Sunderland beat Pool in thriller and end promotion aspirations.
In the penultimate game of the D&N campaign, Sunderland avenge the early season defeat at Mayfield Park.
With the Sunderland Ashbrooke ground unavailable , Pool played at the nearby Hillview Playing Fields.
In bright and sunny conditions , Pool soon went on the offence and after a series of phases, Pool approached the home sides 22 metres line, as Pool looked to work the ball out wide and utilise an overlap, the pass was intercepted by the home centre and he outpaced a flat footed defence to score under the post for a well taken try. With the conversion added , Sunderland led 7-0.
Pool levelled the game after 10 minutes, following a scrum ten metres out , Tom Johnson picked up from the back of the scrum and two quick passes saw Jon Carney combine with Michael Smalley who crashed over to score under the posts . Anthony Lawrence kick made it 7 points a piece.
Fifteen minutes on the clock and the home team went back on the attack and pressure at the breakdown resulted in a penalty which was confidently struck from twenty metres by the fullback to nudge the score to 10-7.
In an entertaining and open game, five minutes later, Anthony Lawrence continued his decent kicking record with penalty kick just right of the 22 metre line to brings the scores level at 10-10.
The home full back fine penalty kick put Sunderland ahead by 3, 13-10.
Pool were pressing the home team but the ball was knocked on in the tackle and the ball was clearance down field, Pool were slow to react and the Sunderland winger took advantage of indecision and accelerated away from 40 metres , with the conversion added the lead was increased to ten. 20-10.
Again Pool went on the offence and training ground line out move saw Jon Carney flip the ball to flanker Phil Stephenson who beat the first defender and as he went to touch down unfortunately the ball was knocked on and Sunderland cleared the ball from the resultant scrum.
Pool got a deserved second try two minutes before half time, after a series of penalties , centre Keagen Thomas took a quick penalty and a his determined run saw him beat two player to score in the corner. Anthony Lawrence accurate kick reduced the deficit to three points, 20-17.
Sunderland started the second half in a focused fashion and 4 minutes after the interval, the home centre exploited a gap in the Pool defence to in score in the corner for a great individual try. 25-17
The Wearsider's nearly scored a 4th try but a cracking cover tackle by Patrick Wilson bundled the attacker in to touch.
With 10 minutes remaining, Pool were penalised for being off side at the break down and an accurate penalty saw the home side lead increased to 28-17.
As the game entered the last 5 minutes, Pool again went on the offence and the veteran Patrick Wilson danced over for Pool's third try beating two players . The conversion was rushed and missed leaving the score 28-22.
Pool huffed and puffed trying to get the all important try but Sunderland controlled the last few minutes of the game to secure a deserved but narrow win.
Pool wrap up the D&N2 campaign with a home game against Whitley Bay next Saturday.