South Shields Mariners secured a fine 24-13 victory when they stood tall and saw off the Novocastrians Centurions’ threat.
The game started at a frantic pace and was an end to end affair with both sides making gains at times, but both defences holding firm.
The Mariners were making great gains due to some incisive running from Daniel Whitelaw but at times, the support was not there.
An unfortunate handling error from George Bull, with the goalline at his mercy, nearly gave the Mariners the opening try.
It was the Centurions who took the lead, taking advantage of the sin binning of Daniel Simpson.
The ball was lost after a strong Mariners scrum and some missed tackles allowed the Centurions to take the lead.
The Centurions kept the pressure on and were able to extend their lead with a penalty.
Despite falling more than a score behind, the Mariners had played well and were particularly dominant in the scrum and this dominance lead to a try for captain Grant Borill, who touched down after a series of dominant scrums. Jared Deacon converted.
There was a blow to the Mariners as the Centurions were forced into uncontested scrummaging.
This seemed to kill the momentum slightly and this allowed for the Centurions to extend their lead with a well-worked try in the corner.
Falling further behind just seemed to fire up the Mariners and their forwards began to take over.
The Mariners got their second try after a period of dominant running and support and Luke Broster touched down to bring it back within a point.
Some praise must go the Mariners props Kristian Summerside and Lee McKeith, who showed great energy to get around the pitch and make gains.
Lee McKeith went on a mazy run, leaving the Centurions full-back in his dust to give the Mariners the first lead of the game.
A defensive turnover led to the final try of the game, with Joe Gardner showing great footwork to go over and extend the Mariners lead.
Craig Gardner added the finishing touches as the Mariners capped off a superb fightback to secure the 24-13 victory.
The whole team were a credit to the shirt and coach Phil Robson picked out Daniel Simpson, Daniel Peacock, Luke Broster and Daniel Whitelaw for particular praise, with Whitelaw and Broster jointly earning the man-of-the-match award.