City aces bring end to Horden’s great run

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HORDEN’S unbeaten 2013 Durham and Northumberland Division One unbeaten 18-game run is over.

The Colliery side had not lost in the league since a 23-16 defeat at Gosforth on December 15, 2012.

But Durham City’s 23-10 victory at Welfare Park on Saturday ended the sequence, though Glenn Bowman’s side remain second in the table.

Horden started poorly and conceded three penalties in as many minutes. Consequently, the Collierymen struggled get out of their own half.

Even though City had the majority of the possession, Horden defended well and City had to be content with a penalty to take a 3-0 lead.

However, a good counter-attack from Craig Jones and David Heckles put young winger Cameron Stables away out wide, only to be hauled down 10metres short.

But Horden failed to retain possession and lost the opportunity. And when a knock-on in the home 22 gave City possession on the half-hour, the away centre cut back and got through some weak tackling to go under the posts to make it 10-0.

Horden finally started to get hold of the ball in the City half and put some patterns together.

And from a scrum on the left hand side of the pitch, Horden broke into midfield and, after a number of phases, winger Stables picked up at the back of a ruck and nipped through to score. Jones added the conversion

Shortly afterwards, Horden should have taken the lead.

Paul James made a great break through the middle and with the defenders pulled in, Horden had numbers free on the right only to go left and spilled a long pass.

However, Jones did make it 10-10 with a penalty just before half-time.

Horden started better in the second half, playing the ball behind Durham in the greasy conditions and forcing them to play their way out of their own territory.

The referee then appeared to signal a penalty to Horden, but he played advantage for a couple of phases before awarding City a scrum, much to the annoyance of the home camp.

A similar incident happened five minutes later but this time the penalty was reversed after the official ruled a use of the shoulder in the tackle, even though Horden were the team in possession.

Had Horden had the opportunity to kick those penalties the game could have been different. Instead, penalties at the scrum handed scoring opportunities to City.

Durham kicked two to make it 16-10 while a third penalty attempt hit the post and bounced to safety.

As Horden tried to clear the danger, a loose pass was thrown behind the try line and a City player managed to get a hand on it to make it 23-10.

There were still had 20 minutes to play so there was plenty of time to score, but it seemed the harder Horden tried, the worse they played, as they continued to lose the ball and hand possession back to their visitors.