Hartlepool Rovers 34 Ponteland 7 Durham and Northumberland Division One
PONTELAND’S poor run of form continued as they came out second best against Hartlepool Rovers in a physical clash at The Friarage, writes Chris Morgan.
Despite the visitors’ bright start, it was the home side who opened the scoring.
And two minutes later, Pont were staring firmly down the barrel. A rare missed tackle from Richard Moller off the back of the scrum and some excellent running rugby from Hartlepool saw them score again to double their lead.
The home forwards were using their bulk to their advantage and the constant pressure was too much for Ponteland as Rovers kept it up front and touched down for their third try. The conversion made it 17-0.
After half-time, it looked like being more of the same as the home side scored their fourth try from a line-out.
But Ponteland then enjoyed probably their best period of the match and were rewarded with a try of their own, as Moller atoned for his earlier error to score superbly with an individual effort. Mike Mullins successfully converted.
However, Hartlepool resumed normal service with two further tries in five minutes to take the game to a final score of 34-7.
In reality, Ponteland were firm underdogs against a team currently standing at second in the league, but Saturday’s game at home to Novocastrians now has a ‘must win’ label attached to it as they look to avoid getting dragged into a relegation battle at this early stage in the season.