Depleted Pont lose out after mud battle

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Darlington 43 Ponteland 17 Durham & Northumberland, Division One

PONTELAND kept going well in difficult conditions, but ultimately the greater power of the Darlington side proved decisive.

The visitors were up against it before the kick-off as regulars Richie Moller, Dan Harrison and Jamie Ford were unavailable.

Early home pressure paid off with an unconverted try. The game then became a battle in the muddy conditions.

Darlington touched down again after a pick-and-drive – the conversion was missed – and after a Pont penalty was unsuccessful, the hosts went down the other end and scored a converted try.

The away side had some decent spells of possession before half-time and Pete Maughan broke through a couple of tackles to score. The conversion was missed so it was 17-5 at half-time.

The wind picked up in the second half and Ponteland played into it. The home side scored three tries without reply, two were converted.

Pont did not let their heads drop and after the forwards recycled the ball well, it was worked to Rob Earnshaw, who scored his first try for the club – the conversion was missed.

The pressure continued and Pete Newbigin nipped under the posts, brother Will converted. However, they could not get the fourth try for a bonus point and Darlington broke away to score a converted try to make it 43-17 at full-time.