FORTUNES in sport can change in an instant as Hartlepool Rovers discovered on Saturday when they suffered a shock defeat at Guisborough, the match-winning conversion by Louis Hagan coming with the last kick of the game.
Rovers have an unenviable record over the years of “choking” and snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
Saturday’s loss might yet not prove terminal to the Friaragemen, but it has seen them drop to fourth in Durham Northumberland One, behind pace-setters Darlington, who Rovers travel to next, Stockton and Alnwick.
While Rovers have only lost two games to Darlington’s one, there is now a massive eight points difference, courtesy of four points for the win and four bonus points.
The match, in football parlance, was Guisborough’s cup-tie – small-town club recently promoted versus relegated fallen giant.
The hosts scrapped for every ball and would not let Rovers settle into the groove. This was especially noticeable at the breakdowns, where Rovers were constantly out-rucked and slowed down.
Read more about Rovers’ agony, plus more local rugby, in today’s Sportmail.