Nichols kicks Houghton to late win

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Rugby Union

HOUGHTON snatched a narrow 21-19 victory against Chester-le-Street in Durham Northumberland Three on Saturday thanks to a last-gasp penalty from Andy Nichols.

The home side went into the game with a much-changed side and went ahead with a Nichols kick, but the visitors hit back straight from the restart by picking up the bouncing ball and going over for a converted try.

Houghton responded well, spreading the ball wide where they created problems for the Chester-le-Street defence.

The move of the match saw David Cummings dart down the left and put in Graham Bennett, who finished in the corner.

The visitors hit back in the second half and two quickfire scores saw them back in front.

Houghton’s forwards started to up their work rate and the back three of Tom Birtley, Cummings and Bennett were looking dangerous.

The home side scored next when quick ball released to Nichols and on to Ben Aiden, who eventually put Bennett in for his second score of the day. Nichols converted to put Houghton within one point.

Houghton pushed forward and were presented with two penalty chances out wide, but both were missed. With three minutes left, Houghton had a penalty in front of the post but a bit far out, so Tyzack took a quick tap and drove the team ten yards upfield.

That made Nichols’ job much easier and he slotted home to give the home side victory.