Positives in defeat for Pont side

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Ponteland 20 Hartlepool Rovers 27 Durham and Northumberland, Division One

PONTELAND moved off the bottom of the table after picking up a bonus point in their defeat on Saturday.

But the home supporters were angry as a controversial decision late in the game denied them the opportunity to get a draw, or even go for the win.

Pont started with Pete Newbigin back at scrum-half and Adam Suppan on the wing. They were on top in the scrum early on, but the visitors posed a threat and they scored the opening try of the game, which was unconverted.

The hosts responded well and they levelled the scores when Will Newbigin skipped by several tackles and then good play by Scott Anderson and Pete Newbigin put Joe Leiserach in for an unconverted try.

Rovers again came back at the home team and several sapping drives saw them over for a converted score.

The game was flowing in both directions as each side created several openings. Pont were next on the board as a slippy run by Moller brought the line in sight.

A massive catch and drive from a line-out saw Stu Weir ground the ball to make it 10-12 – the try was not converted.

The visitors were then back on the front foot and although Maughan felt he had held the player up, a try was given.

It was not converted and a Will Newbigin penalty made it 13-17 at half-time.

Ponteland started the second half well, but they were caught out when Rovers counter rucked. The ball came out and quick offloads saw the converted try.

The hosts continued to dominate scrums and line-outs and a massive drive saw a visiting player receive a yellow card.

The ensuing scrum shunted Rovers backwards and Pete Newbigin nipped over for a try. Brother Will kicked over the conversion (20-24).

Hartlepool kicked a penalty to open up a seven-point lead, but Pont then had a decent spell of pressure.

The controversial moment came when the home side broke into the opposition 22 and a pass out in space looked to bring a certain score until a ‘lazy runner’ appeared on the scene to interfere. However, no penalty/penalty try was given and Ponteland were then penalised for protesting.