Tynedale 31, Preston Grasshoppers 29: Late try denies Hoppers once more

Tom Davidson breaks through the Tyndale defence (Photo: Mike Craig)
Tom Davidson breaks through the Tyndale defence (Photo: Mike Craig)

After their win last week at home, Preston Grasshoppers travelled north east to Tynedale aiming to build a winning run and from the start it looked as though they had finally put the frustrating losses of the early season behind them.

After their win last week at home, Preston Grasshoppers travelled north east to Tynedale aiming to build a winning run and from the start it looked as though they had finally put the frustrating losses of the early season behind them.

Hoppers kicked off and within four minutes winger Tyler Spence raced over the line leaving the Tynedale defence in his wake.

From the restart Preston dominated play and a series of scrums and line-outs moved them down the field for Sam Stott to sprint the last twenty metres and score near the posts.

With Davidson’s conversion Hoppers were twelve points up after as many minutes.

The game continued at a high pace and from a long kick towards the Hoppers’ try line, Tynedale scored through number 8, Mills.

Preston then gave away a series of penalties and scrums which had Tynedale attacking deep in the Hoppers’ half. Relief came when Davidson cleared a long penalty kick to touch on the Tynedale 10m line.

From the line-out, Conor Trueman made a telling run to the 5m line and passed to Spence who scored his second try and the conversion from Davidson extended the Hoppers’ lead to 5-19 at half time.

Tynedale restarted the game kicking deep into the Preston half. Then Hoppers’ replacement Howard was judged to have tackled high and was given a yellow card.

Tynedale pushed on, second row Wearmouth scored under the posts and the conversion was good.

Two more tries in the space of three minutes from Burden and Miller put the hosts into a bonus point lead and despite Hoppers playing through a series of phases, they couldn’t gain any ground.

Relief finally came when James Fitzpatrick, playing at 12 again, scored Hoppers’ bonus point try near the posts and Davidson’s conversion was good. With a quarter of the match to go, play moved back and forth in a tight contest until Tynedale replaced one of their props and the game went to uncontested scrums.

They maintained pressure on the Hoppers’ pack and two penalty kicks had them attacking the line under the posts with two minutes to go.

Head coach Paul Arnold said: “We did not play badly. Tynedale are a good side who scored nearly 60 points against Fylde.

“We learnt from our mistakes in the past games but we were on the wrong end of a couple today.

“However, we came away with two points and once again we scored four tries away from home.”