Horden hammered by Rovers’ blitz

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HORDEN were blown away by a first half points blitz that saw local rivals Hartlepool Rovers 31-3 ahead at the break.

However, Rovers eased off and, stung by an interval tongue-lashing by coach Glenn Bowman, the Collierymen fought back and “won” the second forty minutes 19-8, eventually pegging the score back to 22-39.

In the second half, Darren Witte showed his running skills for Horden when he fielded a ball on his 22 and, after evading several tackles, brought David Mason, White and Turton into play, but Chris Purvis could not take what might have been a scoring pass.

The wingman was not to be denied and he overlapped on 57 minutes after Raine, Heckles, Turner and White had combined well as Horden looked to try and pull some points back.

Horden refused to give up and were rewarded with two converted tries in the last five minutes, either side of Sainty’s fifth successful penalty for Rovers.

With Michael Thubron in the sin bin, Horden’s pack pushed Rovers back at an attacking scrum after 75 minutes, Steven Heckles controlling the ball well at number eight to touch down.

In stoppage time, Coulson allowed a speculative kick ahead to bounce and it popped up perfectly for Mason to catch and have an easy jog to the line, David Heckles adding both conversions.

“You don’t win games if you don’t tackle,” were Horden coach Glenn Bowman’s first thoughts, “We conceded after only two minutes and looked shell-shocked.

“We didn’t get started until after half-time. We got a reaction after some strong words, let me tell you, but the game was already effectively over.

“The lads got some respect back in the second half and especially late on, but it was an uphill struggle.”