Ponteland 13 Novos 37
Durham & Northumberland League, Division One
PONTELAND lost their way after a promising start and fell to a disappointing defeat, writes John Chappell.
The hosts began the match at breakneck pace with a catch-and-drive from a line-out.
The ensuing scrum pushed Novos back and a penalty by Pete Britland put Pont 3-0 ahead.
From the kick-off, a scrum on Pont’s 22 saw Moller break out to the opposition 22, carried on by Maughan and finished by Ross Scott, only to be disallowed for a knock-on over the line.
A further drive and penalty saw Britland miss an easy kick and then the visitors went on the attack and won a penalty, which was converted to level the scores.
But back came Ponteland and a catch-and-drive by the forwards saw Moller score a try to make it 8-3.
With 15 minutes on the clock, Robinson went on a run and good support play by Jonny Livingstone-Evans saw Britland touch down.
The home side continued to push forward, but over-elaboration and forced offloads saw Novos get back into the game.
A pick-and-drive from a scrum saw them score out wide, then a missed one-on-one tackle led to a converted try and the away side led 15-13 at half-time.
Having had most of the first half, Pont were confident that by cutting out mistakes the game would be won.
But to their credit, Novos took heart from their lead and put Pont under pressure. Unforced mistakes again allowed them to take a grip on the game with another try.
A further penalty and then a simple overlap saw the visitors ahead 30-13.
With five minutes to go, Ross Scott was yellow-carded and with the last play of the game, a Novos winger squeezed over in the corner and the conversion made it 13-37 on a thoroughly disappointing and dispiriting day for Ponteland.