Relegation looming large for Ponteland

Midfield action in Ponteland's match against Ryton. Photo by Keith Robertson.
Midfield action in Ponteland's match against Ryton. Photo by Keith Robertson.
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Ponteland 8 Ryton 20 Durham and Northumberland Division One

PONTELAND suffered another disappointing defeat and are now firmly involved in a relegation dogfight.

On a blustery day, the visitors started well and took their opportunities well to build up a 13-0 lead.

There was drama when referee Chris McLyn from Tynedale had to leave the field with a leg injury. He was replaced by a referee assessor.

The home side improved in the second half and got back into the game with a Michael Mullins penalty.

They then made it 8-13 with a pushover try from captain Richard Moller.

Pont dominated the last 15 minutes and had a try disallowed but, in pressing for another score with three minutes left, they lost the ball and Ryton broke away to score a converted try.

This result moved Ryton ahead of their opponents in the table. Ponteland are now just one point clear of the relegation zone and face a huge match away to second from bottom Ashington on Saturday.

Director of Rugby John Chappell said: “We’ve had a number of tight games that have gone against us this season so far and we need to learn and get used to closing out matches when we’re ahead.

“We have a very young side, the oldest player in the back line is 21, and we’re urging them to stay relaxed when they face Ashington, which will hopefully allow them to deliver what they are capable of on the day.”