IT might be a new season, but Tynedale Raiders had some business to settle from the previous campaign.

The second team met Blaydon in a re-arranged Candy Cup final, which took place in glorious weather conditions on Saturday.

The match day squad contained no fewer than 14 ex-Tynedale Colts, which was testament to the club’s ongoing need to produce home-grown talent.

The game opened at frenetic pace with both teams showing ambition to play with ball in hand from deep inside their own territory.

Tynedale pressure eventually paid off when a good defensive press in the Blaydon 22 allowed the ball to be turned over and Cam Grant shot over and converted to make the score 7-0 after 15 minutes.

Following this, the Raiders then played their best, and most controlled, period of the match. For the next 20 minutes, they were dominant with some telling breaks and good ball retention.

This was rewarded with successfully struck penalties from Grant on 20, 25 and 30 minutes, to make the score 16-0 before an impressive series of phases allowed the tireless John Clarkson to dart over for a score converted by Grant, opening a healthy 23-0 lead on 34 minutes.

This seemed to sting Blaydon into action and a series of ultimately unstoppable breaks followed. The period to half time was all Blaydon and they ran in three tries, two of which were converted, to make it 23-19 at half time.

The start of the second half saw the Raiders re-assert themselves and, following a number of probing attacks, a dominant five metre scrum provided the chance for Ben Blackburn to dot down.

It was 28-19 to the Raiders with 20 minutes remaining. But the young Raiders side lost some focus and composure, and Blaydon worked their way back into the game with some strong running and interplay to score a converted try, followed by a penalty to take the lead for the first time in the match with less than seven minutes remaining.

Both sides continued to press for a crucial further score, but ultimately Tynedale came up just short.

This was a highly competitive and entertaining game, played out between two highly impressive sides with years of development in their ranks.

The final was a good advert for second team rugby.