Bishop Auckland 5 Ponteland 20 Durham and Northumberland Division Two
Bishop Auckland’s power play was matched and surpassed as Ponteland recorded an excellent victory on Saturday.
On a heavy pitch with a brisk cross-wind, Pont kicked off and quickly got into their stride.
Their attacking pressure paid off when Michael Searle took a quick tap-penalty 35 metres out and drove his way through half-a-dozen tackles to touch down.
From the kick-off, a visiting line-out was driven 30 metres and Chris Searle broke off and was tackled just short of the home side’s line.
But the Ponteland forwards continued to dominate and a sweeping move saw Michael Searle pass to Jonny Murphy, take the return pass and then put James Shiells in to score an unconverted try to make it 10-0 after 19 minutes.
It was 30 minutes before Bishop Auckland gained a foothold in Ponteland’s 22 and after a number of drives, they won a penalty 10 metres out.
The hosts opted for a scrum, however, their much-lauded pack was shunted back and Dave Gregory was able to clear downfield.
Just before half-time, a tapped penalty was driven on by the forwards as Michael Searle went over for his second score.
Bishop Auckland started the second half strongly and although Ponteland defended well, the County Durham side eventually touched down for a try.
But the away side got a bonus-point try in the closing stages to make it 20-5 to Pont at full-time. Murphy was the scorer following good work by Michael Searle and Shiells.
Also on Saturday, Ponteland II beat Morpeth Edwardians 28-10.
Will McGawley, Andrew Watson, Olly Dykes and Luke Chick touched down for Pont. Chick also kicked two penalties and one conversion.
Ben Dale and Stu Arkle scored a try each for Morpeth Edwardians (the club’s third team).