HOUGHTON suffered only their fifth defeat of the season away to a very strong Hartlepool Athletic side. who produced probably their performance of the season to win 37-10.
The signs were not good as Houghton conceded early from an Athletic forward drive.
Yet again, Houghton were slow to get into the game but then started to look increasingly dangerous and ran the ball at every opportunity, keeping the ball away from the much-bigger Athletic pack.
But there was no way through for Houghton as the hosts’ scramble defence managed to win each time. And Hartlepool’s presence at the breakdown was much stronger, leaving Houghton conceding needless penalties.
Athletic found scoring too easy and their superb scrum-half, who kicked everthing, was their man of the match as he dictated play.
Houghton, though, will count themselves unlucky with two of the home side’s tries which might have been ruled out.
The game ended prematurely when flanker Dan Jones got caught with a swinging arm with five minutes to go and was taken to hospital, but the result stands. Jones did not suffer any serious damage but is ruled out for the rest of the season.