WALLSEND secured the early bragging rights with a 31-17 derby win over North Shields on Saturday.
Wallsend had the advantage through the first ten minutes with Shields giving away three quick penalties, with the home side coming away from with a well worked try from second row forward Steve Bootland.
Wallsend then seemed to step off the gas a bit and allowed Shields to find their feet, and through some strong forward play and neat backs running, they managed to get up the pitch and away from their 22.
It was not long went over for a score after a well driven lineout from only five metres out. Hooker Harry Watson coming up with the score.
Wallsend were reduced to 14 soon after, their scrum-half was sin binned for a high tackle, allowing Shields to press.
From a breakdown in play, Shields stand-off Gav Duffy kicked forward and some quick passing from the backs saw winger Rhys Coltherd score in the corner.
But the numerical advantage was short lived. At a lineout, the referee sent prop Chris Spedding to the sin bin for binding on the wrong side, both sides ending the half with 14 men as Shields led 12-7.
The second half kicked off and Wallsend upped their aggression at the break down to try and ease a bit of pressure from Carl Cockburn at scrum-half, who was having a great game causing, lots of problems around the base of the rucks and scrums.
However, Shields had ideas of their own and after ten minutes scored a third try with a scrum five out. The big number eight picked up from the base and powered his way over the line taking a number of defenders with him.
Wallsend thought they had threwn it all away again as in previous weeks, but with a tweak to the back line and another yellow for Shields, they managed to get back in the game when a break up the right got them in good position and from a resulting penalty Cockburn scurried over for a try.
Wallsend had another good chance up the middle but the visitors seemed to have stopped them short of the line only for the referee to give a penalty, which after a few quick taps and a further two penalties he awarded the home side a penalty try taking them to 19-17 with only eight minutes left.
Shields nearly gained the winwith only four minutes to go but an attempt on goal fell just short.
But that led to controversy as Shields thought it was a drop out but Hamil had been told by the referee its open play so between Hamil, Rutherford and Cockburn they broke up the right and scored to take the game away from the visitors.
This deflated the visitors as from the kick-off with only 44 seconds left Wallsend scored again through Hood and won the game 31-17.
On Saturday Shields entertain Whitley Bay Rockliffe at Preston Fields while Wallsend are away to Ashington.