Ponteland 15 Gosforth 12 Durham and Northumberland, Division One
A MAGNIFICENT Ponteland came from six points down to defeat local rivals Gosforth in an all-action encounter.
Coming in on the back of an awful run of form and with only two games left to play, some could be forgiven for thinking that Pont were content just to see the season out to a close, particularly in light of their guaranteed safety last week.
But with local pride up for grabs, there was no danger of that and both sides went at each other hammer and tongs in a game which threatened to boil over more than once.
The hosts had Michael Mullins to thank for giving them an early lead from a penalty before a nasty injury sustained to a Gosforth player forced the game to be moved to the second team pitch.
The visitors then had an advantage when Kris Scott was sin-binned for an offence at the breakdown and they scored a converted try.
But Gosforth could not score again during this period and when they were penalised for backchat, Mullins sent over an impressive long-range penalty to take Ponteland within one point.
Back came the away side and their prop forward made a line break and passed inside for the centre to score their second try. The missed conversion meant the score was 6-12.
Despite playing into the wind, Mullins kicked another three points to take Pont into the break with a three-point deficit.
The action in the second half did not let up as Ponteland still had to do their fair share of defending, but were more than a match for Gosforth as the forwards battled and scrapped for every ball.
And they had the golden boot of Mullins to fall back on as two training ground moves paid off in similar fashion with two drop-goals dramatically swinging the hosts in front.
The away side surprisingly turned down a couple of opportunities to level the scores from a penalty as they chased the outright victory, and with that they were forced to pay as Ponteland hung on for a well-deserved win.