Medics find Horden in fine fettle

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HORDEN produced a fine 36-16 win at Medicals.

After spending so long in the relegation zone, Horden are now enjoying a stunning run of results – they have lost only one of their last eight matches – and are in mid-table.

Horden started a little sloppily but still got the first points on the board when Craig Jones knocked over a penalty.

But Medicals hit back swiftly, when possession from a quick line-out was moved wide and after two long passes, the Newcastle side scored an unconverted try in the corner.

Horden were not put out of their stride and Craig Gilmour and Luke Watson set up the attacking position from which Jones fended off his marker and then outpaced the defence to cross out wide after good play by Andy Raine and Newton Turton.

Jones put the icing on the cake with an excellent touchline conversion.

However, Medicals showed their capabilities by keeping the ball alive to score in the corner just before half-time. They also landed a penalty to lead 13-10 at the break.

The next score was crucial and Horden got it.

A good line-out take by Paul Malcolm 10 metres out set up a drive from which Owen Bennett picked and forced his over from short range. Jones converted.

A rare venture into the away half saw Medicals kick a penalty to cut Horden’s lead to 17-16.

Paul James twice went agonisingly close to tries but Horden’s forward pressure imply had to tell and Raine pinched the ball at a defensive Medicals scrum and scored to make it 22-16.

Watson then took a knock and was replaced by the returning Daz Witte.

And with his first touch he made a big line break from a scrum on the home 10-metre line before offloading to Michael Turner, who took play to deep into the Meds 22. From here, Gilmour crashed over for Jones to convert and make it 29-16.

With 15 minutes to go, Andrew Turner replaced David Bains at 10 for his first appearance of the season following a knee injury.

And, like Witte, his impact was immediate as Horden turned defence into attack and the move upfield was completed by some more good pack play with Michael Thompson going over for the final score, Jones converting.

Horden finished with 13 men with Jones and James being sin-binned following a flare-up, but the 13 men left on the pitch defended really well.