South Shields Westoe were well beaten by third-placed Consett in a top of the table clash.
Direct running and support play from Consett were rewarded with their first try of the match after only six minutes, winger Patchcott capitalising on poor positional play by the visitors.
That advantage was extended when Westoe’s pack conceded a penalty from a scrum as they struggled to cope with the pressure.
On 25 minutes, Westoe’s scrum were again under pressure and Consett picked and fed the short side, where Patchcott exploited the gap to cross to make it 13-0.
This was the score that galvanised Westoe into action. The travelling support were happy for the first time in the day, when Westoe’s pack finally joined in the dance at scrum time and drove the home team back. Sam Gaff picked at the base, Chris Judson recycled the ball attacking the line, drawing in the defence and delivered an inside reverse pass to put Raymie Elliott through the remaining tacklers to score.
Westoe trailed 13-7 at half-time but appeared to be back on track. Their running game saw the side work their way 75m downfield. Awarded a penalty 10 metres out, Judson took the quick tap and fed Andy Kirton who crashed over the line within a minute of the restart to reduce the arrears to just a single point.
Consett replied with a penalty for offside minutes later but with the game in the balance, it was a combination of good running from Consett and unusual poor tackling from the Westoe side that sealed the game.
Full-back Patterson, working with scrappy ball and looking to clear, turned on the gas and footwork to evade six or seven Westoe defenders, finally offload to centre Ross who touched down under the posts to make it 23-12.
Still fighting, Westoe upped the tempo and commitment; Richard Burrows showed pace and determination and debut winger Carlin Mosely showed some potential; however it was too little too late, as a well-drilled and passionate home side defended well.
The last play of the game found Westoe pressurising the home side’s line, looking to gain at least a losing bonus point and metres from achieving this, Consett’s Southern capped off a fine performance, intercepting the ball and striding the length of the field to win Consett a fourth try bonus point and seal Westoe’s fate.