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26th November 2009

Winter training…this time Touch Rugby!

This week saw the biggest turn out with numbers rising to eighteen for the nine-a-side fixture. Teams are split by age to form the “young’uns” and the “oldies”, with the oldies coming out on top in the three previous weeks.

This week the “oldies” were without talismanic captain Dale Benkenstien, so the young’uns led by Gordon Muchall thought this could be their week to get off the mark in the league table. Played in extremely un-cricket like conditions the game got underway in strong winds and horizontal rain. 

The young-uns made the brighter start going two tries ahead with Ben Harmison finishing off a delightful passing move. The oldies soon levelled up with a try from academy coach Ali Maiden who slid in, through the puddles, in the corner. The sides matched each other for points during the first half, with the young’uns slightly ahead.

As the sides switched ends for the second half the young’uns played into the wind, this soon counted as a dropped ball allowed Mitchell Claydon to put the oldies into the lead. This was further extended as Durham Skipper Will Smith made the most of defensive errors in the young side. With the oldies, three tries in the lead the controversial moment came when Will Gidman looked a certainty to score in the corner only for the flying Phil Mustard to come in with a slide tackle to deny him. The calls for a penalty try were unforthcoming as the oldies got their way and the game restarted from touch. Two late tries from the young’uns weren’t enough, a fantastic passing move ended with Paul Hindmarch going over to make the score 10-9 to the oldies, as the final whistle went.

After a statutory “pile-on”, with Gareth Breese and Gordon Muchall coming off worst, the lads shook hands and headed back to the warmth. Both teams will be back again next week, hopefully in better conditions, as the “young’uns” try and get one over on their older Durham club mates.

More training updates will feature on the website over the winter so keep an eye out!