Prudhoe again show signs of improvement

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Chris Patterson.
Chris Patterson.
11 October 2017 2:32PM

THE ever-improving Prudhoe and Stocksfield ran unbeaten Blyth close, but had nothing to show for their excellent efforts.

They ended the game pointless despite being level with just 15 minutes to go, their second placed guests taking the game 27-18.

But the manner of performance will have pleased the hosts who have given a good account of themselves against the top three teams in Durham and Northumerland III, despite falling short.

Prudhoe had to ring the changes with Chris Patterson coming back to captain the side, but they were without the services of key men Luke Masters and Dan Whiley.

Blyth started the game confidently but were unable to gain any grip on the game in the early exchanges, with the home side matching them all over the park.

P&S were camped in the Blyth five-metre area as the first quarter of the game concluded, and it came as no surprise when Patterson stretched over the score the game's first try, converted by Steven Henderson.

The green and black shirts were taken aback but were spurred on by their strong support, and they put pressure on the home line.

Prudhoe defended well and looked to have weathered the storm when the ball was spilled in attack, but the referee was unsighted and Blyth gathered to go over the line.

The hosts recovered from the setback and went close to extending their lead, but Henderson's penalty kick dropped just short of the posts.

The home side did stretch their advantage to 14-5 as reward for arguably their best half of rugby all season, a quick tap penalty by Patterson seeing the ball pop to Carl Ferguson to power over. The score was again added too by the boot of Henderson.

Blyth are challenging at the top with maximum points for a reason, and within 10 minutes of the second half they had turned the game around with two tries seeing them ahead at 19-14.

One unlucky bounce had wrongfooted the P&S defence to allow Blyth to score their second try on the wing, while the visitors made Prudhoe pay for switching off as they gained the upper hand.

But the home side were back level with quarter of an hour to go, Ferguson and Patterson forming an instant understanding and linking up well as Patterson created the gap from a five metre scrum for Ferguson to power over from to take i to 19-19.

Yet Blyth maintained their run of maximum points victory with a fourth try when the ball again bounced kindly, with Prudhoe denied a losing bonus point when Blyth sent over a straight forward penalty after Andy Marsh seemed harshly penalised when shown a yellow card.

With a man extra, Blyth tried to assert their authority late on but were met by a resilient home side with the back row of Ferguson, Gerry Robinson and Yannick Debil excelling.

After a weekend off, Prudhoe return to action with a visit to Chester-le-Street on October 21.

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