Ponteland despatch Consett for winning start

Consett 15 Ponteland 24 Durham and Northumberland Division One

A GOOD performance saw Ponteland get off to a winning start to their campaign.

There was frustration at half time because the visitors had about 80 per cent of possession with the wind at their backs, but they wasted a few excellent opportunities to score a try.

In the end they were ahead 6-3 thanks to two penalties from Dan Walton.

But some decent play in the second half into the wind meant they were able to extend their advantage.

First, some sustained pressure allowed number eight Mark McGookin to pick and drive over.

Later in the half, Phil Mundy caught the ball from the back of the line-out in an attacking position and galloped 20m to score.

In-between these tries, a Consett winger intercepted the ball on his own 22 and ran all they way to the Ponteland line to give the hosts some hope.

But Mundy’s try, a Will Newbigin conversion and two further Walton penalties meant that a second Consett score with a few minutes to go was only a consolation effort.

Ponteland RFC Director of Rugby John Chappell said: “It was frustrating that we didn’t build up a lead in the first half, but the encouraging thing was that we were creating chances.

“We played very well as a team in the second half and we managed to take a couple of opportunities.

“It’s always nice to win your opening league game and get points on the board.

“Some senior players from last season are not available for us through a combination of injury and moving on elsewhere.

“So we’ve promoted a few young players who came through the Colts system into the first XV squad.

“It will take them a few games to get used to adult rugby, but we’re hopeful that they can adapt and make an impact on this league.

“We know our way round this division now and it’s about making sure we get the points when we need them to avoid being in a relegation scrap in the last couple of matches.”