Tynedale 15 Sedgley Tigers 8.

PRIOR to kick off, even the most optimistic fan would have thought twice about betting on Tynedale getting anything from their first home match of 2020.

They had lost six of their previous seven games, and were up against Sedgley Tigers, the Manchester side lying third in National League Division Two North, having won 13 of their previous 16 games.

In addition to that, it was a filthy afternoon, with a howling gale whipping driving rain the length of the pitch – conditions which did not suit Tynedale’s usual running game.

But the blue and whites turned the form book on its head by pulling off a magnificent win with a top notch performance of power and passion.

They hurled themselves into tackle after thundering tackle, denying the visitors even a sniff of a try when they had the elements raging in their favour in the second half.

The forwards did particularly well, for this was not a day for throwing the ball about, and there was a lot of close range blood and thunder carrying and hurling bodies in to achieve unlikely turnovers. That being said, both Tynedale’s tries were scored by backs, so it was a real team victory.

Tynedale welcomed back some familiar faces after lengthy injury absences, with Rob Parker slotting back in at full back, and the green boots of Tom Bramwell appearing from the replacements’ bench.

Pre-kick-off pessimism seemed justified when despite having the wind and rain behind them in the first half, Tynedale fell behind after just two minutes.

A chip ahead from Parker was carried inches too far by the wind, giving the Tigers a line-out just inside the Tynedale 10 metre line. Lock Rob Birtwell galloped clear with the ball from the throw and fed scrum half Danny Openshaw, who crossed in the corner unchallenged. The kick was nowhere near, but Tynedale fans feared the worst.

A great break by centre Will Miller promised much, but his chip ahead was seized by the wind, and carried over the dead ball line.

However, the big centre made amends on 18 minutes, when Tynedale mounted a good attack from a scrum, and the Cumbrian stretched over for the try; fly half Jake Rodgers converting to give Tynedale a slender 7-5 lead.

Tynedale came out for the second half strongly and 10 minutes in, a Tigers attack broke down, and left wing Guy Pike hacked through from inside his own half, and kept control of the ball long enough to win the race to touch down to give Tynedale a12-5 lead,

Things got better on 61 minutes, when the Tigers were penalised for pulling down a scrum five metres from their own line, and Rodgers knocked over the penalty into the teeth of the gale to make it 15-5.

Tigers threw everything into all-out attack, and it seemed they must score, but resolute defence kept them at bay, Only once did they get over the line, but the ball was held up.

With two minutes of normal time left, Tigers seemed to accept they were not going to get over the line, and fly half Steve Collins clipped over a penalty to ensure they got a losing bonus point.

Tynedale have another tough task on Saturday when they travel to second placed Fylde, who won 34-27 at Corbridge back in October.

However, Tynedale will be encouraged, not only by their win over Sedgley, but also by the fact the Seasiders were beaten 32-15 on Saturday by strugglers Huddersfield.