DURFC 4th XV vs Northumbria 2nd XV
On a finely groomed track at Northumbria’s home ground the BUCS season finally got underway for the Durham 4th XV. After an initial ten minute arm wrestle with the Northumbria pack and the Northumbria kicker who duly slotted three points, Durham finally got a foothold in the match. Scrum half James Otulakowski began to dictate the tempo of the game with the use of the tap and go penalty, however it was centre Owen Bennett who tapped and went from a free kick on the opposition 22 to set up a two on one which winger Nick Etherington duly finished neatly in the corner. Durham would look to Etherington again for their second try as a scrum set piece move saw full back Scrutton penetrate to flailing Northumbria defence and deliver a delicate offload to Etherington who bundled over in the corner yet again. After some exchanges of territory with the Northumbria fly half, Durham were yet again camped in Northumbria territory. Outside centre Owen Bennett had been causing Northumbria’s midfield a headache all afternoon and it was when he took it upon himself to run a hard line that he split the defensive wall meters from the breakdown to go over for Durham’s third.
The second half proved a similar story for Durham who now seemed to take control of affairs. Senior second row Digby Walker took control of the ball at the base of a maul and after he had decided the maul had lost momentum in front of him he decided to take it into his own hands to peel and power over the line, carrying half the Northumbria forwards with him. Durham’s superior core skills in the back line then payed dividends yet again as a beautiful set of hands allowed winger Matt Wood to reap the rewards and scoot round the defensive line to score under the posts. The final try of the game fittingly belonged to Man of the Match Ethan Harbinson. Captain George WnStanley galloped up the pitch and once tackled the quick thinking Harbinson scooped the ball up and went straight through the centre of the ruck where his equally quick feet allowed him to finish off an excellent move.