The East Durham College rugby squad official team shot, standing

EDC RFU Narrowly Miss Out On Elite League Title

Wed, 2002-03-27 00:00

East Durham College rugby team were left disappointed on Wednesday evening after they narrowly missed out on the BCS Northern Elite Division title after a valiant effort in the league decider against Myerscough College from Lancashire.

Both sides battled hard in the game but it was East Durham who just missed out on taking home the title in the 10-13 loss played out at Houghall in Durham.

For most of the game EDC were playing catch-up but a late push in the second half looked like it might make it a memorable comeback but it just wasn’t to be.

The game started with a real midfield battle with both sides looking to take an early advantage.

And EDC got that break when a penalty decision went their way and Cameron Toole kicked over for the three points to get the home side in front.

But Myerscough weren’t to be outdone and they got straight back on the attack. And after a hard drive forward, Tom Oliver managed to power over the try line to get the visitors in front, before Sam Bedlow put over a successful conversion.

Myerscough drove forward again from the restart, this time picking up a penalty kick but Bedlow put his effort wide of the post.

The miss seemed to spur EDC back into life, and they tried desperately to get some more points on the board before half time.

The home side pushed forward but as they got close to the line the ball changed hands and was kicked away.  EDC picked the ball back up and immediately drove forward. But as they got close to the line a simple pass, for a certain try, was dropped and the ball was kicked into touch by a grateful Myerscough.

That seemed to be the College’s golden moment to get back in front before the break, then to add insult to injury Myerscough won another penalty which was successful kicked to give them a 3-10 lead at half time.

As the sides came out for the second half East Durham looked to get straight back into the game but they just couldn’t find a way to break through the Myerscough defensive line.

And once again Myerscough used this to their advantage as they picked up another penalty kick which was successfully put over to extend their lead to 3-13.

But with 30 minutes still left to play, there was a real push by EDC who went on a determined attack until the final whistle.

The College pushed forward getting, deep into Myerscough territory, looking for that elusive try.

Then with 15 minutes to play the College won a line out, 10 metres out and this time prop Brad Freeman was able to power over to get EDC the try they so thoroughly deserved.

Cameron Toole stepped up to successfully convert the conversion, leaving the home side just three points off the lead.

Then with just minutes left on the clock EDC almost got their chance to possibly win the match.

Myerscough won the ball following yet another last ditch tackle, only to make a sloppy pass which East Durham’s Captain Colin Coulson almost intercepted with the line at his mercy. But he couldn’t quite reach it and could only watch as the ball roll to safety.

And as hard as the College pushed in the dying minutes it just wasn’t to be EDC’s day as the final whistle was blown.

Despite not being crowned winners of the Northern Elite League, as runners-up, the side have still qualified for the grand finals where they will go on to face the winners from one of the other three elite leagues in the country.

EDC head coach Gary Beck praised his side for their performance on the day and despite the defeat he believes the side’s performance in the league has shown their quality.

Gary said: “The defeat was disappointing and not taking top spot will be a kick for the team. But I can’t fault the side’s performance, they all dug deep and worked really hard and gave it their all.

“The performances by the side so far this year have been fantastic and show the real high standard of rugby we have here at EDC.”