HORDEN gave more promise of better times to come in a 39-15 home defeat to Percy Park.
The North One East bottom side led the promotion challengers 15-3 at half-time only to fall away badly in the second half.
Horden started well and a series of forward drives brought a penalty which Craig Jones knocked over to make it 3-0.
The winger added a second shortly afterwards although Percy Park cut the lead to 6-3 midway through the half.
Park were pressing hard in and around the 22 but Horden’s defensive effort was excellent.
Luke Watson made a good break to get his side on the front foot. A line-out of halfway provided good ball to David Heckles, whose flat pass to Andrew Docherty saw the young centre burst through the Park midfield and round another defender before chipping ahead.
A try looked on the cards as he and Steve Heckles chased the kick over the line but neither could get the touchdown.
Shortly afterwards, Jones had a chance to score. He pounced on a loose pass in the Park defence and kicked through but just failed to gather the ball under the posts.
But Horden’s pressure did tell and Jones put another two penalties over to make it 12-3.
Just before the interval, Carl Oliver cut through the defence. And when Percy infringed, Jones landed his fifth penalty.
Horden needed to keep it tight, but Park scored from a catch and drive five minutes in and then broke from deep to score again and bring it back to 15-13.
The home line-out became a struggle and they couldn’t get their hands on any decent possession. Park used the bank to good effect and constantly put the ball behind the Horden defence.
A second catch and drive try was followed by a pushover try when skipper Paul James was off the field and out of the scrum with an injury took the score out to 27-15.
Percy Park kept the ball well and while Horden defended for long periods, the pressure eventually took its toll and a couple of tries late on took the score to 39-15.