AFTER an enforced two week layoff due to cancelled fixtures, the Centurions returned to action with an emphatic 60-10 home victory over old rivals Northern Panthers.

The front five of Jonny Pape, Rory Craney, Ed Weir, Jason Armstrong and Ian Charlton dominated in scrums and line-outs to produce controlled first phase ball. They also managed to support the lively back row of Andy Purves, Mark Price and Josh Turnbull around the field to supply quick ball for a talented set of backs.

Tynedale signalled their intent with three early well-worked tries. A forward drive saw the ball shipped quickly right and Jake Sloan, using his trademark dummy, crossed wide out.

His centre partner Ryan Laverty then crashed over after a twinkle-toed break from Danny Fitzgerald.

Fly half Fitzgerald again made a break, fed Rory Dixon who was held just short, slipped the ball to Laverty whose unconventional offload saw Sloan dive over for his second score.

Northern battled hard, but as they pressed, the ball came loose and full back Dixon picked, ran strongly, and fed right wing Joe Matthews who neatly wrong-footed the defenders to touch down.

Northern then scored a nicely worked try which their efforts deserved, added the conversion, then kicked a penalty to give them a foothold in the game.

A quickly taken tapped penalty by Andy Harvey saw him dart over to restore the balance in Tynedale’s favour.

Just before the interval, Dixon again ran strongly to score wide out right and take the score to 34-10 at the break.

The Centurions had the advantage of a stiff breeze in the second half which allowed them to dominate territorially but some game defending restricted the number of chances.

Strangely, the Centurions’ four tries came from long range after the Panthers had battled out of their own half.

Fitzgerald defended a kick on his own 22 yard line then showed great pace and balance to touch down near the posts after a superb run.

A fine drive by Turnbull led to a long range passing move, and winger Dan Heppell crossed out wide.

Matthews scored his second, cutting infield after another good handling move.

Finally, near the end, Dixon was neatly fed by James Bell and took off from his own half to outstrip all defenders to complete the scoring in an entertaining fixture.