TYNEDALE Centurions began their league campaign with an emphatic 62-33 win against a strong Durham City Saracens side who made them work hard in the glorious Corbridge late summer sunshine.

The visitors took an early lead with their pacy backline linking well to open the scoring with a converted try. The Centurions responded with Micky Hall crashing over with a try which went unconverted. A strong run by Rhys Loughhead led to the number eight crossing the line for the try which Ewan Morel converted to put Tynedale in front.

A clever grubber kick by Craig Johnston was collected by the sharp running centre Callum Morrell, who collected effectively, but was adjudged to have been offside and the try was ruled out to deny what would have been a great piece of opportunist skill and vision.

The visiting side then responded with a converted try - their lively backs once again causing the home side problems and a couple of missed tackles allowed their fly half to race home. Another converted effort put the Durham side further ahead. The Centurions then replied with a try from full back Tom Robson, who impressed throughout. Just before the break, he scored a second try to give Tynedale a slender 22-21 advantage.

After the turnaround, Durham showed that their backs had the skill and speed to threaten the Tynedale defence and scored two quick tries, one which was converted to give them the lead.

The home side then raised their game and with Owen Shield, James Webb and Jason Armstrong working well in the loose. They began to produce some quality balls for the lively backline with two further tries by Robson, taking his tally to four.

Another converted try by Micky Hall, again added the extra points to his own effort, to give Tynedale a ten point advantage.

With the visiting side now being constantly hit by hard defensive tackles with Olly Shrimpton, Ethan McLoud and Adam Binks at large, the heat and the intensity began to take it’s toll on Durham.

The Tynedale outfit began to pick out good clean balls for scrum half Andy Harvey, who had impressed throughout, and with captain Jake Sloan working hard in support, the game was given a one-sided, and somewhat flattering appearance.

Micky Hall, Ollie Hillary, Ewan Morrell and Callum Morrell all crossed the City line, and three of their efforts were converted.

The game was a lot closer than the final result suggested, and the Centurions were given a stiff test throughout. The game looked to have been in the balance until Tynedale’s took the initiative in the second half.

The Saracens’ second row pairing of Ian Charlton and Rory Craney did their utmost to dent the Centurions defence.

Nevertheless, this was an emphatic, confidence-boosting start to the season for Tynedale.