Saints 19s Crush North East

DESPITE having spent three hours crawling up the M6 in the midst of Lake District holiday traffic and arriving with less than an hour to kick off the Saints demolished their opposition 84-6 with total ease, writes Graham Henthorne.

There were full debuts for Owen Smith and Brad Pinder and both celebrated in style with tries. Smith opening the account after five minutes snatching Brad Billsborough’s neat grubber out of the air to touch down.

Jorge Lewtas took Jordan Olmez’s pass to run 20 metres under the posts to score after a mazy run from left wing Lewis Furlong had set up the attacking position.

The Saints got to a point a minute with their third converted try of the evening. Olmez set Callum Hazzard through the line with a beauty of a short pass. The loose forward looked to be shocked to be clear but actually he was doing the right thing setting the full back and letting Elliott Jenkins catch up to him to go the final ten.

This try signalled a procession of tries before the interval.

Lewtas got his second soccering the ball under the posts after the full back had knocked Billsborough’s grubber on.

Then came one of the best moments of the evening as Josh Eaves scored with his first touch of the ball on his return from yet another long term injury. The triumphal way he heaved the ball in the air was out of a total release of tension rather than for the wonderful way he ran in from five metres!

He had to run significantly further for his second minutes later taking Jenkins ball 30 metres out.

Sandwiched in between he turned provider jinking away at the play the ball and sending Chris Follin in.

The Saints eighth and final try of the half was a cracker as great handling saw the ball into the hands of Cameron Brown. He fed it inside to Billsborough who took it on 30 before putting the powerful running Alex Eckley under the posts.

As you can imagine the message at the break was for more of the same and that virtually what happened.

Cam Brown scored the first of the second period under the sticks taking Captain for the day Dave Ecclestone’s inside overhead ball.

The one time the Thunder got off the line they put the Saints under pressure forcing a scrum on the 10 metre line. Four play the balls later and the Saints were embarrassed conceding a barge over under the sticks.

That was it, however, as six further tries totally demoralised the hosts.

Owen Smith’s second required a run of one metre as he took Billsborough’s flick off the floor as the stand-off seemed to have been shot by a sniper one yard out.

Eaves showed the watching faithful what we’ve been missing all season as he got his hat-trick following another Jenkins break.

Lewis Furlong got his just rewards for a fantastically fast restart from a Thunder grubber. He ran forward 50 metres then took the final pass to score in the corner five tackles later.

Two tries to stand-in skipper Eccleston in the final ten minutes, firstly from quick hands then from Lewtas’ overhead pass made it a memorable night for the winger.

Again sandwiched in between Brad Pinder marked his full debut jinking over from the play the ball after Jenkins had been caught from behind running away from his support after a great break from the mercurial Kevin Brown.

What did we gain from this evening? Well, Josh Eaves was back to his best with a welcome return also from Jorge Lewtas. The younger players got to experience having to make things happen for themselves without any of their more experienced comrades being around and will be better for it. Evan Bullen continues to impress with his monster truck running and Jordan Olmez got the chance to improve his handling kills whilst leaving defenders crumpled in his wake.

Yet another so-called “easy” match away to the Broncos in a fortnight will give more chance for the squad to recuperate and recover before the visit of the Dragons and the start of the Finals series.

Match Summary:

North East:
Tries: Kieran Bruce (51).
Goals: Niall Sidney (1 from 1).

Tries: Owen Smith (5 & 54), Jorge Lewtas (11 & 21), Elliott Jenkins (18), Josh Eaves (26, 32 & 56), Chris Follin (30), Alex Eckley (34), Cameron Brown (44), Lewis Furlong (62), Dave Eccleston (68 & 75), Brad Pinder (70).
Goals: Brad Billsborough (12 from 15).

Half Time: 46-0
Full Time: 84-6


North East:
1. Niall Sidney; 3. Mark McCallan, 4. Adam Bielby, 2. Kane Young, 5. Jack Quinn; 16. Alex Bielby, 7. Dave Weetman; 8. Kieran Bruce, 9. Ryan Jones, 18. Will Bentley, 11. Jed Charlton, 12. Sandy Rae, 17. Craig Banks.
Subs: 14. Owen Reed, 15. Jake Eggleton, 22. Lewis Thompson.

1. Kevin Brown; 2. Dave Eccleston, 3. Cameron Brown, 4. Jordan Gibbons, 5. Lewis Furlong; 6. Brad Billsborough, 7. Elliott Jenkins; 10. Jordan Olmez, 9. Brad Pinder, 8. Jorge Lewtas, 11. Chris Follin, 12. Owen Smith, 13. Callum Hazzard.
Subs: 14. Josh Eaves, 15. Alex Eckley, 16. Evan Bullen, 17. Liam Cooper.

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