Ponteland 27 Whitley Bay Rockcliff 14 Northumberland and Durham Division Two
Ponteland achieved an excellent bonus-point victory against promotion rivals Whitley Bay Rockcliff on Saturday.
The visitors took advantage of a poor clearance by Pont to take the lead with a converted try, but a good piece of opportunism got the hosts back into the game.
After being awarded a penalty on the on the left-hand side of the five-metre line, Michael Searle took a quick tap and he ran through the defensive line to touch down. Will Newbigin missed the conversion.
Rockcliff then enjoyed the majority of possession for a spell, but they could not score any points and Ponteland were on top when the away side’s scrum-half received a yellow card.
After 38 minutes, a good drive from a line-out in an attacking position led to Craig Robinson going over for an unconverted try – this made it 10-7 at half-time.
Pont started the second half strongly and six minutes into the half, another Rockcliff player was sin-binned.
The hosts kept piling on the pressure and they were rewarded when their backs combined well to put second row Chris Freer in for an unconverted score.
They looked to score again, but the visitors stole the ball at a line-out and they charged upfield to break into the Ponteland half.
Rockcliff kept up the momentum and forced their way into Pont’s 22, eventually being awarded a penalty ten metres out. Simpson took a quick tap and sniped through to score and they try was converted (15-14).
The home side responded well and they were soon in their opponents’ 22.
Slow build-up play and an excellent drive resulted in another try for Robinson, which secured the bonus point. Newbigin successfully kicked over the conversion.
Ponteland controlled possession for most of the remaining minutes and with five minutes to go, they secured victory with another try.
A catch and drive worked the ball to the Rockcliff line and Dan Harrison touched down. As Walton missed the conversion, the final score was 27-14.
Pont will try to make it five league wins out of five at North Shields on Saturday. Kick-off is 3pm.