Jekyll and Hyde Horden pay for second-half collapse

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Horden produced a Jekyll and Hyde performance as they slipped to a rare home defeat in Durham/Northumberland Division One on Saturday, going down 34-19 to Consett.

The Colliery side played some of their best rugby of the season in the first 35 minutes.

Alas, for the rest of game, the play was some of their poorest and Consett scored 24 unanswered points in the second period to win comfortably.

Horden started really well and were ahead inside the first five minutes. From a scrum in the middle of the pitch, Neil Hartley moved the ball to the blindside, where Joe Thubron looped around Dave Smith to cross in the corner. Craig Jones converted to make it 7-0.

Horden gave away a soft penalty from the kick-off to let Consett on the scoreboard.

However, from the restart, Horden engineered a response. A good take by Carl Brown in the line-out set up a driving maul, with Paul James and Andy White making carries before Thubron put in a deft kick in behind the defence, with David Heckles winning the race to the ball to score.

Jones put over another touchline conversion to take the score to 14-3.

Horden were pretty dominant in most aspects of the game, with the Consett scrum under pressure and the home defefensive organisation often forcing their opponents to kick and give the ball back.

With half an hour gone, Horden scored again, with Thubron having a hand in this try as well. The young stand-off repeated his kick in behind the defence, this time Jack McCallum touching down.

Horden had an opportunity to put the game to bed but a fumble allowed Consett to clear.

Right on half-time, Horden gave away more soft points. While attacking on halfway, a long home pass was intercepted with the Consett back rower racing away to score.

It meant the half finished 19-10 when, given the Horden dominance, it should have been much greater. A Consett penalty brought them to within one score early in the second half before Horden decided to press the self-destruct button, conceding a try from a penalty two yards out.

Horden had a try disallowed when David Heckles forced his way in at the corner after a series of good forward drives.

Everyone went up to celebrate, only for the Spanish referee, from the Catalan society, to cut the celebrations short, ruling a scrum instead after saying he was unsighted.

Consett got the rub of the green for the game’s next score. A great tackle on Thubron knocked the ball free, allowing Consett to kick on. The covering Heckles was unable to gather but neither it seemed did their centre, but the official awarded the try.

While trailing 25-19, there was still 15 minutes left and plenty of time for Horden to score. But their discipline was not good enough and they began to be penalised inside their own half, with Consett landing three penalties to make it 34-19.