BLAYDON'S winning start to the season ended with an 11-7 defeat in their Powergen Cup second round tie at Tynedale.

It was a bruising derby and the dubious reward for Tynedale is a trip to Nuneaton, who topped National Three North last season and won 19-18 at home to Division Two rivals Doncaster on Saturday.

In steady rain both sides struggled to hang on to possession, and while the Blaydon forwards did well in the loose they struggled at the line-out.

Their only try followed a fine run by Tynedale's Barry Hills, which was followed by fly half Phil Belgian kicking towards the corner. But the ball was grabbed by Blaydon winger Colin Duncan, who shot between two opponents and raced 70 metres to score.

David Dalrymple converted and with Belgian landing one penalty from three attempts Blaydon still led 7-3 at half-time.

Tynedale scored soon after the break when Blaydon got in a tangle in their own 22 and Hills stepped inside a tackle before passing to Jake White, who also cut inside to touch down.

Belgian landed another penalty after 64 minutes and although Blaydon created more chances there was no further scoring.

Blaydon failed to finish off two big drives and ran a couple of kickable penalties, then in injury time Sean Hannah was tackled into the corner flag by Paul Boston.

In the Intermediate Cup Middlesbrough almost threw away a 27-3 lead at Malton and Norton as they conceded three late tries and hung on at 27-24.

John Dixon played the full match at lock and finished off a maul to score the first try after two minutes. Centre Andy Micklewright scored in the corner after a good move and Boro led 10-0 at half-time. Malton kicked a penalty before Boro scrum half Peter Wright twice raced over from 30 metres and No 8 Ian Bradford touched down a pushover try.

He was then sin-binned with ten minutes to go, and as Boro had sent on their replacements another injury reduced them to 13 men, resulting in their late collapse.

Centre Mark Thompson was taken to hospital following a back injury, but it proved not to be serious. Andrew Turner was Horden's hero as they came back from 19-12 down to win 21-19 in front of a big crowd at Scarborough, whose three tries all came from the front row.

Skipper and prop Jeff Lowde scored two of them and there were two conversions by Jon Scarth.

Paul Bruce collected a kick to jink through superbly from 35 metres and put Horden ahead after ten minutes and the rest of their points came from Turner.

He converted his own try after good work by Andrew Temple and landed three penalties as Horden fought back in the last half hour. Their pressure forced persistent infringements and the winning kick was from 45 metres after 75 minutes.

Durham City won the try-count 2-1 at home to Gateshead but lost 14-13 in a match marred by heavy rain. The visitors had the edge in the forwards and were rewarded by three penalties.