HORDEN were left frustrated at missing out on a draw in Saturday’s Durham and Northumberland Division One 23-16 defeat at Gosforth.
Trailing by seven points at the death, Horden went for a pushover try at a five-metre scrum only for the set-piece to end in a heap.
Gosforth were penalised and the away pack opted for the scrum, which again ended the same way.
The hosts were ruled the offenders again, but there was no penalty try awarded – only a penalty.
Horden tried again, but, on this occasion, the ball squirted out the side of the scrum and when they tried to up, possession was spilled, allowing Gosforth to clear and the opportunity, and the game, was lost.
Gosforth took an early lead though a penalty before extending this 10-0 with a converted try from the openside wing from a well-worked move following a line-out.
Horden’s first score came soon after.
Luke Watson made a break through the midfield with Gosforth infringing at the breakdown.
David Mason made it 10-3, but the score came at a price with Watson suffering an ankle injury, which forced him to leave the field.
Despite the reshuffle in the backs, Horden were still looking dangerous with Andy Raine making a number of breaks around the blindside, only for the last pass not to go to hand or good cover defence snuffing out the visitors.
It was left to the forwards to produce a try when Michael Thubron pinched a Gosforth throw-in to a line-out inside the home 22 to go through the opposition defence an dive over in the corner.
Mason knocked over a great touchline conversion and also kicked a penalty to put his team 13-10 in front.
However, on the stroke of half-time, Gosforth drew level with a penalty. The two kickers exchanged penalties after half-time to make it 16-16.
The pattern of the second half followed the first, with Horden dominant up front but turning ball over too easily and Gosforth looking to go wide.
Gosforth kicked to the corner to set up a line-out from which they went ahead.
Quick ball off the top and a couple of phases saw them nip through a hole in the defensive line to score a converted try and edge 23-16 up.
Horden rallied well, with Thubron and Paul James, in particular, leading the forward charges.
But then came the controversial and frustrating ending.
Thubron, James and David Smith were the pick of the side.
Bowman added: “The loss of Watson was a big blow, he’s the leader in the threes and without him, we had an young and inexperienced back division.
“But it was definitely a game we lost rather than Gosforth winning it.”