Pont finish with a flourish by beating champs

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Ponteland 24 Darlington 12 Durham and Northumberland One

PONTELAND finished their 2011/12 season with a flourish after beating the league champions.

The visitors received the trophy after the match, but their party was spoiled a little by a fantastic home performance.

Among the try scorers were Craig Robinson after a number eight pick up and hooker Kyle Norris. Nine points came from the boot of Michael Mullins.

Darlington scored two tries of their own – one converted and one unconverted – but despite exerting a lot of pressure in the second half, Pont’s defence stayed strong to record an excellent victory.

They ended the season in 11th place, pulling clear of the relegation zone after winning four and drawing two of their final eight games.

Ponteland RFC Director of Rugby John Chappell said: “It was a fantastic performance to end the season and it featured some great attacking and defensive plays.

“We had a tough first half of the campaign and it was particularly hard going for our very, very young backline.

“We had only won two games by Christmas and were in the bottom two, so we brought in two experienced players who made a big difference. But when they got injured a few weeks ago, the young players showed that they had grown up during the season by putting in some excellent displays.

“I’m delighted with the strong finish we’ve had – the players showed a lot of spirit and determination to turn things round and move away from relegation trouble. Hopefully, we can take this positive momentum into the start of next season.

“Second row Chris Freer has had an outstanding campaign and skipper Dan Harrison kept everyone going when things weren’t going well.

“Scrum half Jamie March and fly half Michael Mullins have played in every game and Mullins’ boot has saved us on a few occasions. He scored almost 200 points during the season.”