Horden too strong for Rovers

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HORDEN gave Hartlepool Rovers a lesson in how to play winning league rugby with a 44-19 triumph.

The Collierymen scored five tries to Rovers’ three at the Friarage and kept the scoreboard ticking over at regular intervals.

Horden attacked from the whistle and took the lead after 14 minutes when they opted for a scrum from a close-range penalty and, pushing Rovers backwards, Newton Turton picked up at number eight to drive over, Andrew Turner kicking a good conversion.

Horden doubled their lead with a score out of nothing when Turton set off from the 22 and brushed off several tackles before scoring by the posts.

Turner’s only blemish came on 27 minutes when he went wide from 20 metres. This was the cue for Rovers to hit back, with Ian Coulson going in at the corner.

After a spell of Rovers’ pressure, a 40-metre stoppage time penalty for Turner made it 17-5 at the break.

With less than a minute gone in the second half, Sainty went wide for Rovers with a shot at goal but he was on target a minute later with the extra points to a superb try by Maddison.

Some of this good work was then undone when backchat to the ref turned a scrum on the halfway line into a penalty and Turner’s kick still had something to spare as it sailed over the crossbar.

After 48 minutes, the Friaragemen, who had yet to win a lineout, bizarrely went for a catch and drive from a penalty but Ian Pinchen and Grazier were stopped short and Horden returned play to the home 22 where sub Carl Oliver bustled his way to the line for another converted try.

Eight minutes later, Dring and Callum Whitehead charged upfield and from a free-kick Grazier took a quick tap to dive over. Sainty’s conversion cut the deficit to 27-19 and seemed to have given Rovers a lifeline.

Turner pulled off a tremendous tap tackle to halt Adam Smith in full flow and then put over a 12- metre penalty at the other end on the hour when Rovers went offside in front of their posts.

A sequence of five-metre scrums ended with Horden going 37-19 ahead with Turton’s hat-trick try and a superb touchline conversion by Turner and when Rovers threw line-out ball away Michael Thompson charged to the line, Turner again converting.