West 29 Ponteland 22

By Dave Picken - October 28 2018
West 29 Ponteland 22 For long periods of this game it was impossible to tell who was third top and who were second bottom strugglers. With a handful of regulars missing we still started the day as clear favourites against a Ponteland side who had only won one game from their first seven ....

Playing into the icy wind we did start well with Ryan Painter crossing after just four minutes. He started the break in midfield  forcing a ruck close to the posts from where he picked up to dummy his way across the line.

Stu Waites’s easy conversion looked to be the start of a decent score -  but Ponteland had other ideas.

They seized on their opportunity when Jay Corbett was yellow carded by exchange referee Craig Sakowski, from the USA, for using his shoulder.

It was the first of a number of penalties which Ponteland fly half John McConnell gratefully accepted.

He was on the mark again after ten minutes, but his next kick hit the post after his side scored their first try of the afternoon. They'd mounted a series of surges on the West line with flanker Ben Davies finally crossing to give his side a four point lead.

Another penalty from McConnell added to the lead before a rare West foray into the gale saw full back Zac Southern come into the line. A well timed pass from Waites sending the full back over from ten metres.

The head coach's conversion  attempt to level the scores rebounded off the post, and it was Ponteland who soaked up  a long spell of pressure before breaking out to go in at  half-time leading 17-12. Once again thanks to McConnell’s fourth penalty success of the half.

With the elements in our favour the West faithful fully expected their side to comer out all guns blazing, and they were not to be disappointed.

From the kick off the ball was moved quickly right where winger Callum Johnston still had plenty to do - fortunately he was able to force his way in at the corner.

The conversion attempt was wide but we were back in the lead.

However, it wasn’t to last long as the visitors continued to use their big forwards to batter their way through the middle – second row Chris Freer finally forcing his way over in the corner to restore his side’s lead.

It was an advantage they were to enjoy for more than 20 minutes as both sides slugged it out. Ponteland’s forwards continued to have the better of things in the loose  and testing our defence, while ourattacking attempts were frequently frustrated by an inability to hold onto the ball.


Corbett try Ponteland

However, we finally put some phases together to force a line-out ten metres from the visitors’ line.

Our line-out had been solid all afternoon and, with the visitors expecting a catch and big drive, the ball was moved to the back where Jay Corbett collected to dart his way over to regain the lead and give his side a try bonus point (left).

However, with only a two point lead going into the last ten minutes the game was still wide-open.

Fortunately, Johnston settled the nerves with a copycat try in the right hand corner to give his side a seven point margin.

Ponteland did search desperately for the converted try which would have been a deserved equaliser, but our defence held firm.

The visitors admitted this was the best they had played by some distance - proof perhaps that following our relegation we are a big scalp. Something to be remembered when  we travel to bottom club Whitby next week.




West: Zac Southern, Will Hilditch, Peter Youll, Liam Rutherford, Callum Johnston, Stu Waites, Ryan Painter (capt), Adam Coates, Adam Brown, Danny Cookland, John Bunter, Joe Rafferty, Chris Atkins, Connor McLurg, Jay Corbett.

Reps (all used): Jonny Hunter, Andy Turner, Adam Peacock.

Tries: Johnston (2), Painter, Southern, Corbett.

Cons: Waites (2)

Yellow: Corbett.

Ponteland:  Oscar Redman, Luke Chick, Elliott Blain, Jamie Taylor, Connor White, John McConnell, Luke Bailey, Stu Browne, Paul Baron, Larry Mew, Jonny Livingstone-Evans, Chris Freer, Ben Davies, Matt McKenna, Sam Long.

Reps (all used): Chris Steven, Jack Spells, Connor Beswick.

Tries: Davies, Freer.

Pens: McConnell (4).

Referee: Craig Sakowski (Potomac Society, USA)

West 29 Ponteland 22
Official West Hartlepool RFC (IP Logged)
28/10/2018 10:26
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Re: West 29 Ponteland 22
LesterP (IP Logged)
28/10/2018 16:17
Report says it all really; impressed with Ponteland actually and as DP iterates, our scalp obviously meant a lot to them, especially their big, mobile pack who gave us a hard time at the breakdown, scrum and as we took the ball into contact.

But, it is what it is and we are where we are.

Another win, momentum maintained, just - the joy ride continues.

Looking forward to some Whitby Fish & Chips 😉

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