Doncaster Knights 24 Blaydon 19

Doncaster Knights coach Clive Griffiths.
Doncaster Knights coach Clive Griffiths.

Doncaster Knights extended their lead at the top of National One to eight points with a hard earned win over Blaydon.

Clive Griffiths’ men were far from at their fluent best but did enough before the interval to see off the determined Geordies.

Mat Clark, Michael Hills, Chris Walker all touched down during a confident first half display.

Dougie Flockhart added a bonus-point securing fourth try but Knights’ defensive line had to be at its best to keep out an unrelenting Blaydon outfit.

The visitors started the contest well but it was Knights who broke the deadlock on 16 minutes, Clark breaking superbly from midfield to stride clear. Flockhart added the extras.

Walker’s interception, and some neat passing, then paved the way for Hills to reach for the line, and moments later Walker himself touched down after Paul Jarvis made good, quick ground on the counter.

Blaydon struck back just before the interval after a period of prolonged pressure, Jason Smithson scoring and Andrew Baggnett converting to reduce the deficit to 19-7 at half time.

The visitors again started the second period on the front foot but failed to make their possession count.

And they were made to pay when the Knights again broke quickly and fed Flockhart, whose conversion attempt from out wide came back off the bar.

To Blaydon’s credit they continued to enjoy good possession and territory and, after a string of near misses, the impressive Zach Kibirige eventually crossed to reduce the gap to 12 points.

The men from the north east continued to give a good account of themselves and were held up deep into Doncaster territory time and time again.

Smithson eventually crossed in the final minute and Baggnett converted to set up a tense finale but the league leaders held on to grind out another vital win.

Attendance: 1136