Robson and Sam Bates, all of whom slotted into the backline comfortably. Will Foster joined the front row, while Millar moved to number eight.

P&S showed attacking threat through impressive set pieces and skilful backs moves. They scored their second try after a series of patient pick and go moves. Patterson dummied his way under the posts allowing Henderson to convert, to make it 14-12 to the visitors.

The final period saw more changes as Chris Nicholls moved to nine, and the Nevin Brothers joined Jonathon Dodds in the back three. Henderson scored a try which included some superb support play and offloading. Jonathan Nevin scored a try from the left, showing the incredible pace and skillset the side now possesses.

The game was in the balance in the closing stages as Byth scored two converted tries, before P&S mounted their own late match winning attack.

But a Blyth winger intercepted a pass to sprint 90 metres to seal a dramatic victory for the home side.

Chris Patterson