Horden step up challenge with solid victory

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HORDEN are only four points off the top spot in Durham and Northumberland Division One after a convincing 33-6 win at Ponteland on Saturday.

The colliery side got off to a great start with a converted try inside 10 minutes.

Forward Kieron Forbes made a blindside break from a scrum to be pulled down 10 metres out.

Quick recycling allowed David Bains to feed David Heckles, who hit a great line to slice through the defence and go under the posts.

Good handling from both forwards and backs then saw the ball moved wide to Cameron Stables.

The young winger rounded two defenders and raced 30 metres and looked to be heading for a score only for a great covering tackle to bring him down just short.

But the supporting Richie Thirkell picked up and crashed over.

Horden’s next try came from a Newton Turton turnover on halfway.

He fed fellow back row Forbes, who broke the first tackle and sprinted upfield before hitting Davey Smith with a 20-metre pass.

The centre took play to within five metres before being tackled, Forbes picking up to score.

Andrew Turner converted all three to make it 21-0.

Ponteland kicked a penalty either side of half-time and the hosts lifted their game and adopted a more direct style of short, hard drives.

But bar one break which was closed out by a great cover tackle by Heckles, Ponteland did not really create that much. And Horden scored again when they drove the ball forward through a number of phases before moving possession to the blindside for Jones to go over in the corner.

A Luke Watson midfield break created another opportunity, sidestepping through a number of players.

Good support play saw the ball moved to Jones, who outpaced the defence to score his second try. Turner converted for 33-6.

Horden then began to fall foul of the referee and were subject to long series of penalties. But, despite being pegged back in their own half, the visitors denied Ponteland another score.

H Seaham consolidated top spot in Division Three, beating Washington 29-5, while Houghton edged a tight clash 9-6 at Richmondshire.