Pont fail to build on good start

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Ponteland 17 Acklam 22 Durham and Northumberland, Division One

PONTELAND could not build on an excellent start and they were eventually consigned to a narrow defeat in this see-saw encounter.

The home side were quick out the blocks and went in front after three minutes when winger Pete Britland burst through the Acklam defence to touch down for an unconverted try.

Just five minutes later, Pont went 10-0 ahead when they won a five-metre line-out and drove over powerfully for their second score. Back-row forward Rob Lenderyou was the man to touch down.

The visitors composed themselves and reduced the deficit when a quick attack released Richardson to score at pace. The conversion was missed.

In the second half both sides had spells of pressure, but Acklam had a big two minutes when Ashton kicked a penalty in the 55th minute and almost immediately from the kick-off Wood scored a try, which was converted, after a good team move.

Only minutes later, Ponteland won a loose ball from an Acklam scrum and flanker Phil Mundy ran over for a try. Michael Mullins’ successful conversion made it 17-15 to the home side.

The crucial score happened with 15 minutes left. Walker burst through the home defence to put the away side back in front and the conversion gave them a five-point lead.

Soon afterwards, Pont’s Craig Robinson received what appeared to be a harsh yellow card for a ruck infringement, but despite being down to 14 men the hosts laid siege to the Acklam line. Their opponents were penalised eight times within 30m of their own line, however no yellow card was forthcoming and as hard as they tried, Ponteland could not score another try.

They will hope to get back to winning ways away to Hartlepool Rovers on Saturday.