A dominant and well known force in National 1 Blaydon is a club who have established themselves to be contenders for promotion to the Championship next season. A strong 3rd placed finish behind rivals Esher and champions Ealing last season proved their credentials that they could compete in the second tier of English rugby.
Blaydon enjoyed a strong season in National 1 last year and finished a very impressive 3rd out of 16 teams winning 19 games, drawing 1 and losing 10. Blaydon finished on 103 points for the season. They showed and put in some brilliant performances at home and away. The most memorable victory for the North East club was their victory over eventual champions Ealing at home on 10th November last year. The visitors succumbed to a 1 point defeat at the hands of the home side. Despite some impressive victories defeats to fellow rivals Esher and the likes of Rosslyn Park and Fylde held them back leading them to finish in 3rd place.
The whole team was outstanding all season with the pack regularly dominating teams throughout the whole of last season. The likes of Chris Wearmouth and Robert Bell put in some exceptional and powerful performances. The backs were controlled by one of the best fly halves in National League One Andrew Baggett. His sublime accuracy with the boot and ability to read the game incredibly well played a massive part in the team scoring the fantastic tries they did. Other players including wing Charles Incledeon, Nathan Bailey, Tommy Banks, Andy Davies, Tom Jeffrey, Hall Charlton, Frazer Wilson, Jonny Burn and Dave Sheldon all put in magnificent performances which contributed towards a successful season for Blaydon.
Next season’s National League One is going to be the toughest and most competitive we’ve ever seen. With Doncaster coming down from the Championship and the likes of Worthing, Hull Ionians and Henley joining the division anyone could go up. At the moment Doncaster is overwhelming favourites to win the title but life won’t be made easy for them with the likes of Esher, Rosslyn Park, Fylde and Blaydon all looking worthy contenders next season.
Blaydon look like they have a very strong squad for next season. They are a team who are more than capable of winning the title. If they can bring in a couple of forwards to an already huge pack and also keep the classy and talented backs they have there is no doubt this team will be able to compete with favourites Doncaster for promotion.