AWESOME Andrew Turner kicked all 21 points for Horden, but still could not finish on the winning side as Stockton completed a Durham Northumberland One double at Welfare Park with a 27-21 win.
Horden had their try-scoring chances, but failed to take them, though it was a much improved-performance on the previous Saturday’s “effort” at Medicals.
And this time they at least had the consolation of a bonus point.
The early exchanges were fairly even, Turner swapping penalites with the Stockton kicker as the score was locked at 6-6.
Horden then saw a golden opportunity for the first try go begging.
Andrew Rollins made a great run through the Stockton midfield and after a series of rucks, Michael Bland went over the try line with the ball in his hands, only to lose it before he could touch down.
After that open goal-style miss, Horden soon suffered another.
Darren Witte fielded a kick on the halfway line and burst through the defensive line and fed Scott Holloway.
With one defender to beat and Michael Turner outside him, he drew the man, only for the pass go astray with the centre facing a walk over the line.
Horden had to make do with a third Andrew Turner penalty to make it 9-6.
But the lead was short-lived as Stockton kicked deep into the home half. Their forwards gained possesion and rumbled over the line after a number of phases to make it 13-9.
Horden conceded again right on half-time.
After winning a line-out in their own 22, instead of simply kicking clear, the home pack drove on and ended up being bundled into touch.
It set up an attacking position from where Stockton scored a converted try near the posts to go into the break 20-9 ahead.
Horden were forced to make two substitutions because of injury, Ryan Pink replacing Newton Turton up front and David Baines taking over from Holloway in the backs.
With a slight wind behind them, Horden looked to put the ball behind Stockton and make them play their way out of their territory.
With the set-piece going well, Horden were spending time in the away half and kept the scoreboard ticking over with two Andrew Turner penalties to bring the score back to 20-15.
Stockton had a man sin-binned for repeat infringments at the breakdown and Horden stayed on top, continuing to have chances.
Witte made another good break through the midfield, but with a potential three against two situation on, the pass did not go to hand.
On another occasion, Carl Oliver had the chance to go over in the corner, but rather than trying to go past the last defender, he chose to pass inside and the ball went foward.
Horden then shot themselves in the foot again. With Stockton pressing, Chris Purvis deliberately knocked the ball down and was was sin-binned.
Stockton subsequently scored to make it 27-15.
To their credit, Horden continued to attack and another two penalties from Turner brought the score back to 27-21.
Horden pressed in the last few minutes but ran out of time.