South Shields Westoe’s play-off place in their own hands with five-point wins the target

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South Shields Westoe secured a 39-20 victory over Ponteland on Wednesday evening to remain in the mix for a DN1 promotion play-off spot.

The win sees Westoe currently in joint second place with Barnard Castle on 98 points, with league leaders Durham City on 105 points.

They will need to secure two more five-point wins against Novos tomorrow and Gosforth next Wednesday to stand any chance of clinching the play-off slot.

Westoe travel to Novocastrians tomorrow where Shields have won the last three meetings.

However, they won’t be taking their opponents lightly after they Horden last Saturday.

The victory over Ponteland was never really in doubt, but it took a while to shake off their opponents.

Resisting the early Westoe onslaught, Ponteland struck first when a strong scrum allowed their winger to score.

However, from the restart, Richard Burrows, Connor Pascoe and Jake Arnold combined to release Joe McKenzie, who touched down.

With Westoe struggling to shift into the higher gears, Ponteland regained the lead with a penalty kick.

With minutes left of the half, quick support allowed McKenzie to cross for Westoe’s second try of the day.

A drive by Anthony Rumis set up the ruck for Sam Gaff to pick and drive over the line for a half-time lead of 19-8.

Ponteland struck first at the start of the second half with a touch down to reduce the arrears. They quickly followed it up with a score to take the lead and put Westoe’s promotional hopes under pressure.

Simple hands along the line gave Jamie Preston the run in to retake the lead and gain the valuable try bonus-point.

Graeme Smith set up Sean Ramsay, who crossed the line, with Richard Burrows adding to the score minutes later.

With the whistle about to blow, Westoe finished the day with a long line-out, Michael Booth chipping the ball into space for Preston to recover and take Westoe’s seventh of the day and a vital win.