News 2011-12

Preview to Blaydon (H) 03.03.12


A visit from Blaydon at the turn of the year with JRFC on a
roll, sat in 2nd place in the league and Blaydon faultering in the
bottom third of the table would have seemed a weekend to look
forward to. Since then though, this proud club from the North East
that dates back to the 1880's has been in a rich vein of form, that
has seen them complete the double over Fylde this season, notch up
a heavy win at home against the Bees and upset title chasers Ealing
before finally being 'checked' last weekend with a battling draw
against Coventry.

Competing for the 4th season in succession at this level,
Blaydon, bar a minor disaster, have already done enough to maintain
their status for another year and are now playing for 'fun' and
'pride'. The team who are making their first trip to Jersey will
arrive full of confidence, knowing that they have the form to upset
the best.

Perhaps the two bits of comfort that Jersey can take into the
game is that Blaydon are not seen as great travellers, with only a
third of their results being achieved away from home and, with a
total home attendance for matches this season at just over 2,600,
they are not a side used to playing in front of large, noisy crowds
that have become standard place at St Peters.

Jersey themselves come into this fixture having had a welcome
week off following a bruising encounter away from home in their
last game against Sedgley Park. The squad has had to dig hard at
times to keep up the impressive winning streak, and has called upon
the services of 3 players from the U18's section of the Academy at
different points of the season. This indeed bodes well for the
future, and what has undoubtedly been a massive learning curve for
the youngsters has been expertly managed.

When the two sides met before Christmas in late October, Jersey
won narrowly 12-6 in a competitive match that was thanks largely to
some gritty defence, especially in the second half when down to 13
men, combined with too many missed opportunities for Blaydon. That
victory was the 4th in a run that has now extended to 17 and the St
Peter's faithful will clearly hope to see a more emphatic result on

News from the Jersey camp

The injury list is still weighing down heavily on Jersey's
squad, however it is hoped that a few may be on their way back…

Following a severe knee injury to Graham Bell at Sedgley, the
team will have its third match-day skipper of the season, details
not yet revealed.

Money is being raised on Saturday for prop, James Ellershaw who
sustained multiple injuries in a car crash on the Mainland on the
1st October and who has been unable to play any further part in
Jersey's season.

Proceeds from the pre-match lunch raffle will be going towards
this, as will money raised from the auction of one of the new
signed shirts. Further to that, representatives will be circulating
the ground with buckets before and during the match - please give

A bit about our opponents and players to look out

The player of the moment is without question prop forward,
Robbie Kalbraier who has scored 8 tries in the last 5 outings
including the opener and winner against Ealing and 2 more last week
against Cov.

Robbie is described as one of the cornerstones of the formidable
Blaydon pack and, along with 2nd row Chris Wearmouth has over 100
caps to his name.

Robbie is joined on the other side of the scrum by ex Falcons
player, Micky Ward who is also the current director of rugby having
joined the ranks at the start of the season. Micky gave himself a
game off last weekend and so will doubtless be raring to do

The 'rose between two thorns' playing at hooker is the captain,
Matt Hall who with over 150 caps is a stalwart of the club and who
has recently been selected to play for England Counties against
Ireland on Friday 16th March - this is his 3rd season of
representative rugby.

In the three-quarters, Andrew Baggett is a reliable goal-kicker
who has scored 132 points with the boot and 1 try.

At the start of the season there was a fair amount of chat and
speculation about the number of players who had been signed on dual
registration from Newcastle, but this has not materialised to much
and the squad that, like Jersey had its fair share of injuries, is
largely home-produced.

Blaydon have a very early start scheduled - leaving Newcastle at
5.45am to fly via Southampton before arriving in Jersey around mid

Among the 50+ supporters who are expected to travel is one lucky
chap + partner who by day plies his trade in a local shipyard.
Earlier in the season, Blaydon held a fund-raising raffle selling
tickets at £5 each with the prize a trip to Jersey, and raised over
£1,500 in the process.

History of Blaydon RFC

With a history that can be traced back officially to 1888, the
club first played at Path Head. Its home moved a couple of times
before becoming established at its current location, Crow Trees in
the early 1950's.

Since then, money has been invested to develop the clubhouse,
stand and install match floodlights. The latest new facilities
include three functions suites, a gym with around 1,000 members and
space for a weekly car-boot sale that runs weekly from March to
November and attracts vendors and customers from miles around -
don't expect there to be any space left if you turn up after 7am on
a dry Sunday. These factors have played a key part in the financial
stability of this successful community club.

Famous 'sons' of the club include Micky Skinner and Steve
Bainbridge who were both in attendance to open the new clubhouse in
October 1996. This was a great year for Blaydon as it also featured
the lifting, for the first time, of the Durham Cup thanks to a 22-3
win over Darlington.

Another former star of the club was Martin Donnelly who played
in the unbeaten season of 1946/47. Donnelly holds a unique position
in that he won an England rugby cap against Ireland in 1947 and
also played International cricket for New Zealand, the country of
his birth, winning 7 caps with a top score of 206 vs England at
Lords in 1949.

Following the game

Don't forget that you can keep up-to-speed with news from
Blaydon v Jersey v through the following channels:

• Preview on BBC Radio Jersey's 'Sportscene' from 6- 7pm on
Friday, and regular updates on Saturday afternoon

• Preview in Friday's JEP, and full match coverage on Monday

• Scoreflashes on @jerseyrfc Twitter and the 'Rolling Maul'
rugby forum

• Facebook -

• Match report on Channel 103 at 5.10pm on Saturday

• Highlights on Channel TV at 6.15pm on Monday, and online



11 May 2024




12 Oct 2023


Why not come and chillout in the ‘Watering Hole’ before the game? A full-bar and food is available and you can enjoy some live music after the game.

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