PONTELAND staged a remarkable comeback this weekend to secure a 13-12 win against a strong Winlaton side in a game characterised by a series of yellow cards.

The Maroons had not lost an away game all season - but they came up against a Winlaton team unbeaten at home, so something had to give. The game, played in extremely blustery conditions, got off to an exciting start, with both sides making some good carries and heavy tackles.

Five minutes into the match, Ponteland drew first blood through the boot of scrum half Owen Reed, who did well in the conditions to score a penalty from 20 metres out.

That proved to be the highlight of the half for Ponteland, however. For 10 minutes later, Winlaton found their way into space, attacking around the corner before crossing the line and scoring the game’s first try.

The Maroons were handed a golden opportunity on 20 minutes, when the Winlaton scrum half was sent for a 10-minute break after his interference at the scum. The Winlaton nine was the first to spend time in the sin bin, but he would not be the last.

Despite battling hard, Ponteland were unable to take advantage of the extra man with their own mistakes killing the attacking momentum.

Ill discipline then proved costly for the away side. Heading into the final six minutes of the half, prop forward Harry Lane received a yellow card for entering the opponents’ maul at the side.

Winlaton chose to take the line-out, and they received further benefits when they were awarded a penalty try after Ponteland back row Sean Bettison was also shown yellow, reducing Ponteland to just 13 men.

The team were given an encouraging team talk at half time, one that was necessary if the side were to salvage anything from the fixture.

Starting the half with two players still in the sin bin, Ponteland had to work hard until their reinforcement arrived back onto the field - but they managed to keep the score down.

The tables soon turned, however, as Winlaton were next to receive a yellow card in the 51st minute.

This time, Ponteland were able to capitalise through full-back Patrick Holliday. After initially breaking the line at the half way mark, Holliday bumped off one defender and raced around the full back before diving across the whitewash to score - his third try against Winlaton this season.

Trailing by just four points, the Maroons were thrown another lifeline as Winlaton received yet another yellow card in the 63rd minute.

Just one minute later, Ponteland strung together a play which undoubtedly will be considered as one of the tries of the season.

Starting from a penalty beneath their own sticks, relentless carrying down the right hand side of the field saw Ponteland march their way down the field.

A break by James Mould saw the play expand and work its way to the left before the ball was flashed back right through fast hands. Several offloads and clever catching saw the ball fall into Harry Lane’s hands.

Stepping one defender he created enough space to make a dive for the line where he managed to dot the ball down to score his first senior rugby try at such a crucial moment.

An unsuccessful conversion attempt saw the Maroons hold a narrow lead of just a single point heading into the final 11 minutes.

Winlaton showed great character by testing Ponteland every way they could - but they were unable to break through the stern defence to strike any winning points in the time remaining.

In the closing stages, a Ponteland player received a neck injury while defending.

With the players’ safety at the forefront of their minds, both set of coaches and physios agreed to end what had been an enthralling game.

Ponteland said the player had been discharged from hospital and returned home.

The club also praised Winlaton’s sportsmanship during the incident.