North Midlands missed out on a place in the last four of the National Under-20 Championship as they slipped to a 31-25 defeat against a dangerous Durham side in today’s quarter-final at Luctonians’ Mortimer Park today.
Despite two first-half tries from Newport hooker Ellis Moysey, North Midlands failed to convert further forward pressure after the break into more points and they were given a lesson in finishing by Durham.
Two tries in the last 10 minutes from lock Sam Lorimer and tighthead prop Elliot Beattie took Durham through to the last four.
Durham drew first blood When full-back Ryan Foreman slotted a second minute penalty but the lead lasted only three minutes.
North Midlands used their driving line out to rumble Moysey over for his first try and fly-half Connor Adams (Chinnor) added the conversion.
Durham rallied and regained the lead when left wing Jack Hedley sliced through under the posts to leave Foreman with an easy conversion but North Midlands hit back immediately with another driving line out and another Moysey try which Adams improved.
Foreman slotted two penalties in four minutes to nudge Durham back in front but Adams landed a penalty in first half injury time to give North Midlands a one point lead at the break.
North Midlands turned down the chance for Adams to kick for goal in the opening minutes of the second half and instead went for the corner. It proved a costly decision as Durham resisted the driving line out then launched a counter-attack.
Durham’s right wing Garry Izomor squeezed over but the try was disallowed for an earlier offence. It proved a temporary reprieve for North Midlands as Durham won a penalty which Foreman slotted.
Durham absorbed further pressure but made the most of their opportunities when they came to attack with Mortimer crossing on the overlap with North Midlands stretched in defence.
A penalty from Adams six minutes from time trimmed the deficit to four points but Durham finished strongly with Beattie burrowing over from close range in injury time and the reliable Foreman converting.
North Midlands managed a consolation try fromskipper Jack Ward (Veseyans) deep into injury time but it came too late to deny Durham