Depleted Pont sunk at Darlington

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Darlington 47 Ponteland 10 Durham and Northumberland Division One

WITH 15 first-team squad members unavailable, it was always a big ask for Ponteland to come away with a result at Darlington.

The early encounters showed promise as Moller broke upfield and Pont’s scrum moved Darlington backwards before an early home penalty was cancelled out by Mullins.

But the home side stepped up a gear and following another successful penalty, a drive over from a line-out gave them an 11-3 lead.

Immediately from the kick off disaster struck as Pont lost the ball in the opposition half.

A jinking run and several missed tackles saw the try of the match, converted to make it 18-3.

It went from bad to worse when a further break down the wing led to another Darlington try, even though the player appeared to be in touch.

The hosts were first out of the blocks after half-time as a winger scored a try out wide.

Several crunching tackles stopped the home team in their tracks as the next 20 minutes saw Pont gain parity on the pitch.

The visitors’ scrum again pushed Darlington backwards but a promising attack was thwarted as the ball was dropped, then one of the home wingers collected it and sprinted 40 metres to score. The conversion made it 37-5.

Again poor ball retention saw Darlington add a further score immediately, but Ponteland did not give up and as they pushed the home team backwards, a quickly- taken penalty saw Moller crash under the posts. Mullins converted to get the away side into double figures.

There was just enough time for Darlington to move back up the field and a try at the death made the final score 47-10.