HISTORY repeated itself when Ponteland's first team were crowned champions of Durham and Northumberland League II earlier this month.

For the Mighty Maroons were celebrating clinching the exact same title 10 years ago.

Pont were declared champions of the division for 2019-20 based on points per game when the campaign was brought to a premature conclusion last month following the Covid-19 outbreak.

But they were able to reflect back on their title winning year in 2010 when they bounced back from an early season blow to finish the year as the division's top dogs.

During their opening game against North Shields, club vice-captain Graeme Turnbull's name was included on the team sheet as it had been regularly for the previous five seasons.

However, his appearance during that game set alarm bells ringing with Northumberland RFU.

It transpired that Turnbull's name had accidentally been removed from the players' register, meaning he was ineligible to play.

Despite strong appeals from the club, the RFU docked Ponteland two points to deal the team a blow from day one.

However, the points deduction just seemed to spur the team on and they went on to win 20 of their 22 league fixtures, rounding off the title winning campaign with a 20-13 victory over Blyth on the final day of the season.

At the time, ex-club president and Ponteland's county representatives, Daniel Whaley, said: "We thought those two points were going to be invaluable come to the end of the season so every game was a must win game.

"After the deduction, our captain Dan Harrison said that we were going to win the league without those two points and it was an emotive speech.

"The players never blamed anybody for the mistake, and they just got on with it and won every game bar two."

The season panned out brilliantly for the club, as they managed to score a total of 609 points during their 22 games.

In comparison, their defence was water tight and they conceded just 218 points throughout the season.

It saw a return to D&N I, a division they have been in and out on a number of occasions.

And that is where they will be plying their trade again once rugby can resume when lockdown restrictions have finally been lifted.

Similarly to the 2009-10 season, they won 20 of 22 league games played this campaign.

However, there were 14 teams contesting the division this season, meaning there was still four games remaining.

But due to their success in the opening 22 fixtures, they had done enough to be crowned league champions in Paul Gerrard's debut season as head coach.

They had scored a massive 937 points in the league campaign, and were predicated to surpass the 1,000 landmark. They finished with a positive points difference of 603, conceding just 334 points.

They finished the season on 101 points, five points ahead of second placed Guisbrough and third placed Sunderland, the latter joining them in the higher division as they had played one game less.

Ponteland picked up 19 bonus points for scoring four tries or more in games, and accumulated two losing bonus points.