Injuries a factor in loss of unbeaten home record

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Ponteland 24 Acklam 27 Durham and Northumberland, Division Two

Although league champions Ponteland lost at home for the first time this season, their major concern was that three players ended up in hospital after the game.

All three were later released from the RVI, but Cameron Bell had a compressed vertebrae, Michael Searle had a broken hand and Nick Townshend had severe bruising.

Pont scored two tries in the first half. A strong line-out drive saw Chris Searle touch down after three minutes and his brother, Michael, kicked over a tremendous touchline conversion.

Similar tactics worked again later in the half as Chris Searle got his second try. Acklam scored a converted try and kicked over a penalty to make it 12-10 at half time.

The injuries disrupted the game, but the hosts gradually built up some attacking pressure and they were rewarded when Craig Robinson touched down. Michael Searle’s conversion was successful (19-10).

The visitors responded well and they scored two converted tries to lead by five points. It was all-square a few minutes later when Chris Searle went over for his hat-trick.

However, Acklam won the game with a last-minute penalty.