First league victory is bonus for Pont

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Ponteland 26 Horden 16

Durham and Northumberland,

Division One

PONTELAND recorded their first league victory against Horden and managed to get a bonus point with an excellent team performance.

Kicking off with the wind, the visitors had to weather early pressure as Pont moved the ball nicely. But a dropped pass by Josh Stoker saw Horden win the ball and when Moller was penalised for not releasing they successfully kicked a penalty to take the lead.

It got worse for the hosts when Horden applied their own pressure following a scrum to score out wide (0-8). Ponteland drove the ball on from the kick off and a kick downfield saw two home players chasing to collect for a possible score, however much to the bemusement of the Pont supporters the referee blew his whistle and returned play back 30 metres for a Pont penalty.

Ponteland had a good attacking spell and following a few forward drives, scrum half Pete Maughan chipped the rushing defence and caught his own kick to go under the posts. Michael Mullins converted to make it 7-8.

The home side had the wind advantage in the second half and were immediately on the front foot. A strong drive and offload saw Stoker bulldoze his way over the line to put his side in front (12-8).

Horden seemed to lose heart and Pont’s forwards seized the initiative, but it took a dash of brilliance for them to go further ahead. Will Newbigin took the ball 15 metres out and he then sidestepped four players to score under the posts. Mullins then made it 19-8 with the conversion.

The away side were stung into action and a charge down and sustained pressure saw Ponteland penalised for going over the ball. The penalty went between the posts and it was now game on as both teams battered away with 20 minutes remaining.

It took another Newbigin effort to break Horden’s hearts as he again ghosted through numerous tackles to score, giving Pont a bonus point. Dependable Mullins again converted (26-11).

With 10 minutes remaining, Ponteland resisted constant pressure as Robinson stole a turnover ball to relieve the line. Horden kept coming and as Pont failed to clear the decks they took a quick penalty and bashed over to score, making the final result 26–16.