NORTH Shields RFC faced Houghton away in what promised to be a tough encounter.
Last week Shields suffered their first defeat of the season after a dismal display against fellow promotion hopefuls Whitby.
From the kick-off it was clear Shields were out to prove a point.
For the opening 20 minutes Shields hardly conceded possession and were camped deep in the Houghton half.
The visitors line was continually battered but to their credit they defended admirably against the Shields onslaught.
Eventually Rob Dixon crossed the whitewash to give Shields the opening score.
And they extended their lead moments later with Oliver Randall going over.
By the 30-minute mark the home side seemed to be cruising towards victory.
However, complacency set in and when Houghton managed to secure quick ball for their backs they stretched the Shields line and this culminated in a converted try to leave the score 12-7 at half-time.
Shortly after the interval Randall scored his second of the day with an outrageous dummy from the back of a five-metre scrum, which created an opening to score.
From a lineout on the halfway line, Gavin Duff popped neatly inside to Randall who sprinted through the Houghton line to touch down for his third of the day.
Dixon scored his second before full-time to round off a good win for Shields.
Elsewhere, Whitby failed to claim a bonus point whereas Shields’ five tries saw them pick up the additional point.
Shields have now closed the gap to five points on Whitby with two games in hand.
On Saturday Shields face Leeds Corinthians at home in the Junior Vase Cup.