Patchy match despite scoring nine tries

Wallsend 10 Ponteland 57 Durham and Northumberland Division Two

Despite scoring nine tries, Pont turned in a patchy performance against a brave Wallsend side.

With a strong cross wind on a wide pitch, Pont started well as a massive line-out drive put them within striking distance.

Two shunted scrums saw Robinson go over to make it 5-0 after five minutes.

Unfortunately, Kelly broke another prop and with Wallsend only having 15 players, the game restarted with uncontested scrums.

This seemed to stifle Pont’s play and it took a while to get back on song. The next score came as Marcus charged down a kick, collected the ball and an inside pass saw Harrison and Leiserach on his shoulder.

The duo held their nerve and Leiserach touched down for the try. Newbigin kicked over the conversion to make it 12-0.

From the kick-off, Gregory made a good break as good home defending prevented a try.

Pont continued to take wrong options and starve their wingers of the ball which in turn allowed Wallsend to defend short in numbers.

But they found their rhythm again and another Marcus break saw Searle blast over for his first try, it was converted by Newbigin.

Wallsend did not let their heads drop and they built up a head of steam. Several good pick and drives saw them score an unconverted try out wide (19-5).

As often happens, this spurred Ponteland on and a bullocking run by Kelly saw Gregory in close to the posts for a converted bonus-point try.

The visitors seemed to have their mojo back and a searing break by Newbigin saw a pass to Kelly. After charging forward, his overhead basketball pass saw Searle trot in to make it 31-5.

Wallsend reinforcements had now arrived, putting them back to 15 players, but this was a mixed blessing for them as the game returned to contested scrums and Pont’s forwards went back to what they do best.

Just before half-time, a series of scrums five metres out saw the hosts shunted backwards until the referee had had enough and awarded a penalty-try. Newbigin’s successful conversion made it 38-5 at the break.

For reasons only known to themselves, Pont made a hash of numerous opportunities early in the second half.

This allowed Wallsend back into the game and they were on top for the next 20 minutes.

Eventually, Ponteland got themselves into gear and the forwards used route one as several more punishing scrums saw another penalty-try for a converted score (45-5).

To their credit, Wallsend were not going to lie down and as Pont ran from their 22, a poor pass saw the home team win the ball and several drives later they were over in the corner.

The away forwards again upped their game and two massive line-out drives saw two quick-fire tries for Searle. Newbigin converted the last one to make it 57-10.

Pont’s Jekyll and Hyde performance continued as Kelly and Harrison ran into each other from the kick-off, allowing Wallsend to finish on a high as they battered away for another consolation score.

However, Ponteland kept them out and it finished 57-10.