Ponteland moved in to pole position in the league after claiming the full five points against a physical Hartlepool side ­— beating them by 24-5

They drew first blood after 17 minutes of battling for possession when back rower Sam Long sliced his way through the opposing defence.

Chris Searle was close in support to continue the play before being tackled, but his brother Michael Searle was not too far behind and he scooped up the ball and dived over to score.

Pont’s second try came from right winger Connor White in the 30th minute when he demonstrated his raw pace in one of the best solo tries of the season. Blitzing past his his opposite number on the half way mark, he went on to outstrip the Hartlepool full back before diving over to extend the home side’s lead.

On 36 minutes, however, Ponteland were down to 14 men when second rower Phil Mcareavey received a yellow card.

Hartlepool took full advantage and they wrestled their way over the line in the 39th minute to score their only points in the game, taking the half time score to 10-5 in Ponteland’s favour.

A positive half time discussion saw the Maroons re-emerge from the restart with renewed energy and determination.

Long found his way on-to the score sheet once again as the clock hit the 50th minute, plucking out an overthrown line-out to crash over from just five metres out.

Just seven minutes later, the home side were in once again as Patrick Holliday went under the sticks. A well-executed set piece play saw Ryan Gerrard thread the full back straight through a hole and go untouched to score for the four try bonus point.

Connor Beswick