Stunning comeback sees Durham crowned national champions

by Peter Vickers

Another unbelievable victory snatched from the jaws of defeat saw Durham secure the cup at Twickenham, beating UWIC 25-23.

After taking an early 7-3 lead, Durham then trailed throughout and overturned a 23-12 deficit in the second half, firstly with a Rob Malaney breakaway try and then after the 80 minutes had gone, slotted the penalty to secure the League and Cup double for Durham.

Durham’s spirit was superb throughout and they refused to give in, keeping a clean sheet in the second half with their charismatic defence. In the final play of the game, Durham put together no fewer than 20 phases, which eventually resulted in them being awarded the winning penalty.

Earlier in the piece, Josh Beaumont had had his early try cancelled out by two UWIC tries and a host of penalties that saw Durham trailing at the interval. However, the second half was all Durham with the mighty Palatinate-clad crowd roaring the team to victory and some inspirational play on the big occasion from one to fifteen saw the team claim a dramatic victory.

After equally frantic circumstances in both the quarter and semi finals, Durham are indisputably the deserved champions. It’s an unbeaten season for DURFC and their first Cup victory since 2004, surely making the class of 2011 one of the most memorable teams in  Durham history.

Look out for full coverage in next edition of Palatinate out on Thursday 5th May, and on www.palatinate.org.uk.

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