Hartlepool BBOB 3 Ponteland 46 Durham and Northumberland, Division Two
A solid away performance on Saturday continued Ponteland’s winning momentum.
The visitors played into the wind and were immediately on the back foot as a dropped catch saw Hartlepool advance, but the defence held firm.
The action then switched to the other end as a Pont line-out on their own 22 saw them drive to the home side’s 22 until it collapsed.
Several penalties were awarded as Pont drove for the line and they eventually got on the scoreboard when number eight Phil McAreavey offloaded to Dan Marcus and he touched down for an unconverted score.
Some dropped passes prevented further scores and the Hartlepool side had a spell of pressure. They won a penalty and it was successfully kicked between the posts (3-5).
Immediately from the kick-off, full-back Adam Suppan made a searing break to breach the home defence and this led to a penalty, which was slotted over by Nick Townshend.
Ponteland continued to punish the home scrum and following a number of five-metre penalties for collapsing, McAreavey went over to make it 3-13 at half-time.
It was the line-out that saw the away side extend their lead in the early stages of the second half and it was Chris Searle who touched down for a try.
Hartlepool now faced sustained pressure as another driving line-out saw Michael Searle offload to Marcus to score. Searle then kicked over the conversion (3-25).
A strike against the head gave Pont another chance, but McAreavey dropped the ball while in the process of scoring. However, it did not take long for the next try to come and it was Phil Bramble who went over – Searle added the two points.
After being picked out by Searle, Marcus smashed through several tackles to score his hat-trick and the successful conversion made it 3-39.
The hosts still managed several drives forward and only good defending kept them out. The last play went to Pont as Searle and McAreavey punched holes in the defence, sending Sam Walton in to score.
Michael Searle finished off the game with a conversion to make it 3-46 at full-time.
Hartlepool BBOB lacked nothing for effort and they kept going to the end. While they could rightly be aggrieved about a forward pass before one score, they would have had no grounds for complaint if the referee had awarded three or four penalty tries following multiple infringements five metres out.
Ponteland will aim to make it 12 wins out of 12 in the league when they play Hartlepool RFC at home on Saturday. Kick-off is 2.15pm.