Ponteland 22 Gosforth 30 Durham and Northumberland Division One
PONTELAND again managed to cough up a winning lead, this time at home to Gosforth.
Having performed heroically against Horden last week, the spectators were hoping for more of the same on a bright, extremely windy day.
Pont did not disappoint as they got out of the blocks first and after a dominant scrum on four minutes, Peter Maughan did a trademark break and ran in from 25 metres. Michael Mullins converted to make it 7-0.
The pressure continued and a 20-metre drive by the forwards saw Mullins kick over a penalty given for the collapsed maul.
Gosforth found it difficult to get into the match but they were clinical when an opportunity came their way. On 20 minutes, the hosts lost a scrum 30 metres out and excellent handling and offloading saw the visitors score in the corner.
From the kick-off, Ponteland’s forwards again drove for the line, with Ed Weeks claiming his maiden try. It was 17-5 after another successful conversion.
Whilst in the driving seat Pont again let it slip. A charge down saw Gosforth with a five-metre line-out. The catch and drive was rewarded with a try, although Maughan was livid as he appeared under the ball to prevent it being grounded.
In the second half, the away side levelled the scores with a converted try, which came from an excellent running move.
But back came the home side. Kris Scott expertly offloaded to Jonny Livingstone-Evans with 20 metres to the line and he brushed off two defenders to score out wide.
Another Gosforth try with 15 minutes to go made it 22-22 and they took the lead for the first time in the game after a controversial penalty award. Scott appeared to be unable to scrum down as the front rows were too close, only for him to be penalised for standing up.
Ponteland had a chance to get back in front, but a five-metre line-out was tapped behind the scrum half and the momentum was lost.
The visitors scored a late try to seal victory and prevent Pont from gaining a bonus point.