A hard lesson from Houghton

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HOUGHTON carried on their winning ways in Durham Northumberland Division Three with an excellent away win at second-bottom South Tyneside College.

They travelled looking to build on the bonus point win over Seghill the previous week.

The game saw two changes to the side, with Louis Maggoire coming in for the injured Tom Birtley and Gary Shepherd coming in at scrum-half, Chris Simpson dropping to the bench.

The game started well for Houghton, with early pressure on the South Tyneside defence.

And after a hook against the head by hooker Michael Potts and quick ball by Gary Shepherd to release the back line, good hands down the line saw Maggoire score in the corner.

Houghton went on the attack again and a number of scoring opportunities came and went because of handling errors.

Houghton finally made their second breakthrough of the afternoon after a turnover from a counter-ruck in midfield.

The ball came to inside centre Chris Ham who beat his man to score under the posts. The extras were added by Johnny Morton.

Houghton had been camped in the South Tyneside half for the majority of the game, but when College elected to run a penalty from their own 22, they finally made their way upfield.

Houghton then conceded another needless penalty just outside their own 22, which the hosts elected to run again. Their reward for taking the quick tap was to create an overlap and score in the corner to make it 5-12 at half-time.

Houghton made one change, bringing on Mark Douglass for try-scorer Ham, who had taken a knock.

However, it did not affect their play, the second half starting the same as the first, with Houghton on the attack.

And their pressure again paid off when a mistake by South Tynside on their own lineout at their five-metre line saw Glen Crowther pick and score from close range.

Houghton were in search of a try bonus point by now, but the South Tyneside defence held strong and on occasions the hosts came back at Houghton.

However, great work by Mark Douglass and Brett Henderson, who made a try-saving tackle in the dying seconds kept the final score at 17-5 to Houghton.

Houghton will now go into a week’s break full of confidence and will look forward to playing second placed Prudhoe and Stocksfield on the 28th January at Home after taking 9 points from a possible 10 from their first two games of 2012.

Houghton: Henderson, Maggoire, Towers, Ham (Douglass), Bennett, Morton, Shepherd (Simpson), Tyzack, Potts, Marchant, Turnbull (Scott), Widdowfield, Bolton, Crowther, Hicks (C).