Ryton 17 Ponteland 6 Durham & Northumberland League, Division One
A COMBINATION of unforced errors and streetwise tactics from the opposition made it a disappointing afternoon for Ponteland, writes John Chappell.
On a bright, breezy day on a pitch that had grass and a lack of mud, the visitors played into the wind as Ryton pressed from the kick-off.
During a home attack early on, a Pont hand in a ruck gave away a penalty and it was converted (3-0).
Immediately from the re-start, Ponteland over-complicated things, allowing Ryton’s backs to push out wide.
The ensuing scrum saw Ryton’s forwards pushed backwards like earlier in the match, but as the scrum collapsed a penalty was given to the hosts.
The fly-half successfully kicked it to make the score 6-0.
With 20 minutes on the clock, the away side moved up a gear and slick hands saw them with possession 15 metres out.
A series of pick-and-drives took them to within a whisker of scoring when a blatant infringement saw a Ryton player given a two-minute dressing down, but to the astonishment of the away crowd the referee’s cards stayed in his pocket. Todza kicked over the penalty.
Another blitzed scrum and several line-out steals by man-of-the-match Jonny Livingstone-Evans saw sustained pressure and, following another drive up the field, a Ryton player was given a yellow card for offside in the ruck.
Todza converted the penalty to make it 6-6.
With five minutes to half-time and a man up, Pont inexplicably tried to run out of their 22, were penalised and Ryton made it 9-6 at the break.
The visitors continued to dominate the scrum and line-out but were finding it increasingly difficult to counter Ryton’s ability to disrupt the contact area and breakdown.
Kyle Norris then appeared unfortunate to receive a yellow when trying to stop a home attack. This galvanised Ryton into their best spell of the match and as Pont scrambled back in defence they scored a try out wide (14-6).
The away side came back well and created a few good opportunities.
In one of them, a lightning break by Britland gained ground and he offloaded to March.
The ball was worked to Ross Scott but he was stopped short of the line.
The last ten minutes saw tempers flare as both sides pressed in attack. A further successful penalty for the hosts made the final score 17-6.