Match Report: 20/1/16
Durham 3rd XV vs. Leeds Beckett 2nd XV
Having defeated Sheffield three days previously, a very stiff Durham 3rd XV returned to the hallowed crumb to face Leeds Beckett, a team they had not yet played and who were sitting second place behind them in the league. With a ten game win streak and an opportunity to pull further ahead, there was a lot resting on this fixture.
Kicking off in white, Durham looked to pressurise the Beckett defence early on through some patient phase play in the opposition half which eventually resulted in a Ben Cook penalty sailing through the posts: 3-0 to the home side. The lead was short lived as a break by the Beckett winger led to the first try of the game. Durham responded well and managed to convert the relentless attack into two tries in quick succession - a well-worked driving maul and a backs move from within the Durham 22 ending in an Ali Broughton try. The rest of the half went by in much the same vein with a noticeably smaller Durham pack competing well at set pieces and at the breakdown, allowing the backs boys to play out wide. A Beckett try in the corner was met by a number of 5 metre scrums out from their own try line whereupon Akira Takenaka pounced on a spilt ball over the line. The score line at half time read 22-12 to the home side.
The second half meant the utilisation of the whole bench as players' energy levels dropped after two very physical encounters in a week. The subs continued to prey upon the Beckett line and ran in another two tries through George Shiel and Broughton's second of the match which also secured a bonus point. Nevertheless, an unfortunately rising penalty count against Durham meant that the away team's scrum half was able to take a quick tap and run in a try bringing about a full time score of 36-17.
Durham 3s now sit 14 points clear at the top of the BUCS Northern 1A league with 6 games remaining. They face Liverpool next and will be playing away.