Victory gives Horden breathing space

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HORDEN are back on track and heading in the direction of Durham Northumberland One safety.

Glenn Bowman’s side made it three wins on the trot with a 32-16 win against second-bottom Blyth to go seven points above the relegation zone they had spent much of the camapign inside.

Horden went ahead after 15 minutes. Paul James won a turnover inside their 22, allowing Andrew Raine to break blind and feed Craig Gilmour. He offloaded to Craig Jones, who went over in the corner. A fine touchline conversion by Jones made it 7-0.

Blyth got back into the game with a strange score. From a Horden scrum on the 22, the ball went straight through the tunnel and the flanker picked up and strolled under the posts while everyone was waiting for a whistle.

Two penalties put Blyth 13-7 ahead after 30 minutes and they could have gone into half-time even further ahead had it not been for a try-saving tackle from Witte.

The Blyth wing stole around the side of a ruck and seemed to be heading to the corner only to be hauled down just in time.

The teams exchanged penalties to make the score 16-10 but with Horden’s forwards slowly getting on top, Blyth were struggling to get out of their half. And from a five-metre scrum, Gilmour crashed over to cut the gap to a point.

Paul Malcolm was really putting a lot of pressure on their line-out and a steal by him set up the next score. After working the ball through a couple of phases good hands by the backs saw Scott Holloway go over in the corner to put Horden 22-16 up.

Horden were on top and when Malcolm pinched another ball at a line-out in the away 22, and after a couple of drives big Jona Hudson side-stepped the full-back from 10 metres out to make it 27-16.

The final score was really well-worked. Strong home defence in the middle of the pitch forced Horden to kick. This was fielded by Witte who drew the winger and fed Raine who came racing round in support.

It looked like he was going all the way but popped the ball inside to Michael Turner to touch down.

H Bottom side Sunderland crashed to a 52-14 defeat away to second-top Guisborough.