HOUGHTON grabbed a vital 28-12 league victory against Newton Aycliffe – but had to do it the hard way.
Newton Aycliffe started off by driving well through the forwards and producing a try within five minutes.
Houghton reponded, though, with a try from Douglass, who powered over from short range. Nichols missed the conversion.
Houghton had found their tempo and were able to wear the Newton Aycliffe players down.
The variety and angles Houghton’s backs were running confused their opposite numbers, with Aide in the centre enjoying a real physical battle.
Two more tries from Merly and an opportunistic try from Turnbull finished the half well, with Nichols converting both.
The second half ended up being scrappy and Houghton conceded a needless try.
However, two penalties put the game beyond Newton Aycliffe and Houghton pushed for the bonus point, though just fell short.
Merly produced one of his best displays of the season and Maggiore played well, especially in the lineout.
Houghton now have three home games, with one a semi final in the cup.