Second-half fightback not enough for a point

Ponteland 14 Darlington 27 Durham and Northumberland, Division One

A POOR start cost Ponteland as they fell to defeat on Saturday.

The team was already disrupted with a couple of injuries from last week, but more reshuffling was required when two players dropped out on the morning of the game.

And while the hosts were trying to find their bearings, Darlington scored two converted tries in the first seven minutes.

Pont steadied things and had some decent spells of possession, but the visitors touched down just before half-time.

This try was not converted so it was 0-19 at the break.

The second half was a different story as the home side pressed forward and looked dangerous at times. From one of their attacking plays, Richie Moller scored a try and it was converted by Will Newbigin. Darlington responded with an unconverted score, but back came Ponteland and Ian Scott touched down following some good pressure. Newbigin kicked over the extras to make it 14-24.

The final points of the game came from a successful Darlington penalty.

Despite being camped in the away side’s 22 during the last 10 minutes, the hosts could not get another try which, if converted, would have secured them a losing bonus point.

Director of rugby at Ponteland, John Chappell, said: “It’s a shame that the changes we had to make proved so costly, but we can take encouragement from our decent second-half performance, which showed what we’re capable of when we put phases of play together.

“We’re away to the bottom side Gateshead on Saturday and hopefully we’ll have a couple of our injured players back for this big game.”