Houghton move off Bottom
Houghton had the final say on the match and possible saved the best to last
David Bains kicked off this crunch basement battle with South Shields and with great height on the ball it allowed the Houghton pack to press. A solid tackle by Michael Thubron seen the ball spilled into the hands of Ryan Main, unfortunately he fumbled and the referee called for the scrum. Shields give away the first on many penalties after a none engagement at the scrum, which see Captain matt marchant point to the posts. Joe Thubron stepped up and slotted straight between the up rights.
South Shields immediately came back after the forwards failed to collect the kick off and Allan Widdowfield knocked the bobbling ball forward. A dominant Shields scrum seen Houghton pushed back four metres and the number eight picked up and drove past three poor attempt of tackles.
Houghton came straight back with fire in their belly, after a roasting by Marchant under the posts. The forward pack progressed with ease through Glen Atkinson and Craig Hicks drives. Just as it looked as Houghton would score the ball shot out the side of a ruck. The referee was right on the mark and adjudged a Shields play to have deliberately played the ball and sin binned the player. This time David Bains called for the ball and it was span quickly by Danny Bradley. Bains then delivered a miss pass to Joe Thubron who rounded the defender to score.
Again Shields came back after Ryan Graham was penalised for not realising the ball. There powerful prop made good ground before a huge Newton Turton tackle halted him and Marchant was on hand to turn over the ball.
The game slowed for the next five to seven minutes with the penalty count getting high. Houghton took advantage of this as Shields were penalised for firstly not rolling and then offside both within kicking distance for Thubron to slot home.
Houghton introduced two subs after Michael Thubron had a reaction to he's shoulder from last weeks game and was replaced by Stuart Hutchinson. allan scott was also rotated for Lithuanin prop Evaldas Petraitis, who has been missing through work commitments. The substitutions made an instant impact as Petraitis's opposite number crumbled under pressure at the scrum. David Bains kicked to the corner and Houghton hit a quick lineout. The forwards set the maul up and the ball was pencilled quickly and accurately to the rear, for Glen Atkinson to drive over.
Just as in the previous encounter South Shields responded at half time and came out with fire. They attacked through a rolling maul, only for the rear player to break loose and be met with a hard Glen Atkinson tackle. The flanker stripped the ball and passed to Ryan Graham who cleared the danger.The windy conditions were causing problems in the lineout and a over throw was knocked on by Allan Widdowfield. The resulting scrum was good but the referee seen Bains had creeped offside and awarded the penalty. Shields cleared the danger zone but Houghton managed to steal the next lineout ball. Danny Bradley went quick to David Bains, and span a pass to Jack Sneezham. The centre popped to the supporting Ryan Graham and with Thubron coming into the line from fullback a try looked certain. However poor hands by Graham seen the move come to and end.
Houghton introduced the third and final sub with Andrew Charlton coming on for Jonny Dixon at wing. The game finally got some energy and Houghton attacked again through James Ross and Sneezham. A set move seen young flyer Graham in space again, only for him to fumble at the last moment. Houghton gained a penalty form the resulting scrum and Joe Thubron stepped up to slot the three points.
Houghton got the ball back from the kick off as Shields knocked on. Another set move seen Thubron and Graham break, this time the winger put a lever chip over the would be defence. The Shields fullback touched the ball down after running back over the line under Graham's pressure. A big forward shunt seen Craig Hicks pick from number eight to drive over, Thubron converting.
Houghton now had the game won and looked dangerous with every play. They attacked from another good rolling maul, which seen another player sin binned for collapsing n the red zone. Houghton ran the ball with Jack Sneezham making great yards. The ball was quickly recycled and David Bains popped a pass to Glen Atkinson to cross for the bonus point, Thubron converting.
Shields had a small flurry of attacks after a yellow cad to Craig Hicks for handling on the floor. However the Houghton defence stood strong and halted any progress.
Houghton had the final say on the match and possible saved the best to last. The forwards made some forty metres with Newton Turton, allan scott, matt marchant and Stuart Hutchison all making ground. Danny Bradley used a clever set play to draw in the defence before passing to Bains. The flyhalf linked with Sneezham, who in return popped to the supporting Thubron. The young fullback selfishly drew in the winger and passed to Andrew Charlton who scored in the corner. Joe Thubron then finished the game with a massive touchline kick to silent the boo's of the home crowd.
Man of the match, David Bains