Pont are upbeat despite drop

Officials at Ponteland Rugby Club are positive about their future prospects after they were relegated at the weekend.

Three wins in a row had lifted the first XV to third bottom in the Durham and Northumberland Division One table, one place above the drop zone, but second bottom Novocastrians still had a game left.

And the Novos went back above Pont when they beat Consett 22-17 on Saturday.

It will be a summer of change off the pitch as Steve Mullins is stepping down as head coach after five years and he will be replaced by Tom Bramald. In addition, Newcastle Falcons players Mike Blair and Ally Hogg will assist with the coaching.

Director of Rugby John Chappell said: “We’re very upbeat as all the guys currently in the squad have committed to playing for Ponteland next season. The plan is to take Division Two by storm.

“There are massive positives to take from the last few games. We finished strongly, but unfortunately we just ran out of time.

“Hopefully, we’ll get into a winning habit from the start of next season and we won’t have as many injuries as we had this season.”