Gateshead 41 Ponteland 5 Durham & Northumberland League, Division One
PONTELAND’S recent run of good form came to an end on Saturday as they were comfortably beaten by table-topping Gateshead, writes Chris Morgan.
This was an expected defeat for Ponteland against a side who had only lost one of their previous 16 league games.
That said, despite the lopsided-looking scoreline and the fact that Pont endured a nightmare opening 20 minutes in which they conceded no less than four tries, the visitors can be reasonably pleased with their efforts against what was clearly a superior outfit.
The first try in the opening Gateshead onslaught came after just five minutes as one of the home centres went over to the right-hand side of the posts.
Minutes later, the home side’s lead was doubled as the soft centre at the heart of the Ponteland defence was exposed, allowing the inside-centre to waltz in to score.
Some outstanding support play followed as the Heed racked up their third try with just 15 minutes on the clock. After yet more pressure, this time in the forwards, Gateshead crashed over for their fourth try.
Ponteland eventually recovered and found their way back into the match, which was played on a very muddy pitch. They more than matched their hosts in the remaining exchanges of the first half and were rewarded with a try on the stroke of half-time as Pont’s outstanding player of the day Richard Moller dived over to score.
In the second half, the away side began as they had ended the first half – as marginally the better side – and had they taken advantage of a couple of promising positions could have even sent out a little shock to their hosts.
Nevertheless, there was always the likelihood that the superiority of the Gateshead backline could produce some more tries and in the end they added three more to their total, including a score from Ponteland old boy Alex Tilley.