PONTELAND were going great guns in Northern League Two before the coronavirus stopped play.

The Maroons defeated Darlington 62-0 in their last outing before the season was suspended, and then officially ended, by the RFU.

Despite topping the league by five points with just four games remaining, the first XV are still waiting to find out whether or not they will be promoted.

Nevertheless, Ponteland’s chairman John Chappell said the club would respect whatever decision is finally made.

“We have been in the top two all season,” he said. “We have been pretty adamant in terms of that being our aim, and we’ve had a great season so far.

“But in the grand scheme of things, it’s not a massive issue. It’s out of our hands, and while it would be great to get promoted, if it doesn’t happen, we’ll take it on the chin.”

Chappell is brimming with enthusiasm about the quickly developing young side at Ponteland which has taken the league by storm this season.

“We play very exciting rugby,” he said. “We tap and go, and we’re full of running. If we end up in the same division next season, I am sure our lads will get on with it and do it all again.”

More pressing challenges lie ahead off the field for Ponteland, a club which has three senior teams, and 11 junior sides from U7 upwards.

The club’s main fund-raiser is the annual Ponteland Beer Festival, one of many community events which has been affected.

However, instead of being cancelled, the festival has been moved from its original April date, to Friday, October 30.

Unlike Tynedale, Ponteland don’t have their own premises to look after. First team games take place at Ponteland Leisure Centre, while junior fixtures are held at the local high school.

“A lot of sports clubs have challenges when it comes to raising funds,” said Mr Chappell. “We are no different in that sense, but we are not dependent on income generated from our premises, as we don’t have our own clubhouse.

“Our priority for now is that everyone keeps safe and well, and hopefully we have a new season to look forward to later in the year.”