AWESOME Horden continued their Durham and Northumberland Division One title drive with an emphatic 31-3 victory at one of their promotion rivals, Durham City, to go seven points clear at the top.
Early play on the very heavy Hollow Drift pitch took place in the middle third of the field, City eventually taking the lead with a penalty.
Horden though soon scored their first try thanks to their forward power. They demolished the Durham scrum on the 22, pushing them back to within five metres of the City line. Here, the home flanker deliberately infringed resulting in a penalty try, which Andrew Turner converted.
With the Horden pack winning the forward exchanges, led by skipper Michael Thubron, scrum-half Luke Watson started to pick holes in the close defence, making good ground around the ruck.
The second score came after good interplay between forwards and backs. Paul James drove on with Turner and Andy White combining to make play to within 10metres, where Watson darted through a gap to score from close range. Turner converted to make it 14-3.
Horden increased their lead immediately after half-time after Turner was tackled five metres short following brilliant runs by Watson and David Heckles.
The away forwards won another scrum against the head for James to pick up and drive over to make it 21-3.
City looked totally deflated and Kieron Forbes should have increased the lead when he shrugged off defenders and broke through but the line beckoning they faile to capitalise on a four-on-two overlap. However, Thubron made of a try bonus point win when he went over from close range when the pack worked a catch and drive from five metres.
Despite the mud, Horden were still looking to play rugby and created a great opportunity down the blindside after a couple of forward drives.
Turner fed David Heckles, who drew the defender before offloading to prop Michael Thompson, He popped to winger Jones, who was flying into the corner only for the ref to judge the last pass to be forward.
Forbes got the final try with 10 minutes to go. City tried to play out of defence, but Horden turned over the ball and the young back row proved too strong and quick for the defenders as he made it 31-3.