Horden 28 Ponteland 5
BACK in business! After three painful defeats on the trot, Horden returned to winning ways with a convincing victory over Ponteland.
The Welfare Park pitch was still a bit firm but, after two inspections, and with the agreement of the Ponteland captain, the game went ahead.
Horden played up the bank first half and started the game with real purpose.
The home forwards were on top during the early exchanges and the first 10 minutes were spent camped in their 22-metre zone.
Horden battered the Ponteland defence, with Craig Gilmour held up over the line, while David Mason was hauled down a metre short after a good break by Scott Holloway
But all Horden had to show for their pressure was a penalty on 15 minutes by Andrew Turner, who missed a fairly striaght-foward kick 15 minutes later.
Ponteland came back with a spell of possession and it needed a try-saving tackle from Stephen Heckles 10 metres out to stop them scoring.
However, Horden worked their way back upfield and scored the first try just before half-time. Ryan Pink stormed forward from a tap penalty 30 metres and the ball quickly came back to Andrew Turner, who chipped over the defence and won the race for the touchdown.
The second half started in much the same vein as the first with lots of Horden possession but only a second Turner penalty for their efforts.
Shortly afterwards, Ponteland pulled five points back with an unconverted try even though the scorer looked well offside.
Turner kicked his third penalty to make it 14-5, but Horden soon had another try.
David Heckles, who looked dangerous with ball in hand all afternoon, released Mason down the win. He stepped inside the defender and off-loaded to Ross McGorman, who showed good strength to power over from short range. Turner convertred and Horden were in the clear at 21-5.
Despite the scoreline, Ponteland showed spirit and came back strongly only to meet a strong defensive effort from Horden, which was led by Pink, who put in some shuddering hits, supported by Gilmour.
Horden were not finished and scored with the last play of the game.
They kicked a penalty to the corner, where they won the line-out and drove towards the line. After a series of pick and drives, Andrew Rollins was rewarded for an excellent display in the loose when he burrowed over.
Turner converted to make the final score 28-5 and his personal tally 18 points.
Coach Glenn Bowman said: “I was really pleased we cut out the errors that caused us to lose the game last week.
“We kept the ball well, our decision-making was much better and we played our attacking rugby in the right areas.
“Hats off to the lads for doing that – they delivered what was asked for.”