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Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Teessiders beat depleted Pont

RUGBY: AN INJURY hit Ponteland again gave a good account of themselves – but again found themselves on the wrong end of the scoreline.

With Mark McGookin and Michael Mullins missing, Pont were forced into a reshuffle and they dug in deep despite going down 20-8 to high flying Stockton.

Ponteland’s task was to grow tougher when the injury crisis continued, prop forward Lee Coulthard taken off with mild concussion after just two minutes followed closely by emergency stand-off Will Newbigin who was stretchered off with a nasty looking knee injury.

Despite these hindrances, Pont were more than a match for their Teesside opponents even if they did spend a considerable amount of time defending their own territory. An early penalty saw Stockton gain the upper hand, but they were to receive a setback when they were reduced to 14 men with a yellow card for dissent.

Ponteland were playing some great stuff but it was the away side who broke the try drought on 35 minutes with their last play before returning to full strength, their full back scoring in the corner which was converted.

Pont’s lack of a recognised goal kicker was always going to be a huge problem, but Pete Britland stepped up to the plate on the stroke of half time to claw back three points.

The second half was a similar story with Pont spending a large amount of time defending their own try line.

While the second try was always coming, Ponteland were unhappy with the circumstances of it as they deemed the five metre scrum had been turned over before the Stockton flanker touched down for 15-3.

Ponteland’s frustrations told as, minutes later, Mark Kelly was sin binned for offside and, while the hosts defended like beavers in his absence, the pressure became too much as the visitors scored yet another try.

Ponteland finished the game well with a deserved consolation try as Jack Storey took advantage of some space to score near the posts.

They travel to Horden tomorrow looking to close the five point gap between them and their seventh placed hosts.