Durham University Palatinates 12 Tynedale Centurions 12

This was a really tough fixture for the Centurions who were fortunate to be bolstered by a number of Raiders players.

The “game of two halves” cliche was emphasised by the score line, 0-12 at the break to the visitors but, a strong response saw Durham miss a simple conversion attempt to win it late on.

The early Tynedale ascendancy was prompted by a display of astute kicking and distribution from fly-half Adam Todhunter who kept his side on the front foot.

After 15 minutes, a strong run from his own 10 metre line by Will Richards was continued by Rob Stanwix and Joe Hanning.

Andy Harvey cleverly switched the play and Todhunter and Adam Kicks made ground, drew defenders and fed Rory Dixon who ran strongly from 30 metres to touchdown in the left corner.

James Ferguson, Tom McCullough and Hanning all went close although, Jake Sloan, Liam Pitt and Spencer Tolley needed to be alert in defence when the students broke out at pace.

Just before the interval, the Centurions deservedly extended their lead when Brogan Miller, James Sample and Will Nankivell drove strongly through defenders.

Quick rucked ball was provided for Todhunter who glided over near the posts before adding the conversion.

The second half saw the students regroup, reorganise and reinforce.

They began to gain the upper hand in most phases of the game apart from the scrummage where, the front five plus replacements of Ed Weir, the Craney twins, Ed and Rory, Lewis Duffy, Ian Charlton and man of the match Robbie Binks, put in a really hard shift.

Durham did manage two well-constructed tries through their lively threequarters but, for the rest of the half, Tynedale defended doggedly.

The impressive back row of Jacob Brown, McCullough, Stanwix and later Hanning snuffing out all the student’s heroic attempts to win the game.

The final 12-12 score proves that there is still some life in one of the oldest of cliches.