North Shields first XV got back to winning ways and went second in the table with a 38-7 success over visitors Hartlepool.
The home side went into the game with several regulars unavailable, but showed good strength in depth by fielding a strong 18-man squad with Gregg Newlands having his first start for the club at centre and Michael ‘Harry’ Harrigan making his first team debut starting in the second row.
Shields were determined to convert early pressure into points and after a series of carries by the forwards, Lewis Boyle was able to open the scoring, Duffy converting for 7-0.
However, Hartlepool came back strongly and from a set-piece move the fly-half threw a dummy and went over.
In the second half Harrigan scored his first try, taking several opposition bodies over the line with him, Duffy again converting.
The pressure did not drop and Harrigan scored his second. Duffy’s conversion made it 21-7.
Duffy booted the ball deep into Hartlepool’s half and the attacking chase forced the full-back into a kick which did not go to plan, allowing Shields to get the ball out to scrum-half Sam Brooks who ran to the corner.
Hartlepool failed to score during two periods where Shields had a man sent to the sin bin. The visitors’ defence was starting to leave gaps and from a lineout Harry Watson controlled the ball at the back of a maul to score, Duffy converted for 33-7.
Watson followed this with an individual try, this time running 20 metres whilst brushing off several opponents on his way to the try line.
Man of the match, as nominated by coach Tommy Rendles, was Harry Watson.
Shields’ next game is Ryton at home next Saturday.