Ponteland 35 Acklam 35 Durham and Northumberland Division One
WITH ten tries, three yellow cards and the home side losing until the last three minutes then having victory snatched by the last kick of the game, watching Ponteland is not for the faint-hearted.
The visitors took the lead when a poor pass saw Acklam’s scum-half gather and cover 65 metres to score.
Then after both teams exchanged penalties, the home side drove forward and after Moller spurned a two-on-one chance disaster struck.
Pont turned over a ruck in their own 22 and, as the ball came out to McGookin, he mistimed his kick. Acklam caught it, ran it back and scored.
Ponteland then failed to collect the kick-off and the away side swept in to make it 3-20.
With three minutes to go to half-time, the visitors received two yellow cards in quick succession at the breakdown and the hosts took advantage at the start of the second half when a line-out drive saw Maughan off on a run and a sweeping ball out left saw Josh Stoker score. An excellent conversion by Mullins made it 13-20.
An immediate similar drive saw Mullins in the thick of it as Watson scored. With Acklam up to strength they scored their best try as the fly-half chipped a flat-footed defence to collect and score under the posts. This try was converted.
Ponteland’s Freer was then given a yellow and the away side made the numbers count out wide to score.
The home support feared the worst but fortunately the forwards hadn’t read the script as they caught and drove a line-out, with Chris Steven claiming the try. Mullins again converted to make it 25-32.
Further forward pressure saw Freer score and Ponteland went ahead with four minutes to go when a catch and drive saw the ball spun wide and Pete Britland scorched over.
But the hosts failed to gather the kick-off and the visitors got a penalty 35 metres out.
While the team could argue about the decision, they could not complain when the referee added a further 10 metres as a Pont player foolishly failed to return the ball. The final kick of the game went through the posts to make it 35-35.