Chances to win go begging

Ponteland get the ball away from the scrum. Photo by Keith Robertson.
Ponteland get the ball away from the scrum. Photo by Keith Robertson.

Ponteland 7 Alnwick 20 Durham and Northumberland, Division One

FAILURE to convert their chances cost Ponteland the chance to beat the league leaders on Saturday.

The home side started the game positively and for most of the first 20 minutes they built up some sustained pressure in the Alnwick 22. On two occasions, Pont drove over the try-line, but they could not ground the ball for a score.

In contrast, when the visitors were awarded a penalty just outside their 22, it was taken quickly and the ball was passed to one of their wingers. He showed excellent pace to race up to the other end and touch down for a try, which was converted.

Ponteland kept making good forward runs and they scored when Richard Moller broke through two tackles and offloaded to winger Pete Newbigin, who dived over in the corner. Michael Mullins successfully kicked over the conversion to make it 7-7 at half-time.

Alnwick started the second half well and had some pressure of their own, but the scores remained level for a number of minutes until Pont tried their own tap penalty outside their 22 and lost the ball in the breakdown. The away side drove forward and won a penalty, which was kicked between the posts.

Just two minutes later, a good move was finished off by the impressive winger for his and Alnwick’s second try and soon afterwards, the lead was extended to 13 points when another penalty attempt was successful.

The home side battered away at the visitors’ line in the last ten minutes of the game, but Pont could not get the try that would have secured them a losing bonus point.

Ponteland RFC Director of Rugby, John Chappell, said: “The difference was that we had five or six good chances and only converted one, whereas Alnwick had two decent opportunities and took them both.

“But overall, it was a good performance and it will give the lads confidence for the rest of the season.”