Durham 3rd XV vs. Liverpool 1st XV
Having come off the back of another victory against a 1st XV side the previous week, Durham’s 3rd XV could feel quietly confident coming in to their match against Liverpool’s 1st XV – a side that Durham had beaten twice last season. However, as the game kicked off the early pressure came from Liverpool as the majority of the first quarter of the game was played within Durham’s 22 other than for a few brief forays into Liverpool’s half. More than half way through the half, the first score came as a Liverpool driving maul seemed to be halted just inside the Durham 22 only for a Liverpool player to peel off the back off the maul and run in unopposed into the corner to touch down for the try. Their kicker was unable to convert leaving the score at 5-0 to Liverpool. However, this point signalled a change in the tempo and flow of the game as Durham looked to exert control making numerous line breaks however to little avail as many scoring opportunities went begging. However Liverpool couldn’t hold out for ever as George Essex broke down the touchline off a line out and found Akira Takenaka with an inside pass who duly dotted down in the corner; Ben Cook then made the conversion from just inside the touchline, taking the score to 7-5 in favour of Durham. Off the resulting kick-off Harry Hall broke from within Durham’s 22 and was tackled just short of Liverpool’s 22, however Durham were unable to capitalise on the opportunity and so the half finished at 7-5 to Durham.
The second half then kick off again with Durham in control but despite the continual exertion of pressure were unable to convert territory into points. Eventually Liverpool got back into the game and won a line-out on Durham’s 22 which they turned into an 11 man drive, however it was well marshalled by the Durham pack and was halted 5 metres short of the Durham line. From the resulting phases Liverpool won a penalty in front of the posts which they converted to take the score to 8-5 in favour of them. From this point Durham regained control of the match but were unable to score as a couple of cases of try line fever meant the ball was spilled twice by different players as the try line beckoned. It took Jack Hedley to score as he skipped through the Liverpool defence leaving their defenders in his wake. Again Ben Cook steeped up and slotted the conversion from the touchline to make the score 14-8 to Durham.
The match carried on without another score and so Durham ran out 14-8 winners: the 3rd XV remain unbeaten and still sit top of their league.