Houghton win derby against Washington

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HOUGHTON took another huge step towards promotion from Durham and Northumberland Three with a 39-5 victory over neighbours Washington.

The win maintained Houghton’s 10-point gap over third-placed Newton Aycliffe with only three games now remaining.

Straight from the restart, a charging Ryan Pink ran straight onto the ball and shipped it out wide to Allan Widdowfield, who went through for a try to ensure the bonus point at 22-5.

Early signs of nerves were soon calmed when the opening scrum showed how powerful the home side’s pack is.

From the set-piece, Dan Bearn broke away and passed to Mark Douglass, who crossed the line with only two minutes gone on the clock.

On a high, Houghton dominated. Tight play from the forwards in the scrums was matched by pressure from the backs on set-pieces.

Washington did make progress only for sloppy handling to lose possession.

Houghton made them pay at the othjer end when Cameron Stables used tidy footwork to create space for himself and he darted over the line.

The conversion was scored by Bearn.

Another try followed when Brett Henderson found space to cross the line in the 33rd minute.

Houghton rather overcomplicated their game when simple rugby was needed and Washington took advantage to go over for a try of their own to reduce the deficit by five points, with the conversion missed.

The visitors’ high spirits were soon quashed, though.

Straight from the restart, a charging Ryan Pink ran straight onto the ball and shipped it out wide to Allan Widdowfield, who went through for a try to ensure the bonus point at 22-5.

Washington started the second half promisingly but could not make much headway against a strong defence.

And Houghton showed the visitors their cutting edge with another try – the backs feeding the ball out wide for Graeme Bennett to add another five points.

Douglass was a constant menace and he was involved as the ball was passed out to Paul McBurnie, who ran under the posts after 52 minutes.

The conversion was scored by Bearn.

After an even spell, Houghton resumed their dominance. A line-out close to the Washington line was taken straight into a driving maul. Houghton made impressive yardage and Rob Hebron picked up to touch down.