DURHAM CITY 64 PONTELAND 5
Durham City’s lead at the top of the Durham & Northumberland 1 League was extended last Saturday to 6 points with 4 matches remaining courtesy of this comprehensive win and second-placed Barnard Castle losing to South Shields Westoe who remain in third
Durhamam City’s lead at the top of the Durham & Northumberland 1 League was extended last Saturday to 6 points with 4 matches remaining courtesy of this comprehensive win and second-placed Barnard Castle losing to South Shields Westoe who remain in third position. But with Consett still very much in the hunt for league honours as well and three matches yet to be played between the four clubs, it may be advantage City at the moment, but it could very quickly change and, with some outstanding games scheduled to be played mid-week before this report appears, including City v Barnard Castle at Hollow Drift, may in fact have already done so.
There was little doubt about the outcome of this game from the outset though, as City dominated the first half hour in all phases and swept into a 4 try bonus-point lead of 26 – 0.
An inside pass by scrum-half Paul Armstrong and strong run by No.8 Peter Dent gave winger Josh White the opportunity to score the first try after 5 minutes, flanker Howard Johnson quickly followed it up to score under the posts following a couple of forward drives and ground made by stand-off Arnie Stevenson and centre Chris Metcalfe stepped inside the cover to get his 30th try of the season after good work by fellow-centre Craig Dominick and a 35 metre run by Stevenson.
Armstrong converted all three tries but was unsuccessful when a big 15 metre drive from a lineout ended with White breaking well for his second try of the afternoon in the 27th minute. But with City then relaxing a little, Ponteland suddenly came into it, securing good possession to test the home defence with some consolidated but unsuccessful pressure.
However, second-wind and poise recovered, City ran away with it after the interval scoring a further 6 tries. Winger Sam Heron went over in the corner, lock Kevin Showler scored from a lineout, replacement winger Brad Pears finished off a fine Crossfield attack, Heron hacked the ball down the touchline and followed up for his second try, replacement lock Josh Cotton had the simplest of touchdowns in the right corner from an attack started by a storming run up the middle by prop Tim Mackay, and finally when Pears chipped and hacked the ball to the Ponteland line an offence was committed and the referee awarded a penalty try.
Armstrong converted 3 of the second-half tries and the visitors’ only consolation was a try by No. 8 Sam Long in the 74th minute when they capitalized on a brief spell of pressure in the City 22.
CITY: Phil Stewart; Sam Heron, Craig Dominick, Chris Metcalfe, Josh White; Arnie Stevenson, Paul Armstrong ©; Tim Mackay, Kenny Reader, Benny Parkinson, Kevin Showler, Paddy Dias, Howard Johnson, Mark Davison, Peter Dent.
Replacements : Brad Pears, Andy Kirkup, Josh Cotton.