DESPITE a shortage of players due to injury and unavailability, Tynedale Centurions managed to field a strong side against a well organised and efficient Northern second team.

This was in no small part due to the monumental efforts of team manager Martyn Hastie, who even attempted to recruit members of his local leek club to make up the numbers.

But despite their best efforts, Tynedale’s third XV slipped to a 54-10 defeat on a difficult day away to Northern Warriors.

The home side scored three early tries with two conversions following good movement, handling and ruthless finishing, to let Tynedale know they were going to be in for a long afternoon.

Nevertheless, the visitors raised their game and began to gain the upper hand in the forward battle with Callum Foxcroft, Rory Craney, Ian Charlton, and George Hendry showing determination and commitment to break down the play of the home side and deny them any clean possession.

With the Tynedale front row of Ed Weir, Ollie Shrimpton and Lewis Spark dominating the scrums, and number eight Jeff Weelans securing clean ball from the back of the pack, the half back pairing of Joe Dickinson and Jake Sloan were able to make good use of growing share of possession. Ahmed Ahmed made some impressive runs down the left wing.

Before the break, Northern made their teamwork and understanding work to their advantage and three tries in the final five minutes of the half, all converted, killed the game off as a contest.

After half time, Tynedale began to play with belief and were rewarded when young centre Jack Allen raced through the Northern defence to reduce the arrears. Good defensive work by Martin Steel and Ethan McCloud kept the Northern side out and a break down the left saw Josh Williamson touch down for a second Tynedale try.

The home side went on to score two tries, converting one, to seal the game.

But to their credit, Tynedale had lifted their game and, at times, had the impressive Northern side frustrated as they refused to give up the contest.

The Centurions were the superior side for much of the second half, and two Tynedale props, youngsters Weir and Spark, were deservedly awarded joint man of the match for their tireless contribution and effort throughout the game.