Bonus point success keeps season alive

Ponteland 39 Stockton 14 Durham and Northumberland, Division One

Ponteland are still in with a chance of avoiding the drop after a great five-try victory.

Scrum-half Michael Searle almost scored early on when he intercepted the ball, but he was tackled close to the try-line. The hosts did take the lead with a penalty from fly-half John McConnell, who has recently joined the club.

They made a mess of the re-start and Stockton took advantage to score a converted try.

Back came Pont and, when McConnell kicked the ball to the corner, flanker Chris Searle won the ‘jump off’ and touched down. The fly-half converted it (10-7).

They continued to pile on the pressure and after demolishing their opponents in a series of scrums, the referee awarded a penalty-try, which was converted by McConnell.

Further chances were missed, but Ponteland did manage to extend their lead before half-time.

A good passing move was finished off in the corner by Will Newbigin. The conversion was missed this time, so it was 22-7 at the break.

The home side looked to add to their tally early in the second half, but the visitors counter-attacked well and, after winning a penalty five metres out, they eventually drove over for a converted try.

A player on both sides got a yellow card and soon afterwards, Pont took a big step towards victory when Richie Moller scored from a sweeping move up the field. The try was converted (29-14).

Ponteland dominated the rest of the game. McConnell was successful with a penalty and when Michael Searle made a burst forward, he passed to Jack Storey, who went on an excellent run before off-loading back to Searle who touched down.

Man-of-the-match McConnell kicked over the conversion to make it 39-14 at full-time.