Low score but plenty of action all round

Ponteland 8 Novos 0 Durham and Northumberland Division One

PONTELAND beat Novos 8-0 to record an important win.

While Novos played out of their skins, Ponteland’s defence held firm, but the home side still managed to butcher several easy chances to score preventing them recording an easier win.

Ponteland started at pace as forwards and backs moved the ball freely. A line-out 15 metres out saw Pont move the visitors backwards but Ed Weeks broke a metre from the line and the referee gave a held-up decision.

After 10 minutes of pressure Novos entered Pont’s half and were awarded a penalty in front of the posts

Inexplicably they ran it and soon found out that Ponteland’s defence were not in a mood to be breached today!

Pont continued their attacking ways and a breakout saw Pete Britland off-load superbly, finding Will Newbigin on his shoulder to canter in for a try. (5-0).

From the kick-off Phil Redhead broke down the touchline. He was clear with three support runners but managed to pass to the only defender in sight. To make matters worse the defender jinked away and Josh Stoker got a yellow for a clumsy high tackle.

Still pushing forward Britland ghosted past two players but a suspect forward pass prevented Jamie March scoring.

Novos’ attempts to utilise the extra man floundered as a Novos player was yellow carded for a punch. Half-time 5-0.

Pont continued to drive mauls as Novos deliberately collapsed for the ninth time and a sweeping move out wide found Kelly in an overlap situation as a poor pass saw yet another chance go begging.

With 10 minutes gone another deliberately collapsed drive saw Mullins kick the penalty to make it 8-0.

While Novos were still attacking in style Pont’s defence held firm and never looked in danger of being breached.

Yet another line-out drive saw Pont march 25 metres until, yes, you guessed it, Novos dragged it down again.

The referee appeared to see the use of the boot and Dan Harrison was given a red card.

Novos took this as an opportunity to attack, and aided by a sudden string of penalties, found themselves close to the Pont line but a mixture of panic and sound, cool defending saw the home side hold out.

Pont still had their chances and a sweep out wide saw Kelly and Boona in space, but again a poor pass didn’t finish it off.

A searing break saw a similar high tackle on Newbigin that gained Stoker a yellow in the first half go completely unpunished, a drive upfield by Novos saw them miss a kickable penalty and Matty Walters put in a try-saving smash tackle to knock the attacker backwards.

The final seconds belonged to Pont as Big Mick and Josh Stoker saw Pont drive for the line with Redhead getting the touchdown.

With no video referee in support, blowing for full-time appeared the best option.

Not a convincing win but a win nonetheless. Pont can take heart from the fact that they are creating chances and when reduced to 14 men their defence held firm.